Toll Free Number 1800 needed for Online Business or Not?
Business startup books recommend that you obtain an 1800 number (Toll free number) for your business. Especially if you are running an eCommerce store.
But these days, long distance calling is mostly free or extremely cheap. In today’s age of cell phones and free unlimited long distance calling, is having an 1800 number really a necessity anymore.
Benefits Still Apply :
So compelling about having an 1800 number (Toll free number). I’ve compiled a list of the commonly perceived benefits of having an 1800 number below:
According to the books (and common sense), if a customer is given a choice between dialing an 1800 number vs a long distance number (Toll free number). They will invariably call the toll free number first. Statistics show that most customers purchase from the first company they call so it is important to get that first point of contact. But I wonder how many people actually think like this today? When dealing with two unknown companies, I’ll almost always call the company with the most professional and aesthetically appealing website regardless of the type of phone number. The type of phone number is rarely the deciding factor whether I will call a company or not.
Consumers often assume that a toll free number is associated with a large company. So logic dictates that they will want to go with a more established player. Again, I tend to associate credibility with the professionalism and aesthetic appeal of the website itself rather than through a phone number. Personally, I prefer to shop at small boutiques. These days, large conglomerates and corporations are generally associated with lousy customer service. If you appear to be a small establishment, who cares? If anything, I tend to correlate small establishments with more personalized service.
Increased Order Size
Supposedly, companies with 1800 numbers receive larger order sizes on average (Toll free number provider). While I believe that order sizes tend to be larger when you are able to speak to a customer’s face to face. I question whether simply having an 1800 number would actually cause a customer to buy more.
Supposedly, stores with 1800 numbers are less likely to have returned. Once again, I fail to see a correlation between product satisfaction and having an 1800 number. Product returns are usually dictated the quality of the product and its presentation rather than a phone number.
With an 1800 number, you can accept calls on any phone line of your choice. Whether it be a cell phone or a landline and customers won’t know the difference. While this is extremely convenient, these services are no longer limited to 1800 numbers anymore. For example, Google Voice allows you to forward a call from one number to any phone of your choice depending on the time of day, and it’s free.