0800 Numbers - Redefining Business Communication

By: Kieron James

According to Ofcom's 2006 Telephone Numbering consultation, the 0800 freephone number is "a strong existing brand [which is] well recognised and trusted by consumers." Removing the cost of calling sends a very clear signal to your customers about the value you place on communication with them.

Thanks to the Internet, our business world has changed out of all recognition. Your customers have instant access to detailed price information. If you're intending to compete on price, there will only be one winner - the cheapest. And nowadays, finding the cheapest is neither difficult nor time-consuming. The Internet has also greatly reduced the time from innovation to imitation, so your unique business idea is unlikely to remain so for very long.

So what does all this mean for your sales? If you're competing online for business - and let's face it, who isn't these days? - there are fewer ways to differentiate your business from its competitors. As such, any opportunities to encourage communication with potential customers must be seized upon.
An 0800 number is certain to promote contact and can be introduced quickly with no disruption to your existing telephone system. Required capex is minimal as are the ongoing costs of providing a freephone number for your customers (just 2p per minute plus VAT from Numberstore).

Most importantly 0800 numbers are provided with sophisticated online call management tools...
Many Network Operators can route calls made to your freephone number to mobile and international destinations ensuring that your customers never hear a busy tone or wait more than three rings to be answered. Some providers (such as Numberstore) can even direct your inbound calls using VoIP to keep your telecommunications costs to an absolute minimum since a VoIP call may be routed anywhere in the world with no additional charges.

Most importantly 0800 numbers are provided with sophisticated online call management tools so you can update the destination for calls in real time. This is useful should you need to route calls to voicemail if you're in a meeting or to your mobile number if you're going to be out of the office for the day. Some providers offer - at no additional cost - intelligent number routing features such as call Hunt Groups, Time of Day Plans, IVR Menus along with your 0800 number - and in the case of Numberstore, clever combinations of these services.

There is an argument that the purchase of an 0800 number should be allocated to a company's marketing budget since in itself it provides a powerful promotional tool. But an 0800 number can also be used to judge the success of an organisation's other marketing activities, since inbound call statistics can be analysed to assess the effectiveness of these. Many businesses use a different 0800 number for each campaign to provide the most accurate data.

In a world in which it's becoming increasingly difficult to compete on price and innovation, find out how an 0800 number can help differentiate your business by visiting Numberstore.com or calling 0800 231 6321 - it's free!

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