Then, things changed. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 helped to create phone companies that started running toll free numbers in the cloud. This means there was no requirement to have an address or device associated with a telephone number. This evolved into VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and other services, and this change made it even easier and cheaper to stay in touch.
Today, any company no matter how small can have its own toll free 800 number. It's within the reach of anybody, even if you run your business out of your bedroom.
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Why an 800 Number?If you're a small local business, it may seem strange to have a toll free number. After all, your customers can reach you anytime using your local number. But there are some distinct advantages to getting your own toll free 800 number:
- You Look More Established. Even if you operate in just one local area, your 800 number makes you look more established and this has a powerful psychological impact. Just imagine when a customer is comparing your service with another company that doesn't have one. You look like the bigger company even if you aren't.
- You're Nationwide. You may not be operating nationwide now, but hopefully that will change. Your toll free number makes you accessible to anyone around the country. In fact, at little extra cost, you can take calls internationally. This gives you room to grow.
- Better Customer Service. When your customers know that they can reach you at any time and at no cost to them, this gives your customer service a boost. This is a free gift you offer to them.
- Branding Your Business. Your 800 number can be one way to brand your business. Toll free service providers offer vanity numbers. You can use yours to deliver your company's message within its phone number. Choose a good vanity number and it'll stick in your customers' memory.
- Lots of Extra Features. Unlike the telephone company service of years past, modern-day toll free number providers give you all kinds of features in their basic packages. This is because it's so cheap and easy to do so many things over the Internet. You can get voicemail, call forwarding, multiple ring, and lots of other features at minimal cost as part of a package deal.
It doesn't matter how small your business is. Today, you can have a toll free 800 number and look just like the big company you'll one day be.