Like a website domain, business card design or logo, many businesses want their phone number/s to be as slick and branded as they can be. But there are plenty of options and the idea of getting the best business phone number can soon become complicated.
Balancing all Your Options
When it comes to picking the best business phone number you have a few options. And you can go for any number of them based on the size of your business and the kind of customers you have.
In short, your options are as follows:
- Toll-free Numbers
- Local Numbers
- Non-Geographic Numbers
- Mobile Numbers
On top of all that you have the “Traditional vs SIP” argument that, although it should be obvious by now, is still a question for many businesses. Once we’ve gone through that and you know what you’re after we’ll talk about how you can get a hold of one to use.
If you want your customers to like you, it’s going to cost you money. Though the expense is worth the benefits in our opinion. When it comes to calling a business, nothing is better than seeing a freephone option. The huge phone charges businesses used to charge is a thing of the past, and people expect to call you at no cost to themselves.
On the other hand, if you’re calling prospective customers and you want them to pick up, nothing beats a local phone number. Customers are much more likely to pick up the phone if they see a number or area code they recognize.
In the US there are more than 5,000 different area codes; e.g. dial a number starting with 212, 646 or 332 and you’ll be connected to someone in Manhattan. So if you’re an international business (or plan to be one in the future) then how are you supposed to have all the numbers you might need to call prospects? More on that later.
Probably the most common choice for big businesses and call centers alike is the non-geographic number option. It’s not tied to any one location (in a country) and doesn’t come with the nasty extra costs that toll-free numbers have. You can’t get these in every country though, so make sure you check you can get them.
In the UK, for example, national numbers begin 08 or 03 and provide businesses with a way to have one contact number that can be dialed just the same from any part of the country. If your business does not need a local presence in specific regions or cities, a national number is a good choice.
If you’re a business that wants to use SMS, you’re going to find that you might need specific mobile numbers (e.g 07 in the UK) that can enable voice and messaging capabilities.
Some countries like the US, however, have regionally specific mobile numbers, similar to a local number. This means that if you want to make sure you have a local presence in those areas you’ll need to acquire quite a few mobile numbers.
Traditional vs SIP
Since the early 2000s, this argument has been brought up time and time again because of businesses umming and ahhing about change and the prospect of having to switch to the cloud.
We’ve argued this point before, but as a quick run-down to remind you, here are a few business-oriented benefits of using a SIP Trunk system:
- Unlimited scalability – Unlike a traditional phone system, you aren’t restricted by the cord or how many resources you have to manage all the contracts and billing required to run services with different providers in multiple territories. VoIP phone systems have the ability to scale up or down elastically, based on the needs of your business.
- Better budget optimization – By subscribing to a communications-as-a-service (CaaS) model that moves your voice infrastructure to the cloud, you can enjoy significant increases in operational efficiency and cut your costs – by as much as 45% over legacy solutions, according to Nemertes Research. Learn more about the cost-savings of SIP-based VoIP business solutions in our on-demand 45-minute webinar with the Nemertes here.
- Seamless transition – The beauty of SIP is that it can be run alongside legacy PSTN systems and plug into on-premise or cloud PBXs. You get to test the bona fides of the tech in relation to your own business use cases, then switch over locations at whatever pace makes you comfortable.
- Feature parity with legacy systems – Voice and messaging can be integrated into platforms for on-demand functionality that fully replicates the copper network on a global scale.
- Hassle-free access to new features – As services in new countries are brought online, you have the ability to access them on-demand, without having to set up additional SIP configurations.
How to Get a Phone Number
Interested in one of these options? Sign up for a Voxbone account and take a look at our inventory of over 10 million phone numbers.