What is a Toll-Free Number?
Toll-free numbers are distinguished as telephone numbers that have a unique three-digit code at their beginning, which can be dialed by a landline or by using a mobile phone. For the caller, calls from a landline to a toll-free number are free of charge. Toll-free numbers basically allow people to call a business from an area that is not within the same location without having to incur the cost of making long distance calls.
Toll-free numbers are common to a wide array of customer services. Most businesses make use of toll-free numbers to allow their clients and potential customers an easier point of access to them. It is simply a practical way of ensuring that customers are not restricted from reaching out to the business in any way possible, conveniently.
Even though calls made from landlines to toll-free numbers are free of charge, calls from wireless phones will be charged at standard rates depending on their local network providers. Customers who have a text-enabled landline can send texts to toll-free numbers at no cost.
Toll-free numbers begin with three digit codes: 800, 877, 888, 844, or 855. These codes are prefixes to the toll-free number that you intend to call. These codes are not interchangeable, for instance, calling a toll-free number with a 1-800 prefix will connect you to a different recipient than dialing the same number with a 1-888 prefix. Toll-free numbers are assigned by entities referred to as Responsible Organizations or simply RepsOrgs.
Types of Toll-Free Numbers
There are 3 types of toll-free numbers:
- Domestic toll-free numbers
- International toll-free numbers
- Universal international freephone numbers
Domestic Toll-Free Numbers
This is a true 800 number that can be called within the country where it is located. Domestic toll-free numbers are usually free from restrictions that apply to other toll-free numbers. However, calling a domestic toll-free number from another country will be charged at the standard international calling rate.
International Toll-Free Numbers
Every country has a specific toll-free number that works only within the country. That is, if you call a UK toll free number from Canada, you will be charged at the same rate as calling an international number. Unless you live in the UK, every call to that international toll-free number will be charged as an international call.
What is a Universal International Toll-Free Number?
A Universal international toll-free number, also referred to as Universal International Freephone Number (UIFN) resembles international toll-free numbers in many ways. The only exception is that one UIFN number can be used across multiple countries. Currently, Universal International toll-free numbers are available in more than 40 countries around the world.
Universal toll-free numbers must be registered in at least two countries. These numbers may have slight variations in their prefixes depending on the country. They usually come in an eleven-digit fixed format. Restrictions may apply to callers making use of mobile phones.
Customers who call a business’s universal toll-free number will not incur any costs whatsoever. All the calling charges are incurred by the businesses depending on what is obtainable in their local country of operation and the plan that the business is subscribed to.
Subscription to a universal toll-free number service costs more than international toll-free numbers and domestic toll-free numbers.
Are Universal Toll-Free Numbers Real?
The answer to this question is an emphatic YES. As businesses grow and expand, so does the need to be closer to their clients and prospective customers. Businesses have become aware of the fact that the more their customers are able to connect with them, the better it is for the business.
Universal Toll-Free Numbers for a Business
It is a much better business practice to offer universal toll free numbers. When customers do not have to pay for calls made to a business in order to make inquiries or complaints, their level of satisfaction is much higher. This is where universal toll-free numbers come into the picture. Every business needs to have a very effective customer service unit that will attend to their customers at all times.
A universal toll-free number is the perfect solution for most businesses because it is more effective and practical. It is easier to manage as you do not need to have several domestic or international numbers across multiple countries in order for customers to reach your company. With a single universal toll-free number, your business is easily accessible to all of your clients and customers.
Benefits of Universal Toll-Free Numbers
Universal toll-free numbers provide a simple solution for businesses of any size. It is one of the surest low-cost methods for taking your business overseas. The benefits that a business can derive from having a universal toll free number cannot be overemphasized. The following are a few of the many benefits of a universal toll-free number.
- Increases Trust In Businesses
Universal toll-free numbers are effective in building customers’ trust in businesses. Customers are more comfortable with a business when they are able to connect to the business from their location. This helps companies build legitimacy.
- Wider Reach
A business with a universal toll-free number can advertise their products and services in all the countries where the service is available. This allows them to explore new markets and get their brands across to prospective customers.
- Increased Flexibility
With a universal toll-free number, your business becomes more flexible, adapts to new developments globally, and is able to reach prospects in a shorter time.
- Improved Global Services
Taking advantage of a universal toll-free number allows businesses to simplify their global operations. Businesses are able to consolidate their brand and provide standardized services to their customers around the globe.
- Centralized Customer Service
Universal toll-free numbers can be rerouted to your home country. This helps reduce the cost of setting up multiple toll-free numbers as well as costs of hiring customer service representatives.
- Great for Marketing
Using a universal toll-free number makes it a lot easier for business to roll out their marketing campaigns in multiple countries at once. Universal toll-free numbers are a practical solution to marketing needs because businesses can reduce their marketing budgets effectively, without skimping on enabling access. Costs of production and the timeline of getting the marketing campaigns across the globe are greatly reduced, while increasing the communication factor efficiently.