Can the right telephone number help your business grow?

Choosing the right business telephone number can sometimes be overlooked but getting it right is a must.

Let’s explain why…

The right phone number can help your business thrive. It’s a number that is recognisable to you and your reliability. A number customers respond to. One they see in adverts.

So what is the best choice? Well this depends entirely on your business goals:

  • Do you want to go global?
  • Increase your call volume?
  • Earn revenue from calls?
  • Maybe you want to boost your brand presence?
  • Build a customer database in specific regions.
  • Maybe you want your team to work remotely from anywhere?

This guide will help you define your chosen future and help you set a course towards it.

Freephone Numbers

Freephone numbers have an 0800 or 0808 prefix, are national numbers, and are free of charge for calls from landlines and mobile phones.

Large companies that have a huge customer service department, such as: EDF energy and NatWest banking, tend to use 0800 numbers for ease of use. This is because the caller doesn’t have to pay to call – the business does.

The Benefits

People prefer calling freephone numbers. 65% of customers in a survey by Henley Research said that they were more likely to call when it’s free of charge.

Also, 0800 numbers are easy to remember, meaning less misdials, and more chance a customer getting through to your business.

The trust factor. An 0800 number is instantly more recognisable, meaning someone will already believe your business, means business, and it is legitimate. Generally, large companies take on an 0800 number, so a small business can form the impression of a larger business and develop a sense of formality surrounding your brand by utilising this.

These benefits cultivate:

  • further economic success.
  • increased trust and reliability.
  • more calls, which inevitably leads to more sales.

A Freephone Number; is it right for you?

Decision time. If you want a national and global audience, it’s a brilliant choice. 0800 numbers provide a national presence no matter where your business is located as they conceal geographical location.
 
With 0800 numbers, launching any regional campaigns can be made much more effective. You can advertise different numbers dependent on the region.
 
You can measure the success of different freephone numbers being used by the same campaign via call analytics.
 
Spotting patterns in your marketing data can become more effective. You can generate a full breakdown (call duration, call time, etc) to develop your businesses appeal.
 

Targeted marketing for your business can be more insightful and effective.

Revenue Share Numbers

To offset their overheads, companies that have hundreds of phones ringing non-stop for purchases and sales enquiries often use revenue share numbers.

These numbers:

  • Have an 0843, 0844, 0845, 0871 or 0870 prefix
  • Generate revenue 
  • What you earn is based on the amount of money paid by the customer.
It is illegal for customer complaints or support calls to be charges since Ofcom’s draft bill on consumer rights (2013). There are exemptions to this rule, such; gabling and holiday package companies. Otherwise, you need a freephone, national or local number for your customer service calls.

The Benefits

Would you like to earn money from your calls? Every enquiry from a customer, you earn revenue. How much simply depends on how much the customer has paid. This strategy boosts your budget by monetising your sales operations, and also reduces cold callers as the price tag ensures only serious calls are made. 

Customers find comfort in a reliable 08 number. These numbers are well established and recognised by audiences on a national level.

A Revenue Share Number; is it right for you?

If your customers are happy to pay to call you (and you abide by Ofcom’s rules), this can be a very lucrative choice.

By using an 0843, 0844 or 0845 number, you can earn 2.5p per minute. Boost that to 6p per minute with an 0870 or 0871 number.

If your business provides a premium support service, then legally you can use premium number as a way to raise revenue. Additionally, this number, much like a freephone number, can come from anywhere in the world, so if you’re thinking of relocating the business in the future, you can keep the number and ease that transition. 
 
Using a revenue share number,  you can expand and stay on budget, especially when you’re in a bit of a tight spot. Extra income form calls can subsidise a new department. 

Local Numbers

Do you have a local customer base? Businesses like this use geographical numbers to allow them to use a local landline for their targeted reginal marketing. 

These business telephone numbers:

  • start with an area code, e.g. 01 or 02
  • are geographical numbers
  • cost the standard phone rate to call
  • allow out of area calls
  • can also be diverted to a landline or mobile.

The Benefits

Give the impression that you’re locally based whilst concentrating on your business. It also allows you to build a customer base in another city with ease. 

You can target as many markets as you feel is right for your business by using geographical numbers- you can operate your business with more efficiency over a selection of regions. 

Customers who prefer to do business locally are more likely to use a company with a local numberFamiliarity is key for some customers: a local number builds this familiarity with the business. 

A Local Number; is it right for you?

By strategically advertising your number in a specific region, you can increase call volume by location; improving your marketing significantly. It also builds a customer database in varying locales, allowing you to expand your business in an inexpensive way. 
 
Maybe you rely on direct contact with your customers to complete sales. You can increase customer pickup by using a local number. Or perhaps you’re an entrepreneur who enjoys the nomadic lifestyle. Perhaps travelling abroad. Well this can be achieved with a local number, as you never need to change it, no matter which path you decide to wander. 

National Business Numbers

Whilst historically not well known, phone lines starting with 03 are becoming increasingly favourable in businesses today. They allow a company to maintain a 
national presence without the need to charge customers extra for their calls.

National business number:

  • have an 03 prefix
  • are charged at the same rate as local numbers
  • are inclusive  within most mobile and landline monthly bundles

The Benefits

Costing the same as a call to a local number, National business numbers provide a cheaper alternative to 0800 numbers of customers. Additionally, as they are nearly always free to call with most mobile contracts, customer satisfaction is improved and the likelihood of customer calls increases call volume. An 03 number also opens your business up to a wider audience as it is very well recognised. 

An 03 number can be your workaround to the conundrum of not charging for customer complaints and service lines, as mentioned earlier.  You can use the 03 variant to re-route customer service calls from your existing line, providing a cost effective wat to stay compliant, whilst keeping a premium number. 

A National Business Number; is it right for you?

03 business telephone numbers are a smart solution if you’re looking for an affordable alternative to premium business numbers. When the calls are flowing in, they allow you to maintain a national presence without the additional costs a free phone number can.

Very importantly, they are increasingly becoming more recognisable nationwide and customers are readily trusting in them, thus trusting in you. 

Not-For-Profit Numbers

Charities, public sector bodies and not-for-profit companies can use an 0300 number specifically. This rule was designed by Ofcom so that such organisations can offer calls at a single point of contact nationally. Customers aren’t usually charged for their trouble, as calls to these numbers are included in most contracted landline and mobile minutes, 

Not-for-profit numbers:

  • have an 0300 prefix
  • aren’t linked to a geographic location
  • are used by charities and not-for-profit organisations
  • cost the same as local numbers

The Benefits

Most charities, as well as GP practices and government departments use an 0300 line.  All well-known and respectable bodies, recognised by most of the population.

Being trustworthy is important to customers. Adopting an 0300 number gives the same level of loyalty as customers associate these with already trustworthy not-for-profit organisations. 

They help you attract donations by giving you that official status. The professionalism and reliability this gives you is very advantageous. 

An 0300 us also very memorable, mostly because they are used by so many big names. Customers are less likely to mis-dial and you can increase call volume. 

A Not-For-Profit Number; is it right for you?

Why use a premium number when customers can call you at next-to-no expense? It’s obvious when you’re a charity or another not-for-profit organisation. By having a line that’s as recognisable as an 0300 number, potential donors or investors are more engaged and you increase your incoming endowments.  

They are national numbers and if you’ve previously been operating locally and want to transition to national, you can easily enable this using a not-for-profit line. 

Connecting You to the Right Number

The joy of business telephone numbers is that there aren’t any grey areas. There will be a a particular number that’ll be just right for your business.

Speak to an NT Voice & Data Solutions expert to find out more and choose the right number for your business.

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