It doesn’t matter in what industry or market your business is, all businesses need to have an easy and efficient way for their customers to contact them. If you are just starting your business, you can usually get away with just using your local office number, but as you grow, expand, add new departments, and start having more customers, your front desk number will likely not be able to handle all your needs.
That’s why getting toll-free numbers assigned makes the most sense. In this post, we will be taking a deep dive into the world of toll-free numbers. You will learn what toll-free means, how toll-free numbers work, how to set one up, what the benefits of toll-free numbers are, and which toll-free number provider you should choose.
What is a toll-free number?
Toll-free numbers start with one of the toll-free codes — 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844, or 833. There are even more toll-free numbers for other countries.
A toll-free number allows the person calling to call the number, in this case, your company, for free of charge. You, as the owner of the number, are billed for both incoming and outgoing calls, which means that all your customers and prospects can call you with inquiries without needing to spend any money.
How to set up a toll-free service and how does a toll-free number work?
Now that we have the toll-free definition in hand, we are ready to move on to explaining how to set up one.
The process of getting toll-free telephone numbers is fairly easy, and it can usually be accomplished in a few minutes. However, a lot of companies aren’t aware of how easy it is. Many toll-free number providers just assume that people already know what toll-free is because toll-free numbers have existed for so long, ever since the 1960s, with some versions of toll-free numbers existing even earlier.
Also, they’re often included in existing business phone services. However, those business phone services don’t really outline the benefits of a toll-free number and how important it can be in the overall success of your company. This is one of the main reasons why we decided to write this article.
Having a toll-free number will add legitimacy to your company, which is very important if you’re running a small company that is just starting to make a path for itself on the market. It will show your customers and prospects that your company is more than just a mom-and-pop shop or a startup.
It can even help you expand your customer base quickly, as toll-free numbers are a more efficient way to get in touch with a business. If you have the ability to call a business free of charge, it can improve your customer service, which can, in turn, get you better results for your business.
How are toll-free numbers relevant for businesses of different sizes?
The first and quite possibly the most important benefit of a toll-free number is that you’ll never miss a call from one of your customers, which also means that you will never lose out on leads.
Because a toll-free number is available 24/7, you can easily cater to customers’ queries at any time from anywhere. This can significantly improve the efficiency of your sales and customer service in the long run.
Most of the time, toll-free numbers can easily be remembered and recalled, especially if it’s a vanity number, which is a number that has repetitive, sequential digits or digits that “look pretty”. If your customers are able to remember your phone number, they can easily reach you at any time, which provides them with better customer experience.
Toll-free phone systems are usually set up in a way so that it’s easy to forward calls from it to any other number like an IP phone or a landline, meaning that your customer support reps can easily answer those calls. Also, if you move your office to a different part of town, country, or even a continent, you can easily take your toll-free phone number with you across the world.
Which countries support toll-free numbers and what’s the pricing for business owners and customers?
Numerous countries support toll-free numbers, and while there isn’t a single universal toll-free database of area codes for all countries, the majority of countries use one of the toll-free prefixes that start with 8XX. Usually, that number is 800.
The cost of a toll-free service depends on many factors, including where you receive calls from, how much time you expect to spend on toll-free calls each month, and how you answer those calls. Let’s explore all these factors in detail below.
Where you receive calls from
This is one of the biggest factors that affect the cost of a toll-free number for your business. The difference between prices on a country-by-country basis can be small or large.
For example, if you receive calls from the US and Australia, you may not notice such a big difference. However, if you were to receive calls from China, they could be much more expensive than calls from Belgium or Hong Kong. Some countries, especially in Europe, have a different cost-per-minute for calls from mobile phones and landlines.
How much time you expect to spend on toll-free calls each month
The longer are the phone calls placed over your toll-free phone number, the more you will end up spending on calls every month.
That’s why it’s great if you consider how much talk time you expect each month, as many providers offer plans that reduce their cost-per-minute based on how many calls you expect that month.
How you answer toll-free calls
How you answer a call is known as “call termination”. Unlike inbound rates, each country may have several different termination rates depending on where you forward the call to.
In general, you need to understand how to minimize your call termination costs. Call termination is a term used to define how you answer a call. Unlike inbound rates, each country has different call termination rates depending on where you decide to forward the call to, with forwarding calls to mobile phones will most likely be the most expensive option.
However, you can reduce or even eliminate these costs by forwarding calls to a VoIP. When choosing a toll-free number provider, look for those companies that allow you to answer calls with a VoIP system.
Voice over internet protocol, or VoIP for short, is a technology that lets anyone place phone calls over the internet. Thanks to the rise of broadband internet all over the world, VoIP has become the top choice for phone services for businesses and consumers alike.
