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Custom Toll Free® Blog

June 26th, 2014

Small Business, Small Business Phone System, Communication, Toll Free Vanity Numbers, Toll Free NumbersSmall business owners spend countless hours trying to figure out ways to save money. From ordering less computer or office accessories to cutting down employee hours, small business owners and entrepreneurs often have to choose among several cost cutting options. Some of the options place entrepreneurs in untenable positions that undermine their leadership. However, by reducing the cost of your small business phone system, you not only save money, but you can also bolster your small business brand.

Reducing the Cost of Your Phone System

Two primary factors influence the cost of a small business phone system. First, long distance calls during the day can quickly empty your monthly small business communication budget. You need to find purveyors of specialized products that operate halfway across the globe. Second, the number of phone lines directly impacts phone system costs. Small business owners can take care of both cost issues by implementing a couple of different strategies.

Internet Phone Protocol

Once considered the sole domain of techies, Voice Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems have emerged as one of the viable ways for small businesses to cut phone system costs. VoIP systems deliver several advanced communication features through broadband Internet connections. The most common application for this is Skype.

One of the reasons why this form of communication is so popular is because acquiring VoIP does not require small businesses to make many computer hardware upgrades, since most VoIP systems work smoothly on desktop and laptop computing devices. Small businesses report enjoying as much as 80 percent reductions in their monthly phone service bills, with most of the cost savings coming from dramatically lower long distance charges.

The Best Way to Save Money

VoIP may represent the phone system cost savings strategy of today, but a new cost saving, brand-boosting strategy appears to have a very bright future. Toll free vanity numbers provide small business owners several advantages, including lower monthly phone service bills. Instead of dialing a client who lives cross-country from a standard business phone system, you and your team of high achievers can reach clients cheaper via toll free vanity numbers. Moreover, you pay less for multiple toll free vanity phone lines than you pay for standard small business phone lines.

Customize Your Toll Free Vanity Numbers

The key to finding the right toll free vanity numbers lies in leaving an indelible impression on your customers. You want to develop catchy toll free vanity numbers that quickly pop into their minds. Toll free vanity numbers provide your small business with many benefits, especially by helping you earn a bigger return on your investment. Once you earn the trust of a customer, you convert the customer into a lifelong patron who provides a steady stream of revenue derived from the cost of one toll free number.

 

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Toll Free Benefits |
June 25th, 2014

Toll Free Numbers, Toll Free Vanity Numbers, Vanity Toll Free, Small Business

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most small businesses and entrepreneurs know they need a toll free vanity number to increase brand recognition, seal their reputation and image, and increase call backs and overall leads. But how does a small business get there? Here are some quick tips on how to find the perfect vanity number.

First, as a small business owner and entrepreneur, ask yourself these three questions:

Do your customers know how to reach you? If this isn’t incredibly apparent or visible, then start here. If customers don’t know how to reach you or where to reach you, it’s a safe bet to assume that they are likely going to contact your competitor instead. Don’t let this happen with a toll free vanity number.

Is your small business name well known? This doesn’t necessarily depend on how many customers you have, but how many people can recollect your small business name and your product and/or services you offer. If this needs a boost, consider a toll free vanity number.

Is there a word or phrase that depicts your small business? In order to group the two points above, think of a word or phrase that can easily be recalled by customers and potential customers that is tied to your business and brand. This will not only help increase call volume and the number of people that can recall your toll free vanity number, but it will also boost brand recognition and your small business vision.

Once you’ve got the wheels turning on asking yourself the questions above, this will help you to find the perfect toll free vanity number to reach these goals and boost your small business brand, communication, and overall growth.

 

 

Courtesy of VoIP and telecom consulting firm Software Advice.

Toll Free Benefits |
June 24th, 2014

Small Business, Entrepreneur, Toll Free Vanity NumberThere comes a time when your small business slows to a grinding halt. Customers stop coming in through the front door, your employees look like the walking dead, and even you have a hard time rolling out of bed in the morning. The answer to your small business woes does come in some magical potion or unveil itself during a period of intense meditation. Take solace because you do not have to push the small business panic button.

You can jumpstart your small business by implementing these easy five goals to start your day.

  1. Set Sales Goals

As a time-tested way to motivate employees, setting daily sales goals that include financial incentives to reach those goals should rekindle the working spirit inside of your small business. Make sure to set attainable goals or you can expect silent revolt among your team members. Have morning gatherings or meetings to go over those goals (either before the store opens, or virtually). Refer to past sales for each day of the week and bump up the goal to jumpstart your small business day.

  1. No More Excuses

When things start heading south for your small business, we often make excuses to cover up the reasons why you have hit the doldrums. You have to ask yourself whether you want excuses or a thriving small business. Develop a to-do list each day that includes achievable outcomes. Hold everyone accountable for reaching the outcomes that lead to the revitalization of your small business.

