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Toll Free Telephone Number


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What has your experience been since adding a toll-free number to your business? Have you found it greatly increased your sales or have you found the cost outweighed the increase in sales?

 

Getting a toll-free number seems to be a logical step towards increasing sales, but I'd like to hear your thoughts on this marketing strategy.

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I second it. Toll free number adds 'professionalism' to your store and gives it lots of creditability. For $5-10 additional a month, that's probably the best ROI you can get.

- The Jackal

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How often do you man your phones if you have a toll free number? Do people actually leave messages, or are you manning the phones 12 hours a day? I have not gotten a toll free number yet (have considered it though) because I can't man the phones full time, and I thought it would turn people off to get an answering machine.

 

Any thoughts?

Adrienne

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  • 4 weeks later...

We have a toll-free number and post it prominently on the website. We find 15% of our customers order via the toll-free number because they "trust" it. Those are sales that we would probably otherwise lose.

 

We use Freedom Voice Systems offsite link . We've been using them for several years, so there maybe something better out there now.

 

It handles the calls. We can set up a dialing routine that checks a couple of different numbers to pick up. We can also program different routines depending on the time of day/week. It will take a message if we don't call. It will also send us an email with an attachment of the voice mail.

 

We answer about 50% of the calls and return the rest.

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I'm not totally convinced by free or local rate numbers.

 

I don't know about other countries but....

 

In the UK calls to normal numbers don't cost that much, so your customers won't save much by calling a free number (0800). In some cases it can be cheaper - I used to be charged more for calls to an 0800 number than a normal number on my mobile.

 

Calls to local or national rate numbers (eg 0845) actually cost more than a call to a normal number. You can get an 0845 number for free in the UK, but your customers end up paying for it in call charges.

 

With small companies that I don't know, I'm a bit suspicious of calling 0800 or 0845 numbers. I always wonder if they are just a small operation using the number to improve their credibility.

 

But then I do my best to stop customers calling me. I run an internet shop and prefer orders to be placed on our website with communication via email. It works for Amazon.

 

Jon.

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  • 2 weeks later...

we've made the decision to stick with a local number.

I think if you're a generic business like a travel agent or a CD shop then yes it can help, but if you're a specialist it can actually help filter out people making them pay, even though it's a negligable ammount.

If people are going to begrudge paying 10p for a phone call, are they the kind of customers you want? Not really....

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  • 1 month later...
Anyone have any hints on toll free numbers if you can only man the phones about 8-10 hours per day, 4-5 days per week?

 

Thanks,

Adrienne

 

Easy, you have your toll free number divert to your mobile phone.

I go out a lot in the car and can almost pretend I'm sitting at my desk, make sure you take a PDA with you :)

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