What is a Toll Free Number?
February 06, 2013
By Jamie Epstein
, TMCnet Web Editor
A toll free number is an essential part of call forwarding, a solution leveraged all over the world by companies looking to gain access to a number local to the region to which they’re catering. With over 80 countries to choose from, call forwarding is sometimes referred to as call diverting, and is ideal for situations involving geographically separated workforces who demand mobility.
Created as an alternative for firms looking to expand their global footprint at a cost-effective price, these local or toll-free numbers can efficiently redirect incoming calls to any phone line in the world.
Say your organization is physically located in the Philippines yet your customers live within the United States. Just begin to utilize a toll-free number and you can receive calls on a phone line that is consistent with the area code of other lines actually present within the region.
In essence, it gives you the competitive edge of having a local feel, while your company is located thousands of miles away.
Global call forwarding encompasses a designated ringtone for every single local or toll-free phone number that is easily customizable according to individual user needs. Incoming calls received via the local phone number can even be forwarded to more than one phone number at the same time, ensuring that at least one of the ringing numbers will pick up the incoming call before the caller becomes frustrated and hangs up.
In addition, incoming calls can be sent directly to specific phone numbers depending on the time of day or even the actual day. This in turn helps customers located throughout different time zones in the world to receive the help they need in as little time as possible.
Customized voice messages are also part of global call forwarding, and can help businesses to establish a professional image when greeting customers.
While global call forwarding packages vary from provider to provider, a toll-free number is an essential element to this system that must always be included. Additional capabilities include rollover minutes, interactive voice response (IVR), public branch exchange (PBX (News - Alert)), sequential forwarding, black and white lists, forward fax, voicemail to e-mail, and account management.
According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC (News - Alert)), “Toll free numbers are numbers that begin with one of the following three-digit codes: 800, 888, 877, 866 or 855. The numbers allow callers to reach businesses and/or individuals without being charged for the call. The charge for using a toll free number is paid by the called party (the toll free subscriber) instead of the calling party. Toll free numbers can be dialed directly to your business or personal telephone line.”
“Toll-free numbers are very common and have proven successful for businesses, particularly in the areas of customer service and telemarketing, as it provides potential customers and others with a ‘free’ and convenient way to contact businesses,” the commission added.
Edited by Jamie Epstein