  1. Razor Sharp Focus

Entrepreneurs and small business owners that achieve the greatest success maintain their focus from the minute they arrive to work until they turn off the last light at night. It is one thing to devise a list of goals to jumpstart your small business day and it is quite another to stay focused enough to see those goals reach fruition. If you plan a sales event for a certain day, make sure everyone focuses on the event collectively.

  1. Make Your Customers Feel Special

This should be a small business goal every day. With competition heated in virtually every industry, it takes the little things like warmly greeting customers and answering their questions in a naturally friendly way that keeps them coming back for more. Nothing jumpstarts you small business day more than seeing repeat customers come back for more. The key to making your customers feel special is to make the employees that interact with them feel special as well, especially the employees that answer calls on your toll free vanity number.

  1. Recognize Your Team

Employee recognition has become an almost forgotten human resources strategy. Yet, it remains highly effective in adding energy to your small business. Recognition can include an enthusiastic "great job" to a team member and rewards such as plaques and store gift certificates. It is easy to chastise someone for a mistake, but difficult to extend the same level of energy for positive reinforcement. The positive reaction of your team after you recognize them may surprise you.

Implement the five ways to jumpstart your small business day and become a small business hero.

 

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Uncategorized |
June 20th, 2014

Small Business, Entrepreneur, Management, Toll Free Numbers, Business Phone System, CommunicationOther than today being Friday, there is another reason to celebrate. Today is also National Productivity Day. Today recognizes the importance of productivity for small business owners and entrepreneurs who operate on the thinnest of profit margins or with the smallest number of resources. Productivity Day offers you several resources that can help to increase productivity levels.

The Importance of Productivity to Small Business

Without the purchasing power and advanced technology investment of large corporations, small business owners and entrepreneurs have to turn to other strategies to compete with the big boys. They can slash prices, offer free amenities and other promotions, and bundle services, but all of those strategies negatively impact the bottom line. By selling more goods and services in less time, small business owners can go toe to toe with the corporate behemoths.

Productivity balances the uneven competitive landscape. Many corporations are top-heavy, which means they have a lot of fat to cut from their operations. Small business owners who operate efficiently, and embrace productivity, can expect to be around for the long term, even during rough economics times.

Ways to Boost Productivity

Increasing productivity does not require waving a magic wand or chanting pro small business mantras. What productivity requires is the dedication of adhering to several sound small business practices.

How can your small business boost productivity?

  • Recruit high achievers
  • Develop your team by teaching new skills
  • Transform into a paperless operation by sending invoices electronically
  • Organize your products to put the best sellers near the front of the store
  • Offer incentives that motivate your team
  • Use the latest small business management software
  • Strive for more personal customer interaction
  • Upgrade your communication and your small business phone system

How Do Toll Free Numbers Help Productivity?

The last, and certainly not least, method for boosting productivity does not require your small business to take out a substantial loan. You can upgrade your communication system by simply acquiring toll free numbers. The catch numbers allow your small business to separate communication functions. You can devote a couple of lines to customer service and add lines for special promotions.

Higher productivity also comes from spending more time with your customers, which means paying less attention to high-tech electronic gadgets. Maybe celebrating National Productivity Day means putting away the mobile devices, such as Smartphones and tablets, which are otherwise considered distracting to you, and focus solely on customer interaction. However you choose to celebrate or spend National Productivity Day doing, set realistic goals (goals within reach), and make them happen. And, remember, productivity is contagious.

 

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Uncategorized |
June 19th, 2014

Small Business, Entrepreneur, Marketing, Advertising, Online Marketing, Toll Free Numbers, Toll Free Vanity NumbersWould you be surprised if a fellow small business owner or entrepreneur said they didn’t have a website? Most people would. To own and operate a small business today without a website is just unheard of, not to mention entrepreneurial suicide. Why would an entrepreneur opt to not have a small business website? And why is having an online presence today so important?

According to survey published in 2013, 55% of small businesses still don’t have a website. If you were to ask said entrepreneur why they don’t have a website, the most common reasons, excuses, or misconceptions include: “I don’t have time”, “It’s too expensive”, “I’m not tech savvy enough,” or “The industry I’m in doesn’t really require me to have one.” The facts are in: ALL of these are untrue. Further to the point, it is actually even more risky to operate a small business today without a website or any smidge of online presence than it is to take a small amount of time and resources to set one up.

While the technical aspect is certainly can be overwhelming for some, particularly those entrepreneurs and small business owners who are more experienced and have been in the game for awhile, some entrepreneurs are intrigued by the thought of having a robust website to boost their business, however, some may not want to boost their business, in fear of business explosion and not being able to keep up. The fear of not being able to keep up with a booming business is more of a fear than learning technology.

