Customer satisfaction is the primary goal of any customer service team. Increase your team’s responsiveness and you’ll increase your customer happiness. The bottom line: Communication is key, and texting is one of the easiest ways for people to communicate. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s not just for 16 year-old girls anymore. Scientists have done studies:Read More
I just finished reading the Effortless Entrepreneur by Nick Friedman and Omar Solomon. It’s a great book about two guys just out of college, who started their own junk hauling business, and turn that business into a multimillion dollar enterprise. A fascinating journey of turning loads of trash into loads of cash.
One of the first things that Nick and Omar did to give their startup credibility, and to help market their business, was get a custom 800 number. They attributed a large part of their success to their number. And it reminded me why toll free phone numbers are still important to both big businesses and small businesses alike, even today in the world of iPhones and iPads.Read More
Should I Get Toll Free Number for My Small Business?
One essential tool of advertising that every business needs to use, whether it is a small firm or a big one, is a toll free number. Not only is it easy to get a toll free number for your business but is also quite affordable. In fact, most businesses consider it to be one of the most affordable but extremely effective medium of being available to customers 24*7. Moreover you can choose from a wide range of toll free numbers. If you need to include letters in your toll free number, you can do that too. Most businesses get vanity toll free number for their company as these numbers allow them to add words in the phone number. For example if you own a pizza store, you can get toll free number that reads 1-800- PIZZA. This way it will be easy for your customers to remember your number and will further make way for new customers. Apart from that your customers will be able to associate the toll free number with the service or product that you offer.Read More
Small businesses can buy 800 number services from big phone companies like AT&T and Verizon but there’s no reason too. After the big telecom breakup due to the passing of the telecommunications act of 1996 small reseller phone companies gained access to the national telecom grid allowing them to provide the same toll free number service at a fraction of the cost. In fact these cheap 1-800 numbers have the same call quality. However when you purchase 800 number services from a smaller phone company you get two differences: better customer service and more features. When you buy 800 number services from a small company you get personalize customer support. Customer support is not out sourced to a call center outside of the USA. When you purchase 1-800 number service from a small phone company you will enjoy the proprietary features that the smaller phone company as developed to differentiates itself from its competitors. In fact, competition was the reason the big telecom companies were forced to breakup. The free market works. It improves customer services and forces companies to innovate. It moves technology forward and that includes 1-800 numbers.Read More
There’s No Such Thing as Unlimited Toll Free Forwarding Minutes.
There’s a good chance this blog post is going to tick off a few toll free service providers. Too bad. It’s time to call a spade a spade. The truth is no phone company actually offers unlimited toll free number service. There’s no such thing. BUT, unfortunately, there are some phone companies out there that are perfectly comfortable lying about it, and it’s pretty much legal to do so.Read More
A virtual phone service provider is a phone company that provides virtual telephone numbers with hosted PBX features. Phone service providers offer these virtual phone line services via a hosted phone system (also known as cloud-based phone systems). That is to say, the telephone number is hosted online and can be accessed and managed online 24/7. The neat thing about a virtual phone number is that it can be any area code of your choice. This means a virtual phone service can give your business local numbers with area codes in L.A., Chicago, and New York. Thus giving your business a local presence in all three cities and making it look like you have offices all over the USA (pretty impressive!). Virtual telephone services can also provide you toll free numbers. A toll free phone number can be a smart investment. It not only gives instant credibility and a nationwide presence to a small business – it gives that small business the complete flexibility to port its telephone number to traditional business phone service providers or a virtual business phone service at any time.Read More
