What Is a Toll-Free Number? (+ 5 Reasons To Get One)

A toll-free phone number can be an integrated feature in your customer service. In this article, you’ll get a full definition and 5 main advantages of introducing it in your business.

By the way, any term with “free” included sounds tempting, doesn’t it? With a toll-free number, it’s not only the first impression.

You’ll have a full view of this subject. Get to know the types of a toll-free number and the way it works.

The next part of the article will be about 5 main reasons you should go for it if you care about your customer service quality.

You’ll also find out about the most reliable provider of a toll-free number feature.

So, we have plenty of subjects to cover and we’re free to go with it! 

Table of contents:

  1. What is a toll-free number
  2. How does a toll-free number work
  3. What are the types of toll-free numbers
  4. 5 reasons why you should have a toll-free number
  5. How to get a toll-free number for your business
  6. It’s time to break free

What is a toll-free number

OK, let’s go with the meaning of the toll-free number. But first, let us remember what is a toll. 

Of course, It can be a small amount of money paid by some privilege, such as crossing a bridge or passing over a motorway. 

But, don’t get too far away from the meaning, which is important now. It’s the charge for a long-distance telephone call. 

So, it’s quite easy to deduct what is a toll-free telephone number. 

When you start a call using this type of number, you are free of charge. Everything is paid by a business or individual that answers the call.

Toll-free numbers are used mostly in customer service. It’s because you always want to give customers an exceptional benefit. 

Here comes a customer-oriented system introduced to handle inbound calls.

Your customer calls and he doesn’t pay for it – it sounds tempting for him, doesn’t it? 

How does a toll-free number work

The best way to present it is a North American Numbering Plan. It’s a system serving many countries, including the ones that developed a toll-free number the most: the USA and Canada.

All the toll-free numbers begin with a three-digit code. These are: 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, 844 or 833.

You see it and you know – this is either a US toll-free number or Canada toll-free number. 

The code at the beginning of your number works like a magic wand. Suddenly your phone number turns from a regular one into a toll-free one.

And one more thing – it’s permanent. I mean, you can’t use a three-digit prefix to any number and make it toll-free. They are allocated permanently on a first-come, first-served basis.

All of these rules are among guidelines clarified by FCC (Federal Communications Commission). It’s the American organization that regulates all ways of communication through the USA.

Feel free to enter their website to learn more about the process of launching a toll-free number in America.

What are the types of a toll-free number

OK, you’re familiar with the meaning of a toll-free number now. To understand the idea even better, I’ll point out the types of this feature.

Domestic toll-free numbers

This is a common type of toll-free phone service. It can work for building a reputation across a particular country.

As I said before, it works extremely well for large North American countries. It’s much easier for business owners from the USA or Canada to spread their activity.

However, the efficiency of this solution was also spotted in Europe. Countries like the United Kingdom are also open to developing it in their territory. 

The process usually begins in a small local area. Customers are sick and tired of poor customer service and they start to look for new options. 

As they don’t pay for the service, they share good news and your business becomes recognizable. This is how you can draw attention across the whole country. 

International toll-free numbers

We can feel that we live in a global village. Even now, when traveling is limited, free contact between countries or continents is extremely easy.

International toll-free numbers are another proof of that. However, this is a type of toll-free number used much less often than a domestic one.

It turns out that people tend to solve important issues within the borders of their home country.

This is why even large enterprises are more likely to start a network of domestic numbers in every single country of their activity.

It’s much more efficient for them in comparison to the international network.

Vanity toll-free numbers

This is an interesting type of toll-free number. It’s because it’s more about letters than numbers.

Many companies fight for standing out from the competition. A vanity number is an efficient way to achieve that.

So, I’ll give you some examples.

You want to have a burger for lunch. You enter the website of a restaurant, choose your favorite one (all ingredients are up to you), and want to place an order. 

You look at the phone number and it is 1-800-BURGER. Quite easy to remember, isn’t it?

All you need to do is to press the keys corresponding to each letter. In this case, it will be 1-800-287437. Your dream burger is on its way!

There are multiple so-called phonewords, that are used in a place of regular numbers. TAXI, FLOWERS, CONTACTS are examples taken from reality. 

So, customers can find a particular number easy to remember and, primarily, free to call. Don’t forget that a vanity number is toll-free. 

It’s a service associated directly with a brand. Yet another way to strengthen the position on the market.

5 reasons why you should have a toll-free number

I’ve already mentioned a few benefits coming from applying toll-free communication for your business. Let’s organize our knowledge in 5 steps.

1. Improve your customer service

This is a foundation of a well-working business plan. It’s essential to create a customer service-oriented company. 

