Traditionally, toll free services were country-specific. This meant that a caller in England could dial a toll free number in England and not have to pay for the call. However, this presented a limitation in that they could not make a toll free call to a different country. However, these days, calls made to international toll free numbers can be routed to landlines, smartphones, and even VOIP lines. This makes them powerful tools for small business owners who want to provide the same high-quality customer service for their overseas clients as they do for their clients at home.
Why Your Business Needs and International Toll Free Service
International toll free services are a great communications solution for business owners, whatever the size of your business. They are essential for companies who have customers in multiple geographic locations. For example, let’s say your business is located in the U.S. but also has customers in London and Paris. You can purchase international toll free numbers for England and France so that your overseas customers can call you from their countries at no cost to them.
Universal International Toll Free Numbers
Universal international freephone numbers (UIFN) are the closest available thing to global toll free numbers. Like international toll free numbers, they are free for your customers to call from their home country, but one number can apply to several different countries. There are some restrictions that you should be aware of before you purchase UIFN. These are:
- The number must be registered in at least two countries
- You will usually have to pay a one-time set-up fee
- You will pay an additional cost for each country in which the number is registered in
- UIFN’s have a different dialing format than regular toll free numbers, and not all customers may recognize them as free to call numbers
Who Uses International Toll Free Services?
Many types of businesses take advantage of international toll free services, from luxury holiday resorts to software development firms. These companies care about giving their customers only the highest quality customer service, wherever in the world they are located. If your customers are spread all over the world, then international toll free services are probably a better solution for your company than UIFNs because UIFNs are not available in all countries. So, you should have a list of the countries you need access to before you talk to a service provider.
Many types of business can benefit from international toll free services. Here are just a few examples:
- Hospitality: International toll free services are great for people in the travel and accommodation business. Regardless of where they are located, most hospitality companies can benefit from international toll free services. Since their clients travel to a wide range of countries and are typically not familiar with long-distance dialing, it’s better to provide them with a local number they can use to reach out to you, free of charge.
- Tech Support: Most tech support businesses provide customer support to customers in their own country and they may also provide support services to countries outside of their own. These companies can benefit from international toll free services so that overseas customers do not have to pay expensive long-distance charges.
- Retail: Owners of online retail stores can benefit greatly from international toll free services. They allow customers to reach you 24/7 without having to pay for the call or deal with complicated international dialing codes. What’s more, your customers won’t know they are calling a different country because if you use a service provider like Global Call Forwarding, you will be able to provide local ringback tones, so customers think they are making calls within their own country.
These are just a few examples of companies that frequently use international toll free forwarding services. Of course, this type of telephony service is invaluable to many other businesses including insurance, party planning, bridal companies, holiday rentals, timeshares, and tour guides.
How Do International Toll Free Services Work?
When you subscribe to international toll free services from Global Call Forwarding, you will select a local phone number in the country or countries of your choice and then a destination number. Whenever a call is placed to the international toll free number, it will be routed to your destination number. This can be your landline, smartphone, or VOIP line. Your destination phone number can be located anywhere in the world. International toll free services allow you to establish a virtual presence in more than 140 countries throughout the world.
Contact Global Call Forwarding today to find out how we can help your business with international toll free services. We can even set you up with a free trial, so you can see for yourself just how indispensable international toll free numbers are.