VoIP offers more capabilities than a traditional phone system, including custom caller ID, forwarding calls, voicemail to email, auto attendants, greeting messages, the ability to take calls from anywhere with an internet connection, and more. It is also significantly cheaper than the standard phone service
Why should you choose Ringblaze as a toll-free phone system?
Now that we have explored what is a toll free call and everything else you need to know about toll-free calling systems, let’s explore why Ringblaze should be your toll-free number provider of choice.
Ringblaze is a phone service provider that supports effective sales and customer support collaboration. With it, you can quickly manage your call activities, easily add notes, assign calls to the right person in the team, and supercharge your sales and customer service. Ringblaze’s toll-free number system is great for SMBs, digital and marketing agencies, real estate firms, and agencies.
Ringblaze’s key features and advantages
Here is why you should choose Ringblaze as your toll-free number provider:
A standout feature of Ringblaze, which Ringblaze offers for free, while other companies make this feature available only in their premium plans, for which they charge a premium.
A shared dashboard keeps all the calls to your phone number in one place, while also allowing you instant access to all calls. It doesn’t matter where your team is located, Ringblaze brings everyone along to ensure and ensure that everyone is on the same page. Each of your calls can have an “owner” which allows you to easily define everyone’s responsibilities while ensuring that the customer’s or prospect’s message is shared clearly and effectively.
Assign, forward, and record calls
Ringblaze allows you to easily assign calls to any of your support or sales reps. You can quickly forward each call to more appropriate departments or agents. You can also record all your calls so that you can easily improve your training or for accountability.
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This is a great feature when your agents working in multiple shifts are dealing with the same customer. It allows them to quickly see the customer’s history and easily jump in when needed, without skipping a beat. Also, it will help your sales agents remember details about your customers.
Click-to-call button widgets and links
With Ringblaze, you can install a click-to-call button widget on your website, which will help you boost sales and improve your on-site customer support.
This is a unique Ringblaze feature, a feature no other business phone tool on the market has.
In addition to the click-to-call button widget, you can add a click-to-call link anywhere you want, for example in your email signature.
This will allow your prospects and customers to contact you from wherever you feel is the most appropriate.
Have unlimited phone numbers from 22 countries
If your business has offices all over the world, you use Ringblaze’s unlimited phone number feature to take calls from all over the world and answer them from one place, as if they were made to the same office phone, thus reducing the call termination cost.
This feature allows you to have a presence in multiple markets, which should improve your brand reputation if you operate in industries that require a local brand presence.
Site visitors of Ringblaze customers can call the business for free from anywhere in the world
To reiterate this point once more—if you use Ringblaze, all your customers, no matter where they are located in the world, can call your toll-free phone number, meaning that they can get their customer support or sales questions answered for free.
Ringblaze pricing plans
Ringblaze is more affordable than similar tools on the market. Unlike the competitors which force you to compare features and prices, do advanced math, and choose from a million of different plans, Ringblaze is available in one plan and one plan only, which can be paid monthly or annually. The monthly plan starts at $19 per user per month, while the annual plan is 20% cheaper, and it costs $15 per user per month when billed annually.
It includes many features such as high-definition voice calls, unlimited minutes to US and Canada, a free US/Canada local number, call history for up to 90 days, call recording, a custom voicemail greeting, call forwarding, call transfer, and mute. Ringblaze features also include additional numbers, business hours, shard inbox, shared contacts, customer timeline, the ability to assign calls, a call widget, and customer support over email, chat, and a help center.
There you have it: we explained the meaning of toll-free, how toll-free numbers work, how to set one up, what are the benefits of toll-free numbers, and why Ringblaze should be your toll-free number provider of choice.
It doesn’t matter if you run an office-based or a remote company; having a code from the toll-free number database takes the hassle out of managing a business phone system and ensures that your team never misses a call, no matter where it comes from.
When you compare all the business phone system providers on the market, you will quickly see that while others only offer the most basic feature in their cheapest plans, Ringblaze has all the features that serve any businesses’ needs available right away, without any additional costs. Some of the standout features of Ringblaze, such as the click-to-call button widget are both pretty advanced and unique to Ringblaze, which is why we believe Ringblaze deserves the top spot on our list.
Toll-free number: FAQs
Sure you can! Toll-free phone numbers work from any device, including cell phones, landlines, and internet-powered devices.
Yes, but not always. A toll-free telephone number is compatible with international calls, but standard international calling rates may apply, and some businesses block incoming calls from abroad so as not to pay high rates.
However, you can get international toll-free numbers (UIFN). They have to be registered in at least two countries and in service for at least 180 days from the day that your business reserved them to work.
1-800 numbers are phone numbers that can be dialed without incurring any charges to the caller. Instead, the receiver of the call is responsible for all the costs associated with the call. This toll-free prefix is popular among businesses that want to encourage customers to reach out without worrying about costs.
Originally published on January 19, 2021. Updated on February 13, 2024.