When choosing a phone number for your business, you must decide whether you want to…
Toll free forwarding, which is the same as call forwarding or call divert, allows businesses to activate toll free numbers abroad and route calls made to those numbers to another device. Toll free forwarding is a simple concept that can change the way that you do business – for the better. With toll free forwarding, your business can expand its reach internationally without blowing your budget or uprooting your current business model.
Working directly with a domestic or international toll free number, toll free forwarding sends calls made to that number to any other specified device anywhere around the globe. It supports forwarding to landline, mobile, SIP phones, or a PBX system.
Thanks to toll free forwarding, your callers can get in touch with you as easily as they would if you were located in the same city – even if they’re really half a world away.
In this comprehensive overview of toll free forwarding, we’ll discuss:
How toll free forwarding works
Toll free forwarding benefits
Toll free forwarding features
How much toll free forwarding costs
How to enhance your marketing efforts with toll free forwarding
How Toll Free Forwarding Works
Setting up international toll free forwarding is simple. You’ll simply purchase an international toll free number (ITFS) or local DID/DDI number and have your service provider forward that number to your preferred device. For example: if you purchased a Australian toll free number for your Australia customers, the number would ring to your representatives in the US, or wherever else agents are taking calls.
You can forward your calls to any device, such as a PBX system or SIP phone. Note: that the cheapest per-minute rates are offered when forwarding to SIP, whereas the most expensive rates are for mobile.
Setting up toll free forwarding is even easier! Just follow along with the four steps below, and you’re set:
Purchase a toll free or local number.
Decide where you want to your toll free or local number to ring.
Work with your service provider to set up the appropriate forwarding rules, or do so yourself in a user-friendly control panel.
Receive calls on your specified device (landline, mobile, SIP or PBX system).
If your customers are scattered around the globe, you might want to consider purchasing multiple country or city-specific numbers. All of these numbers can point to the same device, and your customers will be able to reach you no matter where you (or they) are.
Toll Free Forwarding Benefits
At a high level, providing customers or leads with a toll free or local number at which they can reach you encourages them to call your company over a competitor’s. Other toll free forwarding benefits include:
Advanced calling features Increased brand recognition
Free calling for the customer (for toll free numbers only) Higher international exposure
Instant connection with customers worldwide
From a business perspective, toll free forwarding offers unlimited flexibility and scalability. Toll free forwarding gives you the opportunity to change forwarding rules at your own leisure. If you are a frequent traveler and need to receive calls on the go, you can with international toll free forwarding. Additionally, you can change where calls are sent depending on time-of-day, day of the week, or any other specifications provided.
As your business grows, so should your telephony needs. With toll free forwarding, you can scale up (or down) as it is necessary. This saves time and money for most businesses. Transitions are not always simple, but with international toll free forwarding, at least your telephony can be.
Toll Free Forwarding Features
As we discussed in the previous section, international toll free forwarding benefits businesses by providing advantages for both the company and the customer. After all, improving efficiency within your own operations, while still maintaining excellent customer service, is not an easy task. Being able to balance the two does provide for a more successful business – and that’s just what international toll free forwarding does.
International toll free forwarding enables you to reach your customers affordably and effortlessly. Customers avoid all costs when calling on your business toll free number. And providing small conveniences like these impacts the customer more than you may think. In fact, there are a number of features that come with international toll free forwarding that can impress both the customer and you!
For Your Customers
Not only does international toll free forwarding offer your customers a free and effortless way of reaching your business, it also continues to give once the call is made. Multiple features offered through international toll free forwarding provide convenience and efficiency to your customers’ calls.
IVR (interactive voice response) gives your callers the most direct way of connecting with you and your customer service representatives. Because each caller has different inquiries or problems, it’s important to direct them accordingly. With an IVR, callers are given the option to select a specific department or employee, increasing response time and quality assurance.
