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Is toll-free the ideal customer service number?

Freephone or toll-free numbers, both names for the same product. With one important thing in common; free. That’s what it’s all about. These are the numbers that people around the world know and recognize as being the number that’s free to call. From both fixed and mobile lines. So, if you want to make it easy for people to call you, this sounds like the ideal customer service number.

Is toll-free the ideal customer service number

And there’s more

Having a number that’s free to call is, of course, a big advantage if you want to make it easy for people to call you. Therefore, freephone numbers are often the preferred type of number for customer service and support lines. But that’s not the only reason to choose a toll-free number:

  • Comes across as trustworthy and professional
  • Creates a feeling of nation-wide presence
  • Makes your business easy to reach
  • These numbers often look simpler than geographic numbers, and easier to remember. You can even choose vanity numbers, where the numbers spell out to a term relating to your business (1-800-Flowers)
  • Using a number that’s free to call, increases customer satisfaction. And this could influence Customer Experience metrics such as NPS, CSAT, and CES. If (potential) customers need help, they usually don’t want to pay for it. Especially if they’ve already bought your product.
  • Customers prefer calling freephone numbers to other types of numbers. So if conversion is important; this can help outsmart a competitor who uses a number other than toll-free
  • Freephone numbers are easy to set up and easy to port (in case of moving offices but also if you want to switch service providers)
  • Calls can be delivered anywhere (both national and international) and on any kind of infrastructure
  • They can be supported by all kinds of additional services such as IVR’s, complex routing (both national and international), peak-time overflow and extensive call statistics

Perfect or not?

Is it all fun and games or do freephone numbers also have a downside? Depending on your type of business and your reason for wanting people to call you, some of the advantages may not be that important to you. And there are some other things to consider as well:

  • Because these numbers are free to call, you pay all the calling costs. In some countries, there is a surcharge for mobile calls which increases your telephone bill. So be sure to know this in advance before you are negatively surprised when you receive your first phone bill
  • If you just want to be accessible and do not see the added value of 1-on-1 phone calls, another type of number can be just as suitable. One where you don’t pay all the calling costs, but the caller contributes (partly) as well. Anything from a geographic number to a premium number. Do keep in mind that based on local legislation premium usually isn’t allowed for customer service
  • Freephone numbers usually can’t be called from abroad. And if they can, calls aren’t free anymore. This can easily be solved by an extra geographic number for your foreign customers and/or prospects
  • If your business is more local than national, you’re better off using a geographic number. This adds to the feeling of calling a local business which is becoming increasingly more popular

Be customer-friendly and save costs?

Want to use a toll free number for that customer-friendly appearance, but are you hesitant because of the potentially high costs? Then the combination of a toll free number and Talk is the solution. With Talk, you can maintain that telephone accessibility via toll free numbers and still save costs. Talk is a click-to-call application that enables people to call your customer service via the internet instead of the telephone network at the touch of a button. This eliminates the mobile surcharge.Find out more about it in this blog and on this page.


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