Matthew Gates 2m 607 #tollfree
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Toll-Free Numbers Are Not Dead Yet
Screenshot from ForeverBetterGolf.com
Looking at the website above, which phone number looks more appealing to you? Is it the local number from Florida or the toll-free number? There are a number of reasons for choosing one or the other, although there are also many companies that have opted to use both a toll-free number and a local phone number. If a business chooses to list their local number, there are several reasons why including: they want to appeal to locals who live in a specific area or state, or their main headquarters may be located in the state of their local number. If there are multiple franchises, than a toll-free number often goes to the headquarters, while all local numbers are specific to a general area.
Depending on the era you grew up in, you may also associate toll-free 8xx numbers with a more professional conduct and you may also see it as an operation that is available 24/7 an nearly 365 days a year, whereas a local number may be associated as an operation that closes at certain times and is only available for a certain amount of hours in the day. Before the days of cell phones, a toll-free number could be called and the business would actually cover the long-distance charges. Fortunately, most phone companies have done away with the long-distance fees, so that someone in New York can call someone in Los Angeles and will be charged exactly the same as if they were to call an area from the same state.
General local numbers are also specific to the area you live, so most phone providers will generally give your business a phone number located within the state, and so the local phone number will give away your specific area. There are some companies that may want to appear as if they are in a different state. Although it seems sketchy, appearing from a popular area may bring the company more business. Would a company want to appear from (random place) Camden, Ohio, or would it make them appear more professional to appear from the city of Chicago, Illinois?
For the most part, choosing a local number or a toll-free number nowadays is purely for aesthetic looks. There is really no difference between the two. With virtual number services providing call forwarding to main phone numbers, anyone can have a local number from anywhere or they can have a toll-free number, whether an individual, entrepreneur, startup, or a company that has been business for years. A toll-free number is more likely to give a business that professional look and feel to it.
A look into some of the top businesses including Amazon, Nordstrom, McDonalds, BlueHost, Walmart, and many others: they all have two things in common. Not only do they provide a toll-free number, but they provide local phone numbers specific to their stores in states and towns as well. Regardless, a phone number, whether local or toll-free, are important in order for customers to get in contact with a business.
If you are running a business, no matter how big or small, chances are, you will likely be better off having both a local phone number and a toll-free number. When it comes to dealing with professionals and customers, you will want to use a toll-free number. When it comes to dealing with professionals on a personal level, or even giving customers a line to call back on, you would not want to give them a business line, but a personal line that is a local phone number for them to contact you or vice versa.