Regardless of the fears, having a small business website and an online presence is very important for any business’s success and survival in this highly competitive world. With a little business planning and management, any fear can be reassured. Whether it’s hiring a little help to get a website off the ground (it will not be as expensive as you think), or even allocating and leveraging more resources to be ready for the boost in business, having a small business website and online presence will only help rather than hurt any business.

For those small businesses who do not have a small business website but use a telephone line, or even a toll free number, for incoming client queries and business, did you know you could also tie in your toll free number spelling into your web domain name? This is a highly effective tactic key to any online marketing strategy. With a toll free number tied to your new small business website, not only will this surely boost business. It will also decrease your call volume, but not your overall business. Routing customers to your website will be easier and quicker for them rather than having to wait on hold.

Having a website and an online presence makes a small business appear more established, and even serves as an interactive tool for customers. Tie your toll free number into your new web domain today for the ultimate biz boost.

 

 

© BartPhoto - Fotolia.com

Toll Free Benefits |
June 17th, 2014

Small Business, Entrepreneur, Dynamic Phone Tracking, Toll Free NumbersMost small business owners keep close tabs on their website traffic to ensure efficiency, the level of engagement and effectiveness, and to monitor overall return on investment. Most small business owners and entrepreneurs use tools such as Google analytics to closely monitor the number of clicks PPC and banner ads generate. However, the marketing strategy landscape is shifting again to focus on big data. Now small businesses can track the overall effectiveness and reach of their marketing campaigns by using dynamic phone tracking.

What is Dynamic Phone Tracking?

Dynamic phone tracking operates as an Internet-based service that provides small business owners with access to data that proves where their phone calls originate. This marketing tactic uses toll free numbers to track ads and the call volume that comes from each ad. All it takes is tying a toll free number to a particular ad (and set up several different toll free numbers on several different ads) and learn which ads generate the most calls. This way small business owners and entrepreneurs can now better gauge where to focus their marketing efforts and where they will likely see the most conversions.

How Does it Work?

Visitors of your website come from a number of online sources that include Google search, Bing search, PPC ads, and banner ads. The number visitors see on your website differs from the number they see on a PPC. By using a small piece of Javascript code in your small business website header, DNI automatically places a unique toll free number on your small business website for customers to access. The number depends on how the visitors found your website.

Multiple Numbers, Triple the Conversions

Small business owners and entrepreneurs can really take advantage of dynamic phone tracking by setting up multiple ads with multiple toll free numbers, and really boost conversions. How do business owners keep track of this data? When setting up dynamic phone tracking, each small business owner and entrepreneur is given access to online software that allows each user to pull reports, call logs, and other relevant data from each toll free number and ad.

As mentioned above, most small business owners and entrepreneurs currently use Google Analytics to track website visitors, traffic, bounce rates, target area, and a number of other data sources. However, dynamic phone tracking takes it one step further and does what Google Analytics can’t do. By incorporating the use of toll free numbers, dynamic phone tracking is cleaner and clearer cut, focused, and tailored marketing approach that closely ties businesses in to their target areas and get more bang for their marketing buck.

 

 

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Uncategorized |
June 12th, 2014

Toll Free Numbers, Vanity Toll Free Numbers, Small BusinessAttracting potential customers to convert into lifelong, loyal customers represents the cornerstone of successful small business marketing plans. However, the methods employed to attract new customers vary from Internet marketing that leverages content on a small business website to promoting small businesses via social media, such as YouTube videos.

What if we told you that toll free numbers do a better job of converting potential customers into buyers, at a fraction of the cost for other types of marketing strategies?

Think about how long many calls your small business gets each day. Maybe your call volume is less than what you would like to hear. You cannot convert potential customers who do not call your small business. Your small business needs to acquire toll free vanity numbers that include a catchy phrase that stick inside the heads of potential customers. However, customer recognition is not the only one reason why your conversion rates should soar, after you change over to toll free vanity numbers.

Credibility and Comfort

What are the two primary factors that motivate potential customers to make a purchase? Potential customers want to frequent small businesses that have established the level of credibility that builds trust. Toll free numbers build credibility, especially online where potential customers gather information to assess the credibility of competing small businesses.

After establishing credibility, small business owners and entrepreneurs then build customer trust. Consumers tend to trust small businesses that provide easy communication access. They want to pick up the phone and dial a number that rolls off the tip of their tongues. Well-thought out toll free vanity numbers produce a much more favorable image for your small business than a string of numbers that most consumers forget.

The Numbers Don't Lie

Small business owners are looking for BIG data. Today’s business world is all about strategic planning. They make a living walking the fine line between the red and black, so numbers play a huge role in their small business operations. How do toll free numbers boost conversions? How do they increase call back rates? And how do they affect the bottom line? Several studies demonstrate that small businesses who use toll free vanity numbers enjoy increased response rates as much as between 12 and 42 percent, which leads to more potential customers converting into regular customers.

