Tag Archives: Telecommunications

How to Set Up Your Business’ Toll-Free Number

Toll-Free numbers are a staple of any business looking to reach beyond the constricting borders of their own local area code. In the days of land lines and long-distance service they were absolutely essential to businesses that relied on customer contact – the value of allowing customers to call without incurring any long distance charges far outweighed the costs.   

Now, in the days of wireless phones, e-mail, and social media, fewer customers need to dial that toll-free number to reach your business at no cost. However, that certainly doesn’t mean that the toll-free number has lost its value – the convenience and ease of remembering a well-crafted toll-free number have supplanted potential customer cost savings as a primary reason businesses still rely on the toll-free number.

Getting a Toll-Free Number

At one time getting a toll-free number meant calling up your telephone provider and ordering a new phone line dedicated to your new number. Today there are many providers to choose from online, and they no longer require a dedicated phone line to use – they can forward to your existing land line. You can even set up a toll-free number that dials to your cell phone if you wish.

Cost

Costs vary among providers, but the common model of pricing is very similar to mobile phone pricing – a set number of toll-free minutes for a set price per month, with somewhere between 5 and 25 cents per minute in excess of the monthly limit.

Advantages

While many customers no longer actually need a toll-free number to call your business with no charge, do not discount the attractiveness of providing one to potential customers – it is still a free service! Toll-free numbers are convenient, easy to remember (especially in cases of “vanity” numbers), and present a “big company” feel to your customers. Toll-free numbers move with you – to new facilities and land lines – very easily, ensuring your customers reach you even if you change or add or move phone lines.

The cost to a small business with low toll-free usage is very low, and is expandable – a business only pays more as its usage grows, keeping costs from being prohibitive to start-ups and smaller businesses. Nearly everyone can afford toll-free numbers now unlike in the past.

Technology has changed the way businesses operate, especially in how they maintain contact with their customers. The toll-free number, while now one of many contact options, is still a valuable addition to any business looking to expand its customer base.

Author Bio

Lyndsi Decker is a freelance wrote and is currently promoting Bell long distance plans. When not blogging about business she is training for marathons.

 

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Using the Phone – Customer Calls

When it comes to the phone, many of those in direct sales are afraid of it or do not want to go anywhere near it.  But there really is no reason that a person needs to be afraid of the phone and there are actually ways that a person can prepare themselves and take that fear away.

Why We Avoid Customer Calls

Lightening up the PhoneTelephone

Making Successful Direct Sales Phone Calls

Don’t forget your manners when you are making customer care calls.  If you aren’t sure what you should or should not be doing, read this article as a bit of a refresher.

Proper Phone Manners for Direct Sales Consultants

And if you get that dreaded voicemail, there is no reason for you to freeze up and hang up as quickly as possible.  If you prepare in advance, it is easy to leave a good voicemail message that will get you a call back.

Leave Voicemail that Gets Results
Creating a Good Voicemail Message

 

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Leave Voicemail that Gets Results

Not only is the phone a hated object in direct sales, but the dreaded voicemail is high up on the list.  For many, this is due to the fact that they do not feel that they are getting any results when they leave a voicemail as the majority of calls will not get you a callback.  But, if you do it correctly, you can leave a voicemail that will get you a call back as well as the results that you crave.

Be Quick – Make your message quick.  Have you ever had the machine ding and cut you off?  That means that you have spoken too much and you likely missed something that you wanted to say.  So change it so that you are quick and to the point.  Write a script if that helps you that just outlines the key points.

Context – It’s important that your recipient knows who you are.  They may get a lot of calls each day or it may have been a while since you talked.  Start with something like “HI Jane, its Sharon Lastname, we met last week at Susie’s Company Party.  You had indicated you wanted more information on having your own party”

Why? – You want them to return your call.  What should they bother?  Give them something that is compelling and makes them want to call you back.  Maybe you are holding the date that they indicated they were interested in but you can only hold it for so long.  If its near the end of a month, it could be that the sign up special will expire at the end of the month.

Mention the Time – Quite often the machine will note what time you called, but many people do not listen to that or the time stamp that is set can be wrong.  The message could state something like “It is currently 5 pm and I will be out of the office for a few hours, but you can call me back between 7 and 10 pm this evening.”

Give Alternatives – Give them a few methods to get in touch with you.  If you use a landline and a cell phone, you could leave a cell phone number or even an email.  Another option if text messaging your cell phone but this is a pet peeve with me as not everyone uses cell phone texting and may be charged for receiving a text.

Consequences – Include in your message the consequences of them not returning your call.  For instance, the message could be “I need you to call me back within 24 hours to confirm this date.  I know you really wanted it because your sister is going to be in town but my days are in demand and I cannot hold it longer than that.”  Using the words “I need” lets your customer know that they need to do this.

Try these small changes when you are leaving voicemails and see if your calls returned rate increases.  Please let me know what you find!

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