telephone answering

business telephone numbers

Your contact numbers say a lot about you and your business. It gives callers clues about how big you are, where you are based, and how keen you are to talk to them. So what should you choose? A freephone number or a 0870 or 0845 number ensures your privacy and might draw customers in, but it will cost you. You could choose to generate revenue with an 0871 number or the even more costly 09XX but knowledgeable customers could turn away. And what should you choose if you are abroad?

Duport looks at the advantages and disadvantages of each type of business telephone number to help you make the right decision.

0800 freephone
Research has shown that customers are over 70% more likely to call 0800 numbers as opposed to normal regional telephone numbers, simply because they are free. They have high public awareness and can be useful if you use your personal number for business. Your personal number remains private and it appears you have a national presence.

However you pay the costs so they may appear expensive, although this may be recouped with additional business.

0845 numbers
These are designed to attract new business and give a professional image and a national presence. 0845 numbers are charged at the local rate and you share the cost of the call with your caller. Again your personal number remains private and it appears you have a national presence.

0870 numbers
These are national rate numbers, but the customer pays. They give your business a nationwide number without you having to pay for it and are often used for customer support where a national presence is important but you don't want to subsidise the cost of what might be a long incoming call. Generally customers know these calls will cost them more, don’t like to use them, but do so if they have to – e.g. when they want some help! They are also used for faxes as they are able to take faxes even if your machine is busy and they also help to discourage junk faxes.

0871 numbers (or UK national euro numbers)
These are a relatively new range. They are still recognisably 08 numbers but are cheaper to buy than other 08 numbers and include free call forwarding to other land lines in the UK, Europe, the USA and Canada. Suitable for both personal and professional use and caller pays costs.

020-7 numbers
These are central London numbers and give the impression that you do business from central London. Often used by businesses based abroad, unlike 08 and 07 numbers which can cause routing difficulties when overseas.

0700 numbers
These are mobile numbers, they look like mobile phone numbers and are more expensive to call than 08s and 020-7s. 07 numbers are free to set up and include a huge amount of free call forwarding, making them good for personal contact numbers. Callers pay costs.

Some businesses may want a gold or platinum number, especially if they need a number which sticks in peoples’ minds. Most are simply repeated digit sequences to help people remember them. Obviously these numbers cost more but can pay for themselves fairly quickly if they bring in additional business.

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