Toll Free Numbers For Small Businesses | The Communication Blog

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Toll Free Numbers For Small Businesses

By Mark Walters

As every business owner will tell you, business is never going to get easier unless you make it easier for yourself. The more companies there are in a particular market, the more competition there is, and the more need your business has to find something to keep it a step above the competition. This step up could be something as simple as a toll free telephone number.

Toll free numbers are a great way of increasing your company's presence not only in the market, but also, more importantly, in the minds of consumers. A toll free number is, by definition, a telephone number that is free to call; the subscriber is responsible for all calls made to that particular number.

A toll free number is not difficult at all to set up and, if required, can come with many other services such as an answer service, call forwarding, call screening, call waiting, call conferencing, call recording and many others. On top of this, a toll free number is generally much easier to remember than a standard number coupled with an area code.

The most common way for a business to acquire a toll free telephone number is to contact a RespOrg, which is an abbreviation of Responsible Organization. A RespOrg is an organization that has access to the SMS/800 database which contains the registration details of every 800 number there is. Although they may or may not be a telephone company, they are independently regulated by the FCC.

Another very popular form of toll free number that is very effective is the vanity number. A vanity number is a number that contains digits that can utilize the alphanumeric translation of telephone numbers to spell a particular word or acronym. To explain this more clearly, an example of this would be 1-800-CLOTHES or 1-800-CALLHER.

As a prevention against toll free number warehousing and hoarding, the FCC, or Federal Communications Commission help to regulate the industry in North America by establishing certain rules of conduct for RespOrgs and other organizations offering toll free number subscriptions. To clarify, hoarding relates to the purchase of numbers that a particular business is unlikely to use, usually for the purpose of selling on or number brokering; and warehousing relates to the act of companies reserving certain numbers without intended subscribers.

In summary, toll free number are popular with individuals and businesses alike due to the simplicity of setting up and the advantages of keeping in contact with family or customers. From a customers point of view, you would be much happier making a call to a company that is free than a call to a company that isn't!

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