Vanity toll free numbers are 1-800 numbers that spell out a word related to a company’s industry or brand name (for example: 1-800-CAR-LOAN or 1-800-DENTIST). Not all vanity phone numbers have to start with the area code (i.e., toll free prefix) 800. You can find vanity toll free numbers for sale with the toll free 888 prefix as well as the following toll free prefixes: 877, 866, 855, and 844. In fact the 844 toll free prefix is the newest released, therefore you are more likely to find toll free vanity numbers available for the 844 area code, because the other toll free area codes have been in circulation for much long. In fact, the 1800 toll free numbers have been available since 1967 making them as rare as a buffalo nickel.Read More
A vanity phone number is a usually a toll free number that spells a word related to a business’s brand or industry. These custom toll free telephone numbers have been a popular marketing tool since the late 1960’s. In this case “vanity” doesn’t mean pride or self-importance; it means a unique word related to business’s marketing, brand, industry, or service. When someone hears an advertisement on the radio or sees your ad on a billboard, a vanity telephone number makes it easy for the person to remember your business’s toll free phone number. The independent organization called SMS800 is sanctioned by the FCC to house and regulate 1-800 telephone numbers. When telephone companies conduct an 800 phone number lookup and search for available phone numbers they are searching the SMS800 database. This database is used as a vanity phone number generator, generating all available vanity 800 telephone numbers not currently in use by other businesses.Read More
Toll free numbers aren’t just for large call centers or Fortune 500 companies any more. Now you can get a toll free number and forward it to your cell phone. If you’re an on-the-go entrepreneur or a small business owner this technology can help you stay connected and sound more professional. When someone calls your toll free number they’ll first hear a professional greeting like “Thank you for calling ABC Company. For Sales press 1, For Support press 2…etc.” Then your caller is routed to your cell phone or your business partner’s cell phone in another location. You’d see on your caller ID that it’s customer calling you on your 800 number so you would know to answer the call professionally. And if you don’t answer, instead of going to your personal cell phone’s voicemail the caller will be sent to your Company’s unavailable greeting (“We’re sorry all representatives are assisting other customers…”). Your caller can leave a message and that message will be emailed to you. This is type of toll free number forwarding is made possible by Virtual Phone Systems for Small Business. With a Virtual Phone System, you can run your business from your cell phone, yet sound like you have a Fortune 500 company’s phone system.
What does Toll Free Forwarding mean?
Toll free forwarding refers to the ability to forward a toll free 800 number to a local area code number. For example you can forward an 866 toll free phone number to any local area code number using a phone company’s toll free services. However, there are more toll free area codes than just 866 and they all have toll free forwarding capabilities. Toll free area codes are called prefixes (technically they’re just called toll free area codes, but for some reason they are wildly referred to as toll free prefixes, even though the prefix is actually the first 3 digits after the area code). The FCC has currently approved the following toll free phone number prefixes for use by small business and other organizations: 800, 855, 866, 888, 877, and the newest toll free prefix 844. Any toll free phone number (that includes toll free vanity numbers) with any of these prefixes are eligible for toll free call forwarding to local area codes in the USA or Canada North American Dialing Plan.
How does Toll Free Forwarding work?
It’s simple. You sign up for toll free number service with a telephone company that is an official RespOrg (i.e., FCC authorized toll free service provider known as a “responsible organization” or “RespOrg” in telecom talk). You select an 800 number (remember the prefix or toll free area code does not have to be 800 – it can be 855 or 866, 888, 877, or 844) and you forward the toll free number to a local area code telephone number. Some toll free call forwarding services allow you to set up advanced call forwarding such as time-of-day routing, multiple greetings, extensions, phone numbers, or virtual voicemail boxes. In fact, some toll free forwarding systems offer virtual phone system features with all the power of a traditional PBX business telephone service. Or you can opt for simple toll free call forwarding and simply ring your 1800 number to your local phone number. Toll free numbers can forward to cell phones, home phones, office phones, VoIP phones or whatever 10-digit (3-digit area code plus 7 digit phone number) telephone number you’d like.
Why should I get a 1-800 Number Forwarding service?
