Updated: 23d January 2017 In this article we cover: Why it’s important to be accessible; Challenges of multichannel communication management; MightyCall mobile app as a management tool; Case study: MightyCall’s Activity Queue in show business. While companies struggle to provide more and more ways to contact them, multichannel communication poses certain challenges you cannot ignore.…
855 Area Code: Meet the New Generation of Toll-Free Numbers
For decades after AT&T introduced the automated toll-free service in the 1960s, it was the privilege of national corporations and government offices. The toll-free number reputation is so impressive that to this day, people associate toll-free numbers (area code 855, 844, 833, 866, 877, 888, and of course the classic 1-800) with a company’s increased trustworthiness and reliability.
Voice over IP (VoIP) technologies have revolutionized toll-free numbers for small business and ended their monopolization by landline providers. Nowadays, you’re no longer stuck with landline costs or wires: VoIP allows your business to receive toll-free calls on your smartphone, laptop and IP desk phone. In addition to mobility and savings, with a toll-free number from a VoIP provider you also gain access to features which the biggest and richest companies could have only dreamed of in past years.
As toll-free numbers become increasingly popular, the toll-free family keeps expanding. Among the newest options available to modern business owners is the 855 area code, now seeing increased demand nationwide. With the aid of VoIP technologies, this toll-free dial code has a lot to offer business.
If you’re wondering which toll-free area code works best for small business and what your latest options are, here is some important info to help you pick the best deal.
VoIP toll-free numbers work in the USA and Canada
Toll-free numbers aren’t location-specific, which means callers won’t face long-distance charges when contacting your business.
However, many landline providers still charge additional fees for 800 numbers directed outside the USA (to Canada). With VoIP providers, that’s not a problem: all toll-free calls cost nothing to callers both in the USA and across Canada and the subscriber gets no hidden fees either.
800 numbers, including newer toll-free dial codes such as the 855 area code are perfect for businesses operating in North America, especially e-commerce. For example, if your business is located in the U.S. but you’re also shipping to Canada, getting a VoIP toll-free number that works across entire North America will serve your clients in Canada on a par with those in the States.
This is especially helpful during the online shopping and checkout process when clients need assistance without worrying about long-distance phone charges tied to online business communication.
With a toll-free number from a VoIP company like MightyCall, there’s no difference as regards national presence between the various toll-free numbers: 855 area code and other available 800 numbers are toll-free for callers across the USA and Canada.
Flexibility is the priority of new dial codes
With all the toll-free numbers available in the USA and Canada, business owners are bound to wonder: what’s the difference between toll-free dial codes 800, 833, 844, 855, 866, 877, and 888?
Technically speaking, there is no difference whatsoever– with any of these toll-free numbers you give callers across North America the ability to reach your business at no cost to them. The reason why there are so many 800 dial codes is simple. Back in the 90s, when the 800 dial code became so popular it was all used up, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) created the 888, 877, and 866 numbers for toll-free calls. Most recently, due to the same issue, the 855 area code as well as area codes 844 and 833 were added to the list.
Amidst the many toll-free numbers we have today, the 855 area code (as well as newer codes like 844 and 833) gives business added flexibility when it comes to choosing their number. While the older 800 numbers have little number options left due to their extreme popularity (and are supposed to make you happy with the fact that you’ve managed to grab one), newer toll-free options such as the 855 area code let you get more creative and make your business number not just free for callers across the U.S. and Canada, but also memorable.
With VoIP, you can make your toll-free number special in two ways:
- 1-855 + memorable number – supplement the toll-free area code with an easy-to-remember VoIP number or just the one you like (you’ll have plenty of numbers to choose from)
- 1-855 + vanity number – add a specific vanity number to the toll-free area code 855 for a special impression.
Both options with the 855 area code give you extra flexibility for the same monthly cost.
For affordable versatility, get a VoIP toll-free number
Virtual phone systems are known for their communications versatility and reliability while toll-free numbers have a proven track record of professionalism. But there’s no reason you should sacrifice one to get the other, as you would with a toll-free landline number vs. VoIP.
In addition to increased flexibility and cost-effective nationwide presence for the business owner, let’s take a look at how the power of a toll-free number grows a hundredfold with a VoIP provider like MightyCall.
Benefits for customers:
- Call menus –User-friendly call menus are a must for every serious business. They route incoming calls straight to the right person or department in your business and can also direct clients to pre-recorded information (auto attendant) or voicemail depending on your settings and client needs.
- Custom greetings, voice prompts and voicemail – easily customized in just a few minutes, voice greetings are an important part of a company’s image. Added to a toll-free number and a convenient call menu, they form the ABCs of a professional company image.
- Auto-attendant– the simplest inquiry calls can add up to a lot of time. With an auto-attendant, clients get general info about your business such as contact hours and location at any time of day or night.
- Web widgets – click-to-call and call-back buttons are customer retention tools with huge business repercussion. Just place these on your website to give site visitors instant help and instant communication.
Benefits for business owners and their team:
- Access to multiple devices –with the advent of VoIP services, toll-free numbers don’t have you hanging on the line. You can optimize your business communications and make/receive calls from your toll-free number on any modern device, wherever you are.
- Free extensions –unlike landline providers that charge a fortune for a few extensions, MightyCall gives you free unlimited extensions on all plans.
- Call routing– every business has lots of calls coming in. With call routing, you choose how and when to route calls based on your and your team’s availability, working hours, and schedule changes. Customize these settings anytime in your profile.
- Call history and analytics – access your call history (including voice calls, SMS, and voicemail with/without transcripts, etc.) in one place on your dashboard. Use analytics tools to transform this info into a customer-relationship management (CRM) tool.
855 area code + vanity number = stunning deal
A VoIP toll-free number stands up to virtually any caprice of yours. For example, it can give your business two bonuses at once: a toll-free number and a vanity number combined.
Vanity numbers are numbers that end with the business name, like 1(XXX) FLOWERS, or 1(XXX) XXX-TAXI for a floral shop or taxi service, respectively. Added to a toll-free number, they look like this: 1(855) FLOWERS, etc. Vanity numbers are extremely popular in marketing as they help make any contact with your business memorable and cost-free for clients. Added to toll-free dial codes, they make a doubly professional impression.
While technically the combo of toll-free plus vanity number is possible with any toll-free area code (provided you use the VoIP phone system), in practice it’s extremely difficult to get both on the older 800 numbers with very limited number combinations.
The best part is that with MightyCall’s Virtual Phone System, a toll-free + vanity number costs you no extra money per month and is based only on availability. You can get both features for the fixed price of a monthly plan.
To see the largest number of options (and find that perfect number for your business), we suggest looking into modern toll-free options: 833- 855 area codes.
The final word is yours
Toll free numbers are a huge aid to modern business – no questions asked. But to experience their full potential, small business owners need to let go of popular misconceptions like the inaccessibility and pricing myth we’ve inherited from old-fashioned landlines.
Today’s toll-free numbers are incredibly cost-effective for small business. With MightyCall, you can get a toll-free number with all of the features and versatility we’ve been telling you about for as low as $24.99/per month and a free 7-day trial.
By getting a toll-free number like the 855 area code, you aren’t giving your customers an optional treat but rather, you are doing yourself great service. As Joel Holland of the Entrepreneur Magazine writes, “A toll-free number is no longer an expensive luxury for large businesses–it’s now an inexpensive necessity for small businesses.”
Make sure that necessity is all taken care of by grabbing a toll-free number for your business today.
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