The telephone has been an incredibly important tool for businesses, since its inception. With each new development in telephone technology, new applications for business use arise. One of the most important options offered by telephone service providers is the 800 number or toll-free number. It allows customers to make a call to your business at no charge to them. Offering a toll-free number increases the likelihood that a potential customer will pick up the phone to at least ask questions, so the door is then open for your sales staff to close the sale. Continue reading
A professional business phone gives your company an edge over the competition in so many ways. It ensures that you portray the kind of image you want your business to have. A small business phone that is professional and high-quality ensures that every customer, no matter when they call, gets exceptional service.
Imagine that you call a company about a recently purchased service subscription. When you can’t solve the activation problems on your own, you decide to call the 800 customer service phone number. The answering message greets you with a welcome and then states “Your call is important to us. Please hold.” After waiting on hold for more than 10 minutes, you are connected with a customer service agent. That agent doesn’t know how to solve your problem and transfers you to another department. Your on-hold time starts all over again. Once you repeat all of your information and problem history again to the new agent, you are suddenly disconnected from the call. Continue reading
The recent snowstorms along the east coast have been particularly detrimental to “normal” life. Numerous businesses have been adversely affected. It’s times like these that having remote operations capability becomes all the more important, and cloud-based telephony is a great way to get there. Continue reading
A vanity number is a combination of alphanumeric characters and numbers, such as 1-800-FLOWERS. This customized combo takes the place of a traditional phone number and is often utilized to make your business’ phone number instantly recognizable and memorable. While a vanity number could be locally based, 555-CARS for instance, it is often built on the toll-free platform where there are seven customizable digits, instead of just four. Continue reading
Getting in touch with a “real” person at some companies is getting more and more difficult. Numerous companies, particularly those that are primarily web-based such as Microsoft, Google, or Amazon, make it nearly impossible to find a phone number for a customer service line. In part, this transition is due to increased Internet access by consumers. With more customers online, companies have an easier time directing customer service questions to forums or frequently asked question pages. But, is this increasingly popular tactic the right choice for your business?
As the demand for toll-free numbers has grown, the combinations available with the 800 prefix have dwindled. To keep pace, several new prefixes were added to the mix. Now, numbers with 888, 877, 866, 855 are also toll-free. Even with these, many of the desirable 7-digit combinations for vanity numbers using these prefixes are taken.
The year was 1967. The Doors released their self-titled debut album, Louis Leaky announced the discovery of pre-human fossils in Kenya, the Vietnam War raged, and NASA launched the first Saturn V rocket into orbit.
It was also the year that AT&T launched the “inward WATS,” or Wide Area Telecommunications Service, better known as “toll-free” telephone service. INWATS was introduced to reduce the time spent by operators processing toll-collect calls for businesses. Back then, long distance calls were expensive and businesses quickly seized the opportunity to use the service to provide superior customer experiences. The oldest and most well-known of the toll-free area codes in the United States, “800,” was the “.com” calling card for successful businesses.
No one expects a hurricane to hit business. Superstorm Sandy–formerly Hurricane Sandy–has provided the same bit of unexpected terror for a lot of businesses in New York and the New England area. It’s times like these that having remote operations capability becomes all the more important, and cloud-based telephony is a great way to get there.
Recently we had a question crop up on the Halloo forums that made for a great idea for your small business. The question was a technical one in nature, but one with widespread ramifications. Specifically, what is Direct Inward Dial, and how can it help you?