These days, there are a lot of toll free service providers out there. If you are trying to choose one for your business, it can be a little overwhelming. How do you know you are choosing one that offers a reliable service, gives you the best features, and won’t come with hidden fees? Here are some questions to ask a toll free service provider before you make a decision.
Are you a Responsible Organization?
Responsible organizations (ResOrgs) are entities which have received certification from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to provide toll free services. This certification means that they are permitted access to the toll free numbers database, and they are trained to offer you the best service.
Can you give my business failover protection?
If there is any form of disruption in your service, your provider will automatically switch your service to a redundant network, so you do not experience any failure in your toll free service. This is known as failover protection and it will save you from having to divert your calls to alternative numbers. You should choose a provider which offers this feature, so you don’t miss any calls.
Can you provide my business with a tracking service?
This is an important question because not all toll free service providers offer tracking. This special feature includes monitoring and tracking of all your calls and call recording, so you can see exactly when calls are made, where they come from, and what the call was about. This helps you keep ahead of how your marketing strategies are working and can help to train your customer service staff to offer the best possible service.
After my subscription, are there additional charges?
It’s better to ask this question upfront than to find out when you get your first toll free service bill. One common instance of additional charges is what’s known as toll free service incompletes. What this means is that extra charges are made when the amount of rejected incoming calls exceeds the maximum level of toll free calls. Call rejections can occur for a number of reasons, such as inactive numbers or improper switch setups. But the important thing is that you know ahead of time if you should expect additional charges.
About Toll Free Numbers
What type of numbers can you provide?
Many toll free service providers, such as United World Telecom, offer more than just the traditional 1-800 toll free service format. If the number you want is not available as a 1-800 number, you can also choose from 822, 833, 844, 866, 877, 888, and 954 numbers. This is particularly useful if you would like a toll free vanity number but it has already been taken. For example, if you are looking for the toll free vanity number 1-800-FLOWERS, which is already taken, you may be able to select 1-877-FLOWERS.
Is it easy to manage your toll free services?
It’s important that you can easily manage your numbers and services without having to have any specialized technical knowledge or having to rely on your IT team. Most reputable toll free service providers will give you access to a personalized online interface where you can access call reports, alerts, task automation, and organize and adjust your routing numbers. An online dashboard is the easiest and most efficient way to control your toll free service.
Can I have an international toll free number?
Your business may already have markets overseas, or maybe you want to expand into the global market. The most cost-effective way to do this is with international toll free numbers. Check before you sign to make sure the provider offers this option. They may also offer local virtual international numbers.
The Possibility of Porting Numbers
Do I own my number and is it portable?
Not all toll free service providers allow you to port your number. Some of them will take the number back if you cancel your subscription, so this is an important question to ask. Before you sign up with any toll free service provider, make sure that you own your number, and you can port it providing you are up-to-date with all your payments. Otherwise, if you wish to change to another toll free service provider, you will have to change all your business numbers.
Now that you’re armed with these questions, you are sure to find a toll free service provider that can offer you a reliable, high-quality service that you can count on.