Perhaps your small business is just scraping by to pay the bills, or maybe you’ve seen a small decline in business and you are starting to feel a little nervous, or maybe you just want to boost small business growth, regardless of your goals, the tried and true immediate way to accomplish all them is a toll free number. Brainstorm a good number that can easily be tied in and associated with your small business and brand, post it and advertise it, and wait for the calls to come in.

 

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Toll Free Benefits |
June 10th, 2014

Toll Free Vanity Numbers, Vanity Numbers, Branding, Small Business, Entrepreneur, Toll Free NumbersIt's the beginning of the month and the time has come to see how much your small business brought in for the previous month. The numbers look okay, just enough to pay the bills and maybe defray some start up debt. You blankly stare at the wall wondering how you can increase sales and turn a higher profit. Find more revenue generation in toll free vanity numbers for your small business.

A Toll Free Boost

Acquiring one or more toll free numbers gives your business instant prestige. Instead of stringing together a bunch of numbers, you can create toll free vanity numbers such as 1-800-FLORIST or 1-800-POOLCUE to enhance your brand’s reputation. Think about the amount of toll free number marketing conducted over the past decade and the bright light bulb inside of your head should illuminate the benefits of acquiring toll free vanity numbers.

Increased Customer Awareness

What is the outcome of successful branding? The answer is enhanced awareness by not only your loyal customers, but also the all-important potential customers who now identify your business with catchy toll free vanity numbers. Increased customer awareness represents a benefit that creates more word-of-mouth advertising and online recommendations because you have created toll free numbers that instantly come to mind and roll off the tongue. Your customers want you to be more accessible and toll free numbers make it easy for them to connect with you and your high-quality team. They feel comfortable because all they have to do is pick up the phone and dial one of your toll free numbers.

Build Your Brand

Branding your small business becomes easy when you decide to acquire toll free vanity numbers. A memorable number makes your business appear more established. Industry toll free numbers enhance the effectiveness of online marketing, since potential customers consider toll free numbers to provide businesses with credibility. Your branding efforts snowball into an online marketing machine, as customers associate your business with a catch toll free vanity number. Although customer service and superior products go a long way to build business brands, toll free numbers have emerged as inexpensive ways to boost your small business brand.

Leverage Your Branding Campaign

Boosting your business brand is a business-planning tactic that involves more than creating catchy toll free vanity numbers for your main phone line. You can devote several numbers for special events and promotions that include prize giveaways and fun contests, and even tie in your online marketing and social media strategy to appeal to your audience and gain even more recognition. Many small businesses devote toll free numbers to handling customer complaints. Customers receive the focused attention of friendly customer service representatives and their complaints are resolved in a timely manner. Only your imagination can prevent you from successfully branding your business via toll free vanity numbers.

Your Success Story

Toll free numbers still give small businesses the competitive edge needed to stand out. This is just one way toll free numbers can help businesses boost their brand. Every small business has a success story. What’s yours?

 

 

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Toll Free Benefits, Vanity and Branding |
June 6th, 2014

Toll Free Numbers, Toll Free Benefits, Vanity Toll Free, Entrepreneur, Small BusinessWe talked in a blog published recently about the changes in the content marketing landscape and what that means for small businesses and entrepreneurs…other than frustration. One of the key turning points and shifts in the content marketing world is establishing and maintaining trust among customers. Communication is so important and this facet is only going to increase as the year progresses. So what is one of the tried and true ways to establish, maintain, and establish trust through effective lines of communication? Toll free numbers.

What Are the Benefits?

Toll free vanity numbers provide small businesses and entrepreneurs with many benefits: flexibility, brand recognition, increase conversion rates, open communication, and even a huge return on investment. Toll free vanity numbers also give customers a reliable and easy way to reach you at all times. This is the part that enhances trust, and establishes a solid reputation and image that helps you stand apart from your competitors.

Gather Perspective

Before any small business or entrepreneur can really (and we mean REALLY) market to their customers, is to learn them. What are they needs? What are they wants? What are their buyer personas? This piece is gold. Once small businesses and entrepreneurs gather this data and tie it into their marketing strategy, the rest is much easier. Before you can take on a vanity number and advertise it properly, you first need to figure out how you are going to solve your customers’ problems. What solutions can you offer them when they call you? Gather your customer’s perspective first, then think vanity.

Toll Free Numbers Put the “T” in “Trust”

What do toll free numbers have to do with trust? Simple. In any type of relationship, trust must be earned. Whether it’s personal, professional, or romantic, trust must be earned for a long-term committed relationship. The same goes for customers and small businesses. If customers have a reliable method to contact you and ask you their questions related to products and services, or voice their concerns and feel like they are being heard, this establishes trust over time. Then, those customers will refer you to their friends, family, and colleagues…people they trust. So now you have not only expanded your client base via word-of-mouth marketing, but by instