0800 Numbers For Your Business
by Jo Shaer, on May 6, 2013
I received an unsolicited email asking me to 'consider 0800 numbers for your business'.
The email said that there were three ways in which my business would benefit
More sales. Research by the Institute of Direct Marketing has shown that 080 numbers can increase enquiries by up to 185%.
Your customers will like it. The Henley Research Centre says that 65% of customers believe 0800 numbers give the impression you care about them.
They are cheaper than you think. There is no set-up or connection charge, just a small monthly cost.
The sender offered me a 30-Day Free Trial after which I would go onto a Plan that would cost £15 per month for 1500 minutes of calls with free connection.
What would happen is that I would pick out the 0800 number of my choice and then begin advertising the number on my website and marketing materials. When customers called the 0800 number, it would reroute to my regular business landline or to a mobile so I would 'never miss a call again'. Although, you do have to pay an extra charge for mobile minutes in addition to the £15.
They also included free stats in the package so you can monitor which calls came from where and whether it was a worthwhile investment.
How 0800 & 0808 Numbers Work For Business
These are recognised by 93% of people as Freephone numbers - as in free to call from a landline. And 63% of the public say that they would always call a freephone number first. Certainly I always do.
However, up until now, they have not been free from mobiles, which has made them something of a waste of time for businesses which rescue you and your car or locksmiths, etc. Invariably, in those situations, you don't have a landline available, just your mobile. And calling an 0800 number is not included in your regular package of mobile minutes so it costs mobile users money to call for help.
Apparently, Ofcom (the Office of Fair Communication) is proposing to bring the UK in line with the rest of Europe and the USA and make those 0800 numbers free from mobiles as well.
But, in the meantime, the email had to add a caveat to its 0800 number and offer an 0333 alternative 'if you are calling from a mobile'.
Having your own 0800 means you can choose your own memorable number - something that doesn't happen too often with 01 and 02 numbers from BT and the other major suppliers.
Because 080 numbers are non-geographic, people won't judge you by your location so you can increase your customer base.
080 numbers are virtual numbers which means that you can keep your number even if you relocate your business. More importantly, if your landlines go down, you can re-route your calls to the virtual 080 number.