In this digital age, many people see phone numbers as being obsolete for businesses but they are still a key method of contact for many potential customers. Not every customer will be as tech savvy as you’d hope and whilst live chat and social media are great ways of interacting, they aren’t for everyone. Most customers would admit that they feel safer in the knowledge that there is a human on the other side that they can actually speak to if they have an issue. With that in mind, many start-up businesses are often left with the question of should they use a local prefix number or an 0800-toll free number. Here we walk you through the differences and advantages of local numbers and 0800 numbers to help you decide.
Having a local number if you are a small business owner is key, not only does it let potential customers in your area know that you are open for business, it shows them that you are there for when they need you. If, however you also work in a number of areas nationwide you may also want to consider using a virtual landline so that you can have number local numbers. For instance, you may be located in Liverpool and whilst you are not based elsewhere you may also operate in Manchester. In this instance, you can use a virtual landline to create an 0161-prefix number so that people in that area feel safe in the knowledge they are contacting a reputable, local working business. In general, you will find that customers are much more likely to contact a business that they believe works locally, it gives them a sense of trust and familiarity that you can’t get with an 0800 number.
That being said, there are a lot of advantages to using a Freephone number that you can’t get with standard local numbers. Firstly, and most obviously, an 0800 number is a freephone number which means your customers won’t be worried about incurring obscene call charges when trying to contact you. It also creates a sense of professionalism that you just can’t get with a local number. Having an 0800 gives the impression that you are a credible multinational company that works with customers across the country. It will also improve customer relations as it is a sign that you are willing to incur call costs so that they can contact you without any worries. Even if you must put them on hold, whilst it may leave them slightly disgruntled, they will have no complaints about call charges. Plus, if you are a smaller business looking to branch out in working nationwide what better way to start than with a number that does not pertain to any specific area. When customers dial an 0800 number they do not know which part of the country you are located in, they will just assume that you operate in
Both numbers can benefit your business in the long term but it is up to you to decide which will suit your needs best. If you are thinking of creating a virtual landline with one of the numbers, then the first place to start looking will be Smart Numbers Ltd. We will help you better understand your options and find a package that will help you to grow.