Toll free numbers (freephone) do exactly what they say on the tin – they’re free for the dialing party to call. In the USA, they are commonly signified by an 800 number, and regulated by the Federal Communications Commission. In the UK, they begin with 0800, 0808, or 0500 (they’re usually British Telecom numbers). They may not be free from cellphones, but they are from landlines.
If you run any type of business, a toll free number is good to have; they’ve proved very successful in customer service, and telemarketing. It is free and convenient for both business and caller.
“Are they worth it? How do I get one? What on earth is the point?”
I’m glad you asked. Simply put, yes. Why? Even though a business can be contacted these days through email, Facebook, Twitter, or any number of other ways, a phone number tells a service user that, should anything go wrong or a transaction not be finalized, that there will – or there should – be a live person on the other end of the call who is willing to help them resolve their query.
And they’re simple to get, too. In the US, they’re assigned on a first come first served basis by Responsible Organizations (RespOrgs), just contact a toll free service provider to obtain one, or check out SMS|800. Alternatively, call 888-SMS-3300 to find out more. But do it quickly – remember, it’s on a first come basis.
The point? The point of having a toll free/freephone number is to inspire trust in your customers, be they instore or online. Emails and social media can be ignored. Phone calls cannot, and if there is a toll free number to call, customers will trust your business a great deal more because they will know that they won’t be charged for a simple phone call.