When you are setting up your VoIP system, one of the first tasks is to select your phone number. While this may seem simple enough, it’s important to note that there are several different types of numbers available for your VoIP system, including: toll free numbers, local numbers, and universal numbers. Understanding the benefits of each type, along with what kind of business it is suitable for, will help you make the right choice.
Toll Free Numbers
With a toll free number, your customers can contact your VoIP system from any location for no charge, even if they are located internationally. However, you will be charged a per-minute charge for these phone calls and a small monthly fee. Toll free numbers are easily recognizable across the globe, and since customers know they will not be charged, they are more likely to pick up the phone and connect with you.
If your company has customers in several countries, you could likely benefit from a toll free number; however, it is worth noting that you will need a distinct number for each country you are doing business in. Since international phone calls can be pricey, a toll free number will encourage interaction from new customers who wouldn’t be willing to pay to speak to you.
Local Phone Numbers
When you opt for a local phone number—also referred to as a Direct Inward Dialing (DID) number, you provide a number with a local area code. Local numbers can be especially beneficial on a VoIP system because they give the appearance of a local office even if you are located in a different city. While local phone numbers are not technically free to call, most home phone systems allow for unlimited local calls. Cell phone users can also call your local number with no additional charge except for using their allotted minutes.
If you are working to portray a local presence, a local number can be a reassuring sign to your customers. It makes you seem more approachable, and since there is no limit to the number of local phone numbers you can have within your VoIP system, you can establish one for every market you are targeting.
Universal International Freephone Numbers, or UIFN, are similar to standard toll free numbers in the fact that they can be called from across the world without a charge to the caller. The big difference, however, is the fact that with a universal number, you only need one actual phone number. Instead of managing several toll free numbers from several countries, you can use the same phone number worldwide.
Universal numbers are a great option for your business if you want to streamline your VoIP system. However, there are additional restrictions and registration fees associated with universal numbers, and you have to have them registered in at least two countries for them to be valid. It’s also worth noting that universal numbers can take up to six months to be up and running.
As you can see, there are several notable phone number options for your business. To learn more about each type, and for help determining which one will be the smartest choice for your company, contact Top Line Communications now.