Why your business should have an 800 number
800 numbers are toll-free numbers used by US businesses, just like 888 or 877 numbers. These specific three-digit codes indicate they can be dialled with not charge to the person making the call. Essentially, it involves the business making an agreement with a service provider that you're going to cover the costs of those calls, instead, including covering the costs of customers outside your local area who might be hit by long-distance call fees.
The only calls not guaranteed toll-free by 800 numbers are some wireless calls. If a wireless caller is on a minute-based contract, then toll-free calls will still charge them for the minutes of the call. Otherwise, however, it can be a great way for businesses to make it easier for their customers and leads to get in touch.
As the most widely recognised toll-free numbers, 800 numbers are immediately recognizable to a sizeable portion of your market. But what are the real benefits of implementing one in your business?
Customers love it
First of all, even online businesses need to have accessible contact details. If your customers are solely able to reach you online, you better be ready for the complaints. From Facebook to Google, users are consistently unhappy with how difficult it can be to reach them.
An 800 number heightens your approach to customer service by making your number even more accessible. Customers will appreciate that it's easy to get in touch, whether they're looking for information, support, or even to leave feedback. As such, the better able a customer is to get in touch with you, the easier it is for you to remove the barriers that might stop them from converting or returning.
Don't underestimate the likelihood that customers might be turned away from your business entirely if they're unable to get in touch to ask a few key questions on their mind. Make your contact details accessible and go a step further by ensuring it's almost always free to get in touch.
Recognizable and memorable
One of the big benefits of 800 numbers is that people tend to recognize exactly what that extension means. They know that it means they don't have to pay and they're more likely to place a call as a result. However, it also makes it easier for them to memorize the number, as well.
This benefit can be improved if you're using a vanity number (a number specifically designed to make it more memorable and noticeable). Not only are they more likely to call it, but it's much easier to remember it if they see it in an advertisement or on a billboard but they don't immediately jot it down.
Part of this benefit is the fact that you can take your 800 number wherever you go with you, as well. A big concern about moving your business from one premises to another is that you lose your old contact details, which means certain customers might lose the ability to get in touch. With 800 numbers, that doesn't have to be a concern.
Get real marketing insight
Your lead generation methods, online or otherwise, also offer insight that lets you see exactly which your marketing tactics are most successful. We see this in social media and search engine analytics, but now it's also a feature that a lot of 800 number service providers offer, as well.
With 800 numbers, you can create extensions that can then be tied to and used solely within specific campaigns. As such, you can see how someone found your number and how they made a call by which extension that they're using. This can help you see whether a certain billboard, website, advertisement, or other platform is the most successful at prompting people to make that call that could lead to their conversion.
Provide better customer service
Customer service leads to customer satisfaction. The better that you are able to field their concerns, to provide solutions, and to resolve problems, the more likely you are to retain customers. Furthermore, it improves your reputation and word-of-mouth, earning you the kind of loyalty that lead to new growth in the market, as well.
You may already use online chat tools on the website, social media, and email to provide customer service and support, but there's no reason that your phones shouldn't be incorporated in this strategy, either. To a lot of people, it's still the most direct and convenient way to get the support that they need.
Displaying an 800 support number on the website is greatly reassuring to potential and existing customers, letting them you that you are there and you are ready to help them if and when they need it.
Give your business a professional appeal
For small businesses, especially those that operate online, there is a certain stigma to get over. If they have never heard of your business before, you need to give them a reason to trust that you are legitimate, reliable, and professional organizations. There are a host of ways to this, but the 800 number is a great shorthand to communicate that professionalism.
First of all, they're almost exclusively used by professional organizations. Secondly, they require investment, showing customers that you're paying for the professional treatment they deserve. Most importantly, the ease of support and accessibility that an 800 number communicates shows a professional approach to how you treat your customers.
Furthermore, it helps to remove the sense of regionality that your business might otherwise have. With an 800 number, it's easier to show customers and clients that you have a national presence, even if you're running the business from a small, local premises.
Should you consider an 800 number?
Not every business is going to rely on their phones as much as others. If your phones are persistently ringing, or you want them to, then you should seriously think about using toll-free numbers. 800 number providers can help make it much easier for customers to get in touch and can create the kind of professional appeal your brand needs to grow.