Take a quick look at the most popular ways of communicating. 

Considering the frequency of usage, telephones are still ahead of emails and live chats. The reason is simple – they are just more widely available. 

A toll-free number allows you to start an efficient phone system in your company. 

Your customers can easily reach your call center anytime they want, and they are free of charge.

As your company keeps growing, you can add an individual toll-free number to departments located in different cities or countries. This is how day-to-day operations can be easier to handle.

It can only make your call center professional and accessible to customers calling from all locations. They can have their issues solved quicker than they expect.

That’s the way to expand your customer base through building trust and loyalty. 

2. Expand your business presence

Do you remember the division into international and domestic toll-free numbers? 

This is the range of possibilities given to you by this tool. You can build recognition equally within your country and worldwide.

You can have a growing impact on the demanded area.

And, don’t forget – with a toll-free number a field of activity can become unlimited. OK, I got carried away. Maybe the Earth is a limit.

It’s always possible to grow on an unexpectedly large scale. This is what makes a toll-free number a type of customer service that stands out from the others.

3. Take the number with you wherever you go 

A toll-free number is no ball and chain when you want to move your business to another location.

It isn’t attached to a specific state or country. The number stays with you as a traveling companion.

Similar schemes are used with local number portability or mobile number portability. 

Every country has its own rules and regulations on this matter. Make sure you get to know them before you move.

4. Make it a strong point of your marketing strategy

The toll-free number is an easy way to build your brand. Why? Let’s do a quick test. 

Imagine that you own an Italian restaurant and the current situation forced you to develop phone orders and catering. 

It’s good to realize that your phone number can also be catchy. It’s not all about the logo, website address, you can always stretch your marketing strategy to the phone number.  

I’ll give you two options, you will answer which one is easier to remember.

First: a word ITALIANO.

Second: a sequence of digits: 48254266

I bet it’s the word. This is why it’s great to make it a vanity toll-free number for your company: 1-800-ITALIANO.

This is how you install RAM into your customer’s mind. He will always remember a number to call you whenever he’s hungry. 

It’s just a practical example, but you can transfer it easily to other industries.

5. Take the lead against your competition

A stronger position in the market is a natural consequence of other benefits coming from using a toll-free number.

By using it, your company can only reveal itself as a professional and reliable one. So, you work hard on creating an image in your potential customer’s eyes.

If he chooses to collaborate with you, you’re in business. Sometimes even the price recedes into the background.

As long as you’re trustworthy, helpful, and loyal in making deals, that is a huge value. 

You are much more likely to take a step ahead of your competition.

How to get a toll-free number for your business

OK, now you know all the good things coming from launching a toll-free number in your business.

There are several providers of this service. However, I’d love to present the exceptional one.

Be my guest, it’s Channels. This is a data-driven phone system.

We’ve analyzed all the benefits coming from a toll-free number and made it our feature without a second thought.

So, to summarize these benefits – if you want to make it easy to contact you from anywhere, appear professional and well-established, and gain trust among your customers – it’s the right address.

But, with Channels, it works even better. It’s because of many additional features.

Your agent sees all customer details before a call. This is how he can get straight to the point. Forget about time-consuming interviews. 

You can also record the calls and use them to train your customer service agents – praise them for good work and point out the areas that can be even better. 

It’s also beneficial to listen to the calls and analyze the customer’s attitude towards your marketing strategy. There’s always room for development – for example, you can plan to grow proactive customer service.     

Channels works both as a mobile application and a Chrome extension. So, you can use it through the device that fits you better.

It is also integrated with other popular platforms like Shopify, Hubspot, Magento, Pipedrive, Zapier, and Zendesk. So, you can get the necessary information in the form of a Customer Card.

A toll-free number gives you plenty of classic benefits. Channels have them all plus the extra features. 

Sounds like a recipe for dynamite. Let’s try it!


Get Channels for free now.

Get a toll-free number and many other features to grow your business with a great customer experience.

Right now, Channels offers you a 7-day free trial during which you’ll get full access to the software, a free phone number, and a few $$$ so you can fully test it out! No credit card is required.

What’s stopping you?

It’s time to break free

To elaborate, break free by using a toll-free number.

I told you – the word “free” can turn any usual word into something magical and positive.

The toll isn’t associated with anything good. It is linked with paying money, so the connotation cannot surprise anyone.

But, a simple movement, we add “free”, get a toll-free number, and reception is completely different.

Of course, there are many reasons for that change, not only wordplay. I’ve mentioned them all in this article.

I’m sure that making customers happy is evergreen in your plans for now and for the future. 

A toll-free number is designated to help you achieve your goals. Feel free to try it.