You remember those commercial jingles from long ago, a chorus of peppy singers behind the TV screen? Typically it was for a product that could only be sold by phone, not in stores. They were so infectious that we couldn’t help but pick up that phone and dial that number, because we wanted what was being sold so badly that we were willing to sell our souls to the devil just to get it.
It Was Called a “Toll-Free Number”
That’s the number we called. Convenient. Quick. And too hard to pass up.
That was then, though — this is now.
You’re in shock, I know. Your hands are up to your face as you gasp in some kind of horror (or maybe not). Can it really be? Are the toll-free numbers…back?
Rating: 4 out of 5
If they’re not, they probably should be. At least for some companies, especially small businesses. Here’s why:
Get to Singin’ and Dancin’
Society has indeed changed thanks to the internet. The clever toll-free number has gone bye-bye since then. All we need now is eBay, or Amazon, or just about any department store out there with a working web site. The internet has revolutionized commerce, and likewise has revolutionized the way businesses handle their needs.
However, know this: toll-free numbers aren’t just for buying stuff, or listening to sexy ladies (or men) talk to you on the phone. That really isn’t their main core purpose in life.
A toll-free number is basically a number purchased for use in a business to route any caller to a specified department or service. And it’s a free call (not like those pesky 1-900 numbers). Hence the term ‘toll-free.’
In essence, an entrepreneur can use a 1-800 number as a business line, saving his or her cell phone or landline from exploding over the overload of calls into the office. It might actually be a possibility to forego the use of a secretary or administrative assistant to handle calls, because essentially a 1-800 toll-free number does all of that for you instantly. Let’s not forget that it’s easy for people to remember the number, has a professional look, and has excellent tech support.
But that’s not even the best advantage: it organizes your calls, even records calls if you like. It’s cellular protection at its best. And it’s good for business.
Any Downsides? Most Definitely
The devil take it — something this sweet does have its faults, and it’s simply this: it’s another line to manage!
And you know how it is: checking up on this line, that line, erasing voicemails, yadda yadda this, yadda yadda that. Especially when there’s a certain stigma behind the 1-800 numbers to invite callers with a different agenda — such as prank calling.
That can just get a little annoying, don’t you think?
No Cold Calling or ‘Soul-Selling’
No, the devil won’t take it. But we will! There’s no price for good company growth and organization, and a toll-free number — no matter how costly or high maintenance it might be — definitely contributes.
It’s fun. It’s like owning your own personalized license plate, really! It’s the American Way. And certainly the devil wouldn’t have it any other way.