If you are a small business owner, home-based business owner, or startup company entrepreneur, you may be considering getting 1-800 number forwarding service. In today’s world it is not as important to have a toll free number so customers can call your small business toll free. Most people have cell phones with unlimited calling or use a VoIP solution with free long distance. However, there is a few good reasons to get toll free number forwarding services. You could get a vanity phone number that gives your home-based business a more credible image, like a Fortune 500 company who primarily uses 800 numbers. Another reason relates to number portability. A federal law passed in the 1990s to protect businesses from phone companies holding their business phone number hostage. This law granted toll free number portability, otherwise known as owning your business phone number and being able to easily and quickly port it to any phone company at any time. Local area code telephone numbers are not regulated the same as 800 phone numbers. Only toll free numbers with the toll free area codes 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, and 844 have this portability protection. If you phone company raises their rates you can port your number to another carrier virtually overnight and say goodbye to your current telecom provider. This allows you to shop around and find a new carrier that will provide you with the same quality of 1-800 number forwarding service at a better value.Read More
What is an 800 number?
Before we talk about how to get an 800 number for your small business, first let’s explain what it is. A 1-800 telephone number is a toll free number with the toll free area code prefix 855, 866, 877, 888, or 800. Business owners often wonder, if they get an 800 number, do they own it? The answer is yes – unless the phone company is “renting” the number. With UniTel Voice, for example you own your number with no strings attached. And in most cases, unless you agree to their special terms and conditions, you own the number and can port it to another provider at any time. Toll free numbers are the only telephone numbers protected by special FCC toll free number portability rules. As long as you are in good standing with your toll free service provider you can port your number to another phone company. Why is this so important? Let’s say you’ve spend time and money marketing your business’s phone number and you move locations, or you change phone systems, or your phone company goes out of business, or your phone company raises your rates. Toll free number portability means you have the right to port your number away from your current phone company without service interruption. Note: Some companies (UniTel Voice excluded) have cancelation fees or “porting” fees. Make sure you read their terms and conditions carefully.
Why should I buy an 800 number for my small business?
There are many reasons you should buy an 800 number, even in 2014. First, there’s no question that a toll free 1800 telephone number gives your business instant credibility and a nationwide presence – if you are small startup company or a home-based business that little bit of credibility can go a long way. However, the most important reason to buy 800 number service is the ability to own your business phone number. Toll free numbers are the only phone numbers protected by special FCC number portability rules that protect businesses and ensure the ability to take your number with you wherever you go. You invest in marketing your number – don’t lose that investment by marketing a local area code number that is not protected. Get a toll free number with the area code 800, 888, 877, 866, or 855, and protect your investment, and as a bonus, give your small business a nationwide appeal with a big business image.
How to Get 1-800 Numbers with affordable service
You can get 1-800 numbers from almost every major phone company. However, toll free service providers are not all are created equal. In fact, you can get the same quality of 1800 number service from a smaller company for a fraction of the price of going to one of the huge telecom providers. Not only do the smaller telephone companies have less expensive rates, the smaller phone companies have better customer service and more features (like 800 number voicemail and auto-attendant call routing). You might be wondering: If I get an 800 number from a smaller toll free phone service provider, will the call quality be the same as the large telecom providers? In most cases the answer is yes. Companies like UniTel Voice for example, use the same underlying toll free forwarding network as the major telecommunication giants. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, the US government deemed the large telecom companies “monopolies”, forcing them to allow smaller phone companies the opportunity to use their networks as their underlying carriers. Once the monopolies were broken down, free market competition kicked in. As a result, the small phone companies innovated, making 1-800 toll free service more affordable, adding cool phone system features, and providing better customer service. That’s the power of the free market! Breaking up the telecom monopolies increased competition, lowered prices, and increase innovation across the board. See UniTel Voice’s Low Cost Toll Free Number Plans.
Toll free numbers with virtual phone system features
Today, toll free service providers have combined cloud-based technology and with traditional toll free service to offer Virtual Phone Systems that provide small business with all the power of a traditional PBX business phone system without the hassle of equipment or software. Learn more about UniTel Voice’s Virtual Office Phone System.