Should I Get an 800 Number?

Mar 2, 2016

  1. cfuller4080
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    cfuller4080 Expert

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    I am about to open my independent agency and I will be operating in multiple states so I wanted to get some advice from the pro's on here!

    Should I get an 800 number/toll free for my social media, websites etc. Or is better to just use my local NC phone number for everyone, including my social media and websites for people out of state?

    Thanks!
     
  2. thomasm
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    thomasm Guru

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    Toll free number especially if marketing in multiple states.

    I got mine for around $12 a month at phone.com
     
    thomasm, Mar 2, 2016
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  3. FL Agent 55
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    FL Agent 55 New Member

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    Definitely get a toll free number. You may have trouble obtaining a 800 number, but there are other options like 888, 877, 866, 855, 844.

    Toll free numbers are more professional and if you use Ring Central or a company similar, you can setup an automated system that sounds great.

    On top of that, you can have the toll free number forwarded to your cell phone.
     
  4. GXR2
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    GXR2 Super Genius

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    Back in the day before cell phones and unlimited calling and no roaming charges a toll-free number was a must have.

    What a toll-free number does for your business more than anything is give the impression your accepting business out if your area.
     
    GXR2, Mar 19, 2016
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  5. indienoise
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    indienoise Guru

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    I've had one for a few months and it's great. I was concerned it would seem too impersonal for local prospects and customers, but the response has been overwhelmingly positive, and it's a lifesaver for me. My market is largely nonstandard so I have it set to route customers to service centers for their payments, and people seem to like having the option to do so.
     
  6. cgreene
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    cgreene Guru

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    I looked at one but most my mortgage brokers said their clients wanted to see a local number. So I got local numbers in those states through ooma.
     
    cgreene, Mar 19, 2016
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  7. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    Toll free numbers have their place and it is probably good to have one, but, I don't think they are important anymore at all. In some cases, they send the wrong message.

    My view:
    Toll-free numbers represent big corporate America. They give the impression of easily available service, but from a general worker with little authority. Making payments? Not a problem, toll free numbers are perfect. If you want to talk to someone about a specific problem or issue? You want a direct line.

    Local numbers give a better impression of you are talking to someone that can take care of a problem personally, rather then reading scripts off of a screen. They also give the impression that someone may not be available 24x7 (which is usually the case for small agencies).

    In general, I feel 800 numbers represent direct sales, such as Geico, Progressive, esurance, etc. Local numbers represent agents in the local office.

    Of course, if you are opening up a new office and going multi-state day one, the cost of having both is minimal and the benefit will probably outweigh the small cost.

    Dan
     
    djs, Mar 20, 2016
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  8. BlockO
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    BlockO Guru

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    good points. I once had an 800 number several years ago, but got rid of it due to no one calling..... I posted it side by side along with my local number. even people that were calling from long distance called the local number instead.

    maybe that was because of one of the reasons you just posted.
     
    BlockO, Mar 20, 2016
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