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Choosing your Company Phone Number

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Telephone numbers can be excellent tools when looking to attract more customers or generate extra revenue.

Marketing numbers are telephone numbers that don’t give the impression of being located in a certain geographical area, and can be used to increase your customer base or generate additional revenue.

Freephone Numbers

Freephone numbers are denoted by an 0800 prefix. They are free of charge to the caller which means that you pay for the cost of the call. However, this doesn’t mean that they are particularly expensive.

One advantage of an 0800 number is that it ‘nationalises’ a company and certainly helps to get away from the ‘small company’ image. Research also shows that 0800 numbers can increase incoming calls by up to 300%, with 93% of consumers knowing that they can call them for free.

It’s always good to remove potential barriers to customers calling you and 0800 numbers do this, often giving you an advantage over your competition in the process. They certainly convey a professional image and are yours for life. If you move location you don’t have to worry about rebranding all your promotional and company information with a new number.

In addition to the above 0800 numbers are excellent tools when looking to track the effectiveness of special promotions or ad campaigns. By using different numbers for each geographical location that you operate in or for different promotional campaigns you can track their performance or effectiveness simply by looking at the call statistics.

Local Rate Numbers

Local rate numbers, denoted by 0845 numbers, enable customers to pay a local rate charge for calling you, regardless of where they are calling from in the UK. You simply pay the difference.

As with 0800 numbers using an 0845 number is a proven way to increase incoming calls. Again, it gives your company a professional image. If you receive many incoming calls or have a restricted budget an 0845 number may be preferable over a freephone number.

National Rate Numbers

National rate numbers are denoted by an 0870 prefix. They mean that a customer pays a national rate regardless of where they are located in the UK.

Extra income can often be earned in this way because with some providers your business receives a payment for every minute from each call that your business receives. This income can be used to help offset the cost of employing support staff. National rate numbers also give your company a national image so they have proved popular.

However, the extra cost can sometimes put customers off from calling you, potentially resulting in lost business. As a result these numbers tend to be used for after sales support lines so as to not lose out on any potential customers.

Premium Rate Numbers

Premium rate numbers (denoted with a 09 prefix) are not generally regarded as marketing numbers but can be used for various promotions, such as for competition entries.

Tariffs vary, from 25p/minute up to £1.50 per minute. However, from this you could expect to receive around 60-80 pence per minute, with the phone operator receive the rest.

Be sure to check out the rules surrounding premium rate numbers before using them for a support line or promotion, as there are strict user guidelines in place.

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