We thought we would celebrate the next Hunger Games movie coming into theaters with our own little game: The Number Games. Watch as these different types of VoIP phone numbers fight to the death in an arena… or just compare them and decide which ones are best for your company. May the odds be ever in your favor!
Local VoIP numbers are the friendly neighbors of the phone number world. These numbers have specific area codes designated for different locales. Local numbers work well because they feel more personal to customers. Seeing a local area code pop up on a caller ID ups the chance that the person will pick up the phone. This factor is especially powerful now that people are attempting to support their local economies.
Toll-free numbers, or 800 numbers, are free for customers to dial. They are more corporate and can make companies appear polished and, perhaps, larger than they actually are. Toll-free numbers are also appealing because customers don’t have to pay for the call, which can put them in a more positive frame of mind (e.g. more likely to do business with you).
Vanity numbers are the flashy divas of the collection. The most famous example is probably 1-800-FLOWERS. Vanity numbers tend to stick in people’s heads, and obviously, having your customers inadvertently memorize your phone number is a huge plus.
While many VoIP systems include internet faxing, some also supply traditional fax numbers. This allows customers to continue to fax you documents the way they are used to. The cool part is that the faxes can be forwarded straight to your email rather than to a fax machine, making them far more accessible than the ordinary version.
With VoIP, you can purchase several different kinds of international numbers. Some providers cover select countries, while others will cover practically anywhere in the world.
If you want to really show off, you can get an international toll-free number. These are not as common because of the price, but if you have a lot of international customers, it may be worth the extra cost. You can also get local numbers for a different area code, and sometimes even for a different country code.
If you haven’t yet set up VoIP service for your company, don’t worry – you can do so and still keep the numbers you have. Practically all VoIP providers allow porting, or the transfer of an existing number (local, toll-free, or otherwise) to a VoIP account. Some providers will do this for free, while others charge a nominal fee.
You can also order additional numbers of your choice through your VoIP provider, including deluxe options like vanity numbers. Just be sure to pay attention to whether the company will allow you to port out the number if you should choose to change your service in the future. You can get the details of that here.
So, who was the winner of your Number Games? It’s OK if there is more than one – our rules aren’t very strict. Plus, there’s nothing like having a local number available for local customers and an 800 number available for everyone else!
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