Toll-free numbers may seem old-school. After all, don’t most people now get affordable long-distance calling or even unlimited minutes on their mobile phone?

 

While that’s true, having a toll-free number is about far more than just giving customers free calls. It conveys an image and convenience beyond what a regular business phone number can provide. And you can’t shortchange the value of having strong phone-based customer service: A 2018 study found that consumers still prefer interacting with businesses by phone compared with other communication channels, including email and online chat.

 

“A toll-free business number provides customers with immediate access—improving customer service and satisfaction,” says Shayne Sherman, CEO of TechLoris, a Massachusetts-based company that helps businesses solve technology issues.

 

Here’s a look at why a toll-free number can still be necessary—even invaluable—to a small or mid-sized business:

 

It makes you look bigger, more established

Most large companies today still have toll-free numbers. So by offering the same type of calling experience, a smaller company can create the perception that it’s a more robust and experienced company. “People associate toll-free numbers with established businesses that have been around a long time,” Sherman says.

 

It’s easier to remember

A toll-free number can be customized to your business—think “1-800-TALK-2-US.” A customer may need to look up your regular phone number online, but if you have a customized “vanity” number, it can be easily memorized and, in turn, more convenient to dial.

 

There’s been a growing number of toll-free extensions in recent years, from 877 to 833. But most people still associate toll-free numbers with the classic 1-800 and may get confused by a number with a different extension. So there can be value in having a 1-800 number over the newer extensions.

 

It shows you care about customers

By making calling easy—and always free—for customers, you’re sending the message that you want them to contact you with any questions or needs. In an age when customer experience can make or break a business, anything you can do to enhance your customer service and engagement will only pay off in more loyalty and a better reputation.

 

Spectrum Business offers toll-free lines for only $2 per month. Learn more about getting a customized toll-free number for your business by calling 855-299-9353.  

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