We get it. You’re busy. You’re working round the clock to get your business off the ground with limited funding and nowhere near a large enough team. Your focus is on perfecting your product and persuading people to buy it. And a phone number is a phone number, right? What difference could that make to your success?
A surprisingly significant one. Much bigger than you probably think.
Read on to find out why.
1. Customers are more willing to call for free.
When you have a freephone number, customers are more likely to call. They can feel relaxed about calling and don’t have to worry about the cost of doing so.
A freephone number makes it easy for customers to contact a business without incurring any charges. This can help improve the customer experience, as customers are more likely to call if they know the call won’t cost them anything, no matter the time of day, their UK location or their method of calling you.
This means there is no financial reason for a person to email you rather than pick up the phone. And that means more opportunities to build a rapport with customers, have a two-way conversation involving plenty of questions, get to the main issues, questions and solutions faster, and generally progress the sales journey faster.
2. You Give the Impression That You’re a Much Bigger Operation
Okay, so behind your shiny website, your business might consist of two people working out of their respective living rooms. But do you want your clients to know that? Of course, you don’t.
A little professional gloss can do wonders for winning clients’ confidence in what you do. And, of course, having an 0800 number set up, as opposed to your mobile or a local number, is a great way to do just that. No one can tell how big or established your company is, allowing you to focus on delivering great products and services without worrying about constantly proving your credibility first.
3. You Make It Easier to Expand or Relocate
Your top clients might have your direct line on speed dial, but what happens if you move location?
Presumably, growing your business is a top priority, meaning you will need to shift to a bigger office at some point. Or open up new branches in other cities or even countries.
Or perhaps, at the other end of the spectrum, you need to downsize unexpectedly to save on cash, and you don’t want to make a song and dance of it, attracting awkward questions from clients about why you chose to move. With a “normal” landline, these problems are hard to wrangle. Not so with an 0800 number, a virtual number you take wherever you need to be.
In an ever-changing corporate world where business details change constantly, 0800 numbers are one thing that remains constant. 0800 numbers are “non-geographic”, so they aren’t tied to any specific region. So, while your registered office address, locality or email address might change, your 0800 number will remain the same. Provided you retain your 0800 number and have it routed to a landline or mobile number that someone will answer, callers will always get through to your business.
4. You Can Pick Something Memorable
No more straining to turn an un-jingleworthy string of numbers into something resembling a memorable audio advert. Instead, you can choose your memorable number, typically from thousands of possible combinations, to ensure that you and your audience will remember it easily. After all, you want to make getting in touch with you as easy for customers as possible!
The beauty of 0800 numbers is that they come in all shapes, sizes & prices. You have what we call our standard numbers, which our competitors would call gold or platinum; these are priced at just £9 per month, such as 08003101025 and include 50 monthly minutes.
Our most expensive and cherished 0800 numbers are incredibly scarce, such as 08006101010 are charged at £150 per month. Similar to a private car number plate which carries some extra gravitas and makes it stand out from other vehicles on the road are not available anywhere else. A complete list of our memorable 0800 numbers, which are ready to connect live today, are displayed in our Numbershop.
5. You Save on a Receptionist…
As a brand-new startup, you’re undoubtedly bootstrapping in every area you can get away with. Employing a whole extra staff member to handle incoming queries and ensure they get to the right person can be a serious commitment of limited resources.
Instead, implementing an 0800 number with a virtual call-receiving system means you have an easy, automated and professional way to receive and allocate calls as they come in at a much lower cost.
6. …While Serving Customers More Efficiently
Even better, a virtual system like this means you get many of the same benefits of hiring a dedicated receptionist.
There’s a clear system for receiving and funnelling calls, which usually allows people to enter an extension or say the name or department they want to talk to. You don’t waste time answering calls that have to be transferred to other people in the office or building. Callers get to who they need faster without repeatedly repeating their query.
All these make for a smoother and more efficient system for your clients and potential customers. Everyone’s a winner!
7. You Can Analyse Your Calls
Here’s another smart way that 0800 numbers help to boost efficiency in your workplace: you have access to all kinds of extra data about incoming calls.
With freephone numbers, your company covers the cost of customers’ calls, which means that you also get a breakdown of call times and the amount of time you spend on the phone handling a query.
With this sort of information, you can begin to build up a picture of how long it takes you to fix a problem, pitch a solution, conclude a deal, etc. – and, of course, you can use this to develop more effective approaches for reducing this time and maximising productivity.
What’s more, you can look for patterns in the call information. Which days of the week and when are your customers most likely to call you? Are you best equipped to handle this? For example, if you realise that enquiries peak at 4.30 pm on a Thursday but rarely come in on a Tuesday morning, you might decide to reshuffle things like team meetings or even working hours to best handle the demand.
8. You Can Measure the Success of Marketing Campaigns
Planning to do some A/B testing to determine which of your advertising and marketing campaigns have the most impact?
Drive more sales by spending more on the marketing channels that work best. Say you’re promoting a new product launch, but you’re not sure what type of advertising or channel will deliver the best results – e.g. newspaper/magazine ads, Radio, TV or online pay-per-click? Rather than throw all your eggs into one basket and hope for the best, you should test the waters with a small budget before committing to more significant spending.
As we’ve said, an 0800 number is a virtual number. This means you could easily have several different ones, all feeding into the same phone. By setting up two or more 0800 numbers for each strand of your marketing campaign, you can allocate other freephone numbers to each advert (across all channels) and track which ones get the most calls. You can build a very accurate picture of which messaging works best for you.
9. You Can Work Remotely
Virtual, freephone numbers are typically really easy to set up for call forwarding to other landlines and mobiles without your customers having any idea (or incurring any costs).
This is great news if you’re working from home or frequently travelling for work, as it frees you up to accept calls from anywhere without letting your customers or colleagues know in advance.
10. Make Yourself Seem Less “Regional” be National
Something funny happens in people’s brains when they see that the phone number they’re about to call is actually for a different part of the country.
Even though the UK is small and you’re not even a “local” business, the minute someone in Edinburgh spots that your company is in Cornwall (or anywhere with an unfamiliar-looking area code), they start to wonder why they’re calling someone so far away to fix their problem. Surely there’s a company nearby that does the same thing? Wouldn’t that make more sense?
If you use a local number, your potential clients will be limited to people in your area. If you want to attract customers from around the UK—or even internationally—it might make sense to get a freephone 0800 number, so callers don’t have to pay long-distance or mobile charges when they talk with you.