Should You Set Up a Toll-Free Line for Your Business?

Thu, Jun 14, 2012


As the economic landscape succumbs to globalization, certain things become more important to businesses looking to remain competitive. Creating great products (or offering services) that people want and need, providing something that is new or that generates added value for consumers, and reaching targeted audiences that are seeking what you have to give will all help your business to grow in this rapidly-expanding consumer marketplace. But one way in which some businesses are beating out the competition, wowing customers, and creating brand ambassadors that spread their name around to their trusted networks of family and friends is through excellent customer service. And a toll-free phone line is part of this strategy.

But do you really need a toll-free line in order to keep your customers happy? This is a difficult question to answer, especially considering how these phone lines work. The basic concept is that you foot the bill for any customer calls so that even those who are considered long distance (because they live in other states or even other countries) can call with questions and concerns without the worry of paying a hefty phone bill as a result. If a consumer had to pay for a call to complain about your product, they would be far more likely to return it, get their money back, and refuse to make future purchases from your brand rather than giving you the opportunity to make things right. This is bad news for you because it means you’ve lost not only a potential patron, but probably anyone they might have referred to your brand. If the problem was big enough, they may even end up turning other prospective customers away with their complaints.

Still, you might not want to shell out the dough for every crackpot that is really seeking free therapy rather than customer service. Luckily, this golden age of computer technology has the answer. If you don’t have the money to support an 800 number for your business, you can still offer virtually free customer service via the internet. In fact, many companies have opted to shut down their call centers and do it all online. Nearly every company, large or small, that has some form of online presence also has a way for the public to contact them in order to find answers, lodge complaints, or seek recompense of some sort. They may only have an email account that promises responses within 1-2 business days, but some are now opting to include a forum for online chatting that connects consumers with customer service representatives for real-time interaction (at far less cost to the company).

While some people feel that the telephone is still the premiere method of connecting customers with the service they need, and mobile technology has helped to further this agenda (just check out Ringcentral reviews and you’ll find the VoIP has revolutionized the way business is done by phone), you don’t necessarily have to spring for an 800 number anymore in order to ensure that your customer can reach you. With most consumers now using to the internet you can stay connected to the majority without having to pay for their long-distance calls. However, if you want to provide the absolute best customer service, you should definitely consider offering a toll-free line for your business.

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