Your Guide to Toll-Free Numbers, How They Work, and Why You Might Need One

Toll-free numbers are staples of large corporations, but they aren’t the only businesses that use them. Having a toll-free phone number provides a variety of benefits to businesses of all sizes, from mutli-national stores to one-person startups.

Here’s everything you need to know about toll-free numbers to see if getting one makes sense for your business.

What Exactly Is a Toll-Free Number?

A toll-free number is a phone number with a specific area code (including 1300 and 1800 numbers) that allows callers to call the number without incurring major costs. Any type of business that receives phone calls, whether it’s for customer support or placing orders, can benefit from a toll-free number.

The Benefits of Toll-Free Numbers

Toll-free numbers originated during a time when calling long distance racked up serious charges. Now, in the age of mobile phones and VoIP systems, cost isn’t as big of an issue as it used to be. However, there are still other benefits for callers and businesses alike:

It Makes Your Business Look Bigger and More Professional

Since these numbers are believed to be used by larger businesses and corporations, your image gets an automatic boost. No one will know if you’re working from home, an internet cafe, or a co-work space.

Location Doesn’t Matter

Toll-free numbers are virtual numbers, which means they aren’t location-specific. So if your business moves, your number won’t be affected.

Your Personal Number Remains Private

If you do business from home or via mobile device, a toll-free number lets customers reach you without giving them your personal number. This way, you maintain privacy and won’t have to mix business and personal calls.

What Do Toll-Free Numbers Cost?

Toll-free numbers have two separate fees: one to the customer and one to the business.

For customers, the price of a toll-free call can vary. If they’re calling from a landline, they incur the local rate, even if the call is halfway across the country. This is the biggest benefit to the customer since they can call your business without incurring major charges.

If they’re calling from a mobile phone, their carrier may include toll-free calls in the plan, so there’s no cost to the caller. If toll-free calls aren’t included, callers pay whatever fee their carrier charges.

For businesses, the cost can vary depending on the service provider. Some services charge the business each time someone calls the number. This can be a huge inconvenience for budgeting because you never know how much you’ll be paying each month.

At Pickle, we offer low-fee and flat-rate plans so you can decide which is best for you. In addition, each toll-free number receives free analytics, voicemail-to-email, and call forwarding to any landline so you never miss a call.

How to Get a Toll-Free Number

Toll-free numbers can be randomly assigned to your business. Or, if you desire a certain number, you can request it to see if it’s available. Some businesses use smart numbers to spell out a word or their business name, such as 1-800-MATTRESS. Using repeating patterns or words makes it easier for callers to remember, which makes it easier for them to do business with you.

If you’re interested in receiving a toll-free number for your business, reach out today and let us help you craft your toll-free phone number strategy .

Nick Younan

CEO and Co-Founder at Think Pickle.

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