Telecommunications continue to evolve, but at the core of all developments is the need for your customers to be able to reach you by phone.
Choosing the right type of phone number is an important consideration, both for customer satisfaction and the image of your business.
This blog is a guide to your options when choosing the best phone number for your business.
As with all business decisions it’s important to have a clear understanding of your objectives, so that you can be sure that whatever you choose will meet your stated needs. It’s often helpful to work with an experienced telecoms company who can help you to reconcile your needs and provide a clear view of your options.
There are a wide array of choices available when it comes to selecting a telephone number for your business, so here are a few considerations to help you refine your requirements.
Local or non-geographic number
Do you want a local or non-geographic number? If your business is established with a specific local market, it could be appropriate to use a local number reflecting your location. Some customers will often draw confidence from a local number.
If you currently serve – or plan to serve – a range of territories across your region, or operate nationally, then it’s good to consider a non-geographic number. This has a couple of benefits. It does not characterise your business as belonging in one specific town, and, for some customers, it can create the impression of a bigger brand.
If your business operates beyond the UK, it’s important to think about an international number, to help enable international trade. This is where your choice of phone system is important. If you have a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) call system, your international calls will be much cheaper for you and your overseas clients, as your calls will run across the internet rather than high-rate traditional telephone lines.
Like many businesses, you may be considering relocating premises but concerned that you may have to change your established telephone number.
It’s always good to consider keeping existing numbers as your current and previous customers will have these in their records, and perhaps their automated dialling systems. You don’t want to miss calls from them, so keep hold of your long-standing number.
Technology means that it’s simple to convert your existing numbers to ‘The Cloud’ meaning you can retain all your established telephone numbers and keep using them, no matter where your offices are located
0800 / 0845 / 0870 numbers
Many Businesses used to use 08 numbers for their non-geographic calls. These have become progressively more expensive to use and in some cases, even freephone numbers have been chargeable when used via mobile phones.
Many charges for using these numbers are made up of two parts; a fixed tariff per minute plus an access charge.
More recently, 03 numbers have become more commonplace as they afford the same non-geographic benefits but without the access charges. Additionally, they are ‘seen’ as the same tariff structure as any UK landline number and tend to be included within any call bundle.
The cost of calling a phone number depends on the digits it starts with, your phone provider and whether you use a landline or mobile.
At this time of writing, here is a guide to current numbers and what they are.
You may get free calls to some numbers as part of your call package. Check with your phone provider.
01 – 02 numbers
These are geographic number prefixes for specific parts of the UK.
These are UK wide (non-geographic numbers).
These are for not-for-profit organisations, charities and public bodies.
These are mobile numbers.
These are personal or ‘follow me’ numbers and tend to be more expensive to call than standard mobile numbers.
These are premium rate numbers.
If you would like to learn more about which type of phone number suits your organisation best, Time Communications would be happy to talk you through the options available to you. Contact our expert team on 0113 2059640, you can request a callback on our home page, email at [email protected] or message us here.