Non-geographic numbers win new business

by Colin Bryant, TelecomsAdvice

The telephone is a tried and tested way for customers to enquire about your products or services, but there are ways to encourage people to call your business first and give you that vital competitive edge.

Whether it is a number that is easy to remember, a free phone call or simply a number that doesn't give away your location, you can minimise the barriers to getting that person to pick up the phone.

The way to do this is through the use of 08 and 09 numbers - non-geographic numbers providing a Number Translation Service (NTS) to a normal geographic STD number or a premium rate service. However, before you stop reading, lets dispel the myth that such services are only cost-effective or suitable for large businesses.  These numbers offer flexibility that can benefit small businesses, or multi-site organisations.

Profit Opportunity

The kind of number and service that is right for your business depends on your priorities. You can choose to provide your customers with a free service (0800), which is ideal for generating maximum response to marketing or for providing customer care.

A low cost service (0845) gives you a local presence by allowing customers to call you from anywhere in the UK for the cost of a local call. 

Alternatively, you may wish to use a number where customers pay a higher rate (0870) where all calls are charged at the national rate, so there is no cost to your business and you create a national identity for your business.

Finally there are premium (09) numbers where you actually make a profit on the call. These are ideal for added value services such as helpline support, competitions or short term sales promotions.

The benefits of using an 08 or 09 number can be huge:

* Customers enjoy the ease of having an apparently single contact point with a number that is easy to remember

* You only need to use one number on your advertising and promotional materials

* If your business expands, you can use the same number for your new sites so there is no effect on customer identity

* Intelligent call routing means your business can be more responsive to its customers as calls are handled with the optimum efficiency, in direct alignment with the resources available at any one time.

Regardless of the size of your business, 08 and 09 numbers have to be an intelligent consideration and may well produce some surprising benefits for your business and its customers.

For more information, call Kingston inbusiness free on 0800 138 6000 or e-mail

Reviewed January 2011

last updated : 21/01/2011

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