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Is your 0800 freephone number wasted on your mobile customers?

Freephone numbers are a great way of encouraging new sales and marketing calls and it gives companies the opportunity to pay for their customers to contact them. Nothing wrong there and it’s very commendable for companies using these numbers, but When I currently call a 0800 from my mobile which is on a pay monthly tariff, Vodafone kindly charges me 14 pence per minute to call these freephone numbers. The poor company advertising the freephone number wants me to call for free, I want to call for free and the mobile network gets to charge me a premium for my call so they are winning in this scenario. What the company needs to do is look at switching its freephone number to a 03 number. These new 03 numbers are a great alternative to any 08 number and they tend to be a more customer friendly option when you call them from a mobile. They are charged the same as a geographic number and the call will be included in your ‘free minutes’ package on your mobile tariff.

So, if I made the same call from my Vodafone mobile on an 03 number then the call will be free as its included in my free minutes quota, the company advertising the number will pay less for the incoming call as they are cheaper than freephone numbers. This makes me happy as I don’t end up paying for the call, this makes the company happy as they save money on their inbound calls and more importantly this makes their customers happy as they’re saving money!

That’s why if you are a company and you are advertising on any mobile platform – your mobile website, your mobile PPC campaigns, mobile display or any medium whereby its highly likely that your customers are going to use their mobiles to call you then I would strongly urge you to shift from using a freephone number and switch to a 03 number. You’ll start saving money the moment you switch and you’ll also save your customers a lot of money too.

So until OFCOM manages to change the pricing on the mobile networks to make freephone numbers actually free when you call them from your mobile I would seriously consider looking at your business numbers and how your customers contact you and make sure you have the right number in place for your customers. In this present economic climate where we’re all tightening out budgets any solution that saves you money and your customers has to be the right one.

At Direct Numbers we work with our clients to supply them with the best numbers and call handling services for their business. If you would like more information on our 03 numbers and services then please feel free to contact us.



Direct Numbers Freephone Virtual Phone Numbers

Should I get a 0800 freephone number for my business?

If you don’t already know, a 0800 number is a free to call number from landlines and is mainly used to encourage your customers to call you. For this reason they are perfect if you are running a marketing or sales campaign.

If you are a business and thinking about whether to change your contact phone number from a geographic number to a freephone number then you should look at your business model and assess if it’s the right move for you. As it’s a free number to call you will of course be paying for your customers to contact you so there is an added expense to your outgoings but surely if this leads to more sales then this can only be a good thing. Independent research carried out by the Institute of Direct Marketing found that 0800 freephone numbers can increase your sales andenquiries calls by up to 185%!

It’s important to know that calls to freephone numbers from mobile phones are charged – this charge varies and depends on your mobile network. Ongoing pressure from OFCOM to the mobile networks will see that calls to freephone numbers from mobiles will eventually be free. We’re hoping this change will be implemented very soon.

The fact that your company advertises a 0800 freephone number portrays an image that you actually care about your customers and encourage them to call in. This gives you an instant advantage over your competitors who don’t have a freephone number.

Setting up a 0800 number for your business couldn’t be easier and most creditable providers should also provide useful call handling services with every number. Gone are the days of having to have equipment installed and kit to route your calls to your staff. The 0800 just sits on your existing number and gives you an instant virtual switchboard that you control. This is perfect for both small and large businesses as set up is so easy.

A reputable provider should also give you control over your numbers and provide you with an online management tool to control and monitor your calls. By using this you have access to features such as call queuing, multi level IVR (Interactive Voice Response) e.g. – press 1 for sales, 2 for customer service, call whisper which allows you to identify yours calls, set up hunt groups and divert your calls to mobile or voicemail. This type of services make it a great tool for a small business, for example, a plumber is out of the office a lot and doesn’t want to miss his customer calls so he can set his 0800 number to try the office first and if this fails it forwards to his mobile. The call whisper tells him that the call is a customer call so he knows it’s not a personal call. He also gets missed call reports, voicemail to email and he can track all the calls that have been made to his 0800 number.

Communicating with your customers is one of the most important parts of running a successful business and any tool that aids this should be utilised.

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