A company’s business phone number is an important element of running a business. This is usually the first mode of contact between a customer or prospect and the company. Therefore, it is in your best interest to make it easy and convenient for them to reach your customer service or sales teams. When choosing a new business number, the most common choices are local numbers or toll free numbers. Here, we will help you decide which is better for your specific needs.
Local Phone Numbers vs. Toll Free Numbers
Virtual phone service providers like United World Telecom offer a variety of telephone numbers to choose from. We offer toll free, international, local, vanity, and universal toll free numbers. Each of these number types has a distinct use and purpose. But which type of business number is more suited for your company depends on what you are trying to achieve with this number. Read on for the differences and how they can benefit your business.
What is a Local Number?
Local numbers are phone numbers assigned to specific areas such as a state, city, or region. These numbers are unique to these areas and have area codes to distinguish them. For example, one New Jersey area code is 201, Orlando in Florida is 407, and so on. Individuals calling these numbers pay local calling charges as issued by their providers.
Having a local number as your contact number makes your company accessible in a different location. For example, even if your business is based in Seattle, you could get a Texas virtual local number and provide an inexpensive way for individuals in Texas to call you. Virtual local numbers make it possible for your business to be virtually present in multiple locations without having to relocate. This way, you can provide customer service and support to more customers beyond your immediate location.
What are Toll Free Numbers?
Toll free numbers are not assigned to specific local areas such as cities or states. And so, receivers are not aware of the exact location of the business they are calling. However, the reason why these numbers are so popular is that they are free to call. Instead of charging the caller, toll free calls are charged to the receiver (the business).
These numbers have a distinct three-digit code at the beginning to separate them from other phone numbers. For example, the US has 800, 888, 877, and so on, while the UK has 0800 and 0808. Medium-sized businesses and large corporations generally have a toll free number to encourage customers to call by providing them a free calling method.
In fact, many companies get international toll free numbers (ITFN) for different countries where they want to provide customer service. Individuals from these locations will be able to call your company for free. And incoming calls are routed through an international call forwarding service to any number of your choice. Your business will appear as closer in proximity than it actually is.
Choosing Between Local Numbers and Toll Free Numbers
Local numbers will help you establish and maintain a local presence in multiple locations. Local numbers can receive calls from outside their origination country and some mobile networks. However, callers will be charged a local calling fee, as determined by their provider. On the other hand, toll free numbers create a free way for interested individuals to connect with your business. Unfortunately, toll free numbers cannot be reached from outside of their origination country.
However, with both local and toll free numbers, your business can:
- Forward incoming calls to numbers or lines of your choice
- Expand your business internationally
- Extend customer service and support to customers across the globe
- Use advanced virtual calling features such as call recording, SMS forwarding, and more
So the question remains, what do you want to achieve with your business phone number? Consider these questions:
- Do you want to set up multiple “virtual offices” in various locations?
- Are you a local, national, or international company? In other words, do you want to cater to all states and regions within one country or expand services to other countries?
Toll free numbers are more suitable for medium-large sized businesses while local numbers can help start-ups and small business scale as needed. You may even consider experimenting with both by purchasing a few of each and studying the results.
Get Local and Toll Free Numbers from United World Telecom
Get a local phone number for any region or state you want to target by signing up on our homepage. If toll free numbers seem a more suitable option, you can purchase one through our homepage by selecting the country and prefix you want.