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Business phone numbers: The power of the right numbers

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The most common perception of business phone numbers is that they are simply a means for companies and their clients to connect via phone calls. However, a business number can do much more than that. It can open pathways for international expansion, increase office productivity, and be used for marketing purposes.

Today, consumers are more demanding when deciding on a purchase. When a professional number is available, they feel safer to purchase a certain product or service, as they know they will have a contact channel with the company. You might be wondering why having a phone number if the 21st century consumer gets in touch with consumer brands through channels other than these, such as chat, app, and social media. It is true. However, 43% of them prefer telephone contact, and it is during this type of contact that customer satisfaction with a brand will be determined. See how to choose the ideal operator.

Business phone numbers: A surprising marketing tool

Business telephone numbers come in different options. You can get local business phone numbers or toll free business phone numbers, depending on your business’ size and requirements. A local number will be recognized by people of that community and make for an ideal phone number for local businesses. These numbers usually have an area code attached to them. Toll free numbers, on the other, have traditionally been used by call centers and large corporations to provide callers with a free way to reach the company. Let’s explore these number types further to understand how they can be used to bring in new customers.

Toll free business phone numbers increase accessibility

Businesses that want to encourage more and more interested prospects to contact them will have toll free business phone numbers. The reason behind this is fairly simple. Customers won’t dial an international or non-local number because they will incur additional charges. But a toll free number, on the contrary, is a free way to reach a business for support or information. The receiver is charged instead. And, therefore, a 1800 number will pull in more customers.

And if you get the number from a virtual phone service provider, then you don’t incur high charges either. You can contact local and international clients for more reasonable rates, depending on the plan you subscribe to through the provider.

Personalize with vanity numbers

Another option for having attractive business phone numbers is choosing or creating a vanity number. These numbers have easy-to-remember patterns or recognizable letters inserted within them. For example, 877-OHMYGOD or 833-987-9877. You can also insert the name of your company or industry here, such as FedEx’s 1-800-GoFedEx or the taxi service’s 1-800-TAXI-USA.

Web-based phone service providers, like global advanced call forwarding, offer vanity numbers to use repetition or letters to personalize your contact number.  If you have one of these highly-sought-after numbers, you can advertise it everywhere. Gradually, viewers will associate your business with this number and it will stay longer in their memory. This is a good way to increase brand visibility.

More credibility and a professional sheen

Business phone numbers, especially the virtual kind, can add more to your office system. You can make use of cloud-based features to create a professional and credible business persona. Most providers will offer a basic set of features that may or may not include:

  • Call forwarding: Direct calls to different numbers, devices, offices, etc.
  • Interactive voice response: Automated response that greets callers and helps them navigate through a series of menus
  • Call recording: Record calls for performance analysis, protection from liabilities, and more
  • Extensions: For different internal departments
  • Call conferencing: Collaborate with different lines
  • Voicemail to email: Save voicemails as MP3 and access them from your email
  • Outbound calling: For businesses with a high outgoing call volume, and more.

And then, you can add other advanced features, if required. The point of these features is to assist you in handling incoming and outgoing calls so that you are always accessible to your clients. Being reachable is important. If customers have to jump through hoops to speak with a rep, they’ll more likely take their business elsewhere. With these tools, you won’t miss important leads and you will improve the caller experience. And that is the first step to refining your customer support service. More importantly, you can enjoy clear, high-quality calls.

Determine the type of business phone number you need

There are different numbers available. Each has a different purpose, value and characteristics. Determine this need based on these attributes and the profile of your customers.

Determine your company’s needs

Outline the objective with the telephone service, outline a strategy and a plan. Don’t forget to take into account the market in which you operate, the client’s profile, the budget and the company’s macro strategic planning.

  • Do you only need assistance numbers or do you want to provide this service in an integrated and complete way? If other service platforms are already used, don’t forget to check if there is the possibility of integrating them, in order not to lose information, streamline processes and reduce costs;
  • Already have a PABX? If not, list the operators that do not have this requirement;
  • Will you be using VOIP or a traditional phone line? Remember that VOIP does not usually have as good quality as telephone cable lines, as they depend on the quality of the contracted internet;
  • How many service PAs will be used?
  • Will the phone be used only to receive calls or also to make calls?

Request quotes and run tests

Before making any decision, make tests and calmly analyze all the features presented. Ask everything necessary and ask at least one employee, who will have direct contact with the service, to participate in the process. It is important to remember that your company needs to have full control over the services provided, in order to better understand the behavior and needs of prospects.

Requesting numbers from major carriers is time-consuming. The release can take up to 3 months, without the right to tests. The price is more expensive (installation, monthly fee, minute value, minimum expense, etc.), and the service to control service and professionalization is not usually offered.

Attract more customers to your business

Customer care is an integral part of running a company. If you don’t pay attention to the consumer or ways in which you can serve them better, you will lose valuable leads. Business phone numbers are one step in the right direction. Take the time to think about how you can use your company number to your advantage. And watch the phones ring!

About Andrea Toulsen

andreat@thebusinesswomanmedia.com'

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