24/7 customer support is also possible with international toll free forwarding. Because you have the ability to re-point a toll free number instantly, providing around-the-clock customer support (without wearing your employees thin) is easy with international toll free forwarding. If you are running a start-up, low-call volume business, you could re-point your toll free number to ring to your cell phone number when the office is closed.
For Your Business
Aside from benefiting your customers, international toll free forwarding offers many benefits for your business. Here are a couple features that contribute.
Various ringing sequences enable your business to receive calls either simultaneously, in a specific order, or randomly. This feature is great especially when you want to manage your call flow, or if you wish to have a specific order in which the calls are received.
Time-of-day routing is also another extremely helpful feature. Time-of-day routing enables businesses to determine where and when a toll free number will ring. This can be as exact as needed, considering time(s) of day, day(s) of the week, week(s) in the year, and so on. Again, this is extremely beneficial for businesses who operate on a 24/7 basis or who have different agents around the world answering calls.
How Much Does Toll Free Forwarding Cost?
Toll free forwarding prices and plans vary from service provider to service provider. Some providers off toll free forwarding as part of a cloud PBX phone system, while others charge a monthly fee to add this feature to your existing phone system.
Really, the cost for toll free forwarding is dependent on where your calls are coming from and where you choose to direct them. You’ll pay a per-minute rate for these calls for both legs of the call. The first leg is based on where and how the incoming call is made, and the second leg is based on how your business chooses to receive the call.
how to calculate rate per minute for toll free forwarding
Every provider has different calling rates for different countries and devices, so you’ll want to take this into consideration as you calculate the cost of toll free forwarding. For the most part, toll free forwarding only adds a few cents to the normal per-minute charge you might incur.
Keep in mind: toll free forwarding to mobile phones is the most expensive forwarding option, while forwarding to VoIP is the cheapest. Since most providers offer free or reduced rates for VoIP phone lines, you’ll really only have to account for one leg of the call.
At World Access Communications setup fees, hidden fees, and contracts are eliminated. Instead, the company offers a 30-day free trial that is available to ensure that businesses are satisfied with the service and the new business it is generating.
Furthermore, World Access Communications follows a strict “only pay what you use” pricing scheme, never charging you for the minutes you don’t use, or over-charging you for the additional minutes you require.
Using Toll Free Forwarding for Marketing
Toll free forwarding to either a landline, mobile, or VoIP itself does not make a difference when marketing your business with a toll free number. But, many providers offer a variety of advanced calling features (in addition to toll free forwarding) with a toll free number that can give your business a competitive edge when it comes to marketing.
Toll Free Numbers with Auto Attendant
The auto attendant feature plays an automated recording as caller are either on hold or when a selected extension is reached on your toll free number. This recording serves as an effective marketing tool by playing messages containing information about your products/services, upcoming promotions, news about your company or industry, or any message you wish to share with your callers.
Toll Free Numbers with Call Recording
Call recording capabilities allow you to automatically document the date and time of the call, customer’s phone number, and duration of call. Perhaps most importantly, this feature provides you with a complete recording of the conversation held between the customer and the customer service representative.
This kind of information makes lead capture effortless. Even if a customer does not sign up for your services, buy your product, or perform whatever action you wish for them to complete, gathering information on prospects is done for you when the call recording feature is enabled for your toll free number.
Toll Free Numbers as Vanity Numbers
Vanity numbers are an extremely effective marketing tool for companies as well. After all, your business name or benefit is in the number itself!
This feature does not cost any more than a regular toll free number comprised of randomly generated numbers, but do keep in mind that desired spellings of a word are often already occupied. This doesn’t go to say that being creative doesn’t get you a catchy, easy-to-remember vanity number. Furthermore, you can even request that we acquire a toll free number containing a series of memorable numbers, such as 1-800-FLOWERS
So as you begin to brainstorm ways to increase marketing efforts without breaking the bank, consider using toll free numbers and their calling features to your advantage.