Is toll-free the ideal customer service number?
Freephone or toll-free numbers, both names for the same product. With one important thing in common; free. That’s what it’s all about. These are the numbers that people around the world know and recognize as being the number that’s free to call. From both fixed and mobile lines. So, if you want to make it easy for people to call you, this sounds like the ideal customer service number.
And there’s more
Having a number that’s free to call is, of course, a big advantage if you want to make it easy for people to call you. Therefore, freephone numbers are often the preferred type of number for customer service and support lines. But that’s not the only reason to choose a toll-free number:
- It creates a sense of being trustworthy and professional
- It creates a feeling of nation-wide presence
- It makes your business easy to reach
- Freephone numbers often tend to look more simple than geographic numbers, making them easier to remember. You can even choose vanity numbers if that suits your type of business, where the numbers spell out to a term relating to your business (1-800-Flowers)
- Using a number that’s free to call, increases customer satisfaction (and therefore also your Customer Experience metrics such as NPS, CSAT, and CES). If (potential) customers need help, they usually don’t want to pay for it. Especially if they’ve already bought your product.
- Customers prefer calling freephone numbers to other types of numbers so if it’s about making sales; this can help outsmart a competitor who uses a number other than toll-free
- Freephone numbers are easy to set up and easy to port (in case of moving offices but also if you want to switch service providers)
- Calls can be delivered anywhere (both national and international) and on any kind of infrastructure
- They can be supported by all kinds of additional services such as IVR’s, routing schemes (both national and international), overflow in case of (un)expected inbound peaks and extensive call statistics
Perfect or not?
Is it all fun and games or do freephone numbers also have a downside? Depending on your type of business and your reason for wanting people to call you, some of the advantages may not be that important to you. And there are some other things to consider as well:
- Because these number are free to call, you pay all the calling costs. In some countries, there is a surcharge for mobile calls which could further increase your telephone bill. So be sure to know this in advance before you are negatively surprised when you receive your first phone bill
- If you just want to be accessible and do not see the added value of 1-on-1 phone calls, another type of number can be just as suitable. One where you don’t pay all the calling costs, but the caller contributes (partly) as well. Anything from a geographic number to a premium number. Do keep in mind that based on local legislation premium usually isn’t allowed for customer service
- Freephone numbers usually can’t be called from abroad but if they can, calls aren’t free anymore. This can however be solved by an extra geographic number for your foreign customers and/or prospects
- If your business is more local than national, you’re better off using a geographic number. This adds to the feeling of calling a local business which is becoming increasingly more popular
We value your call
Having a number that’s free to call sends an important message to your audience; ‘we value your call and that’s why we’ve made it as easy as possible for you to call us’. There’s no lower threshold than that. It shows you care about your customers. So, if customer satisfaction is something that’s very important for your company, you know what number to choose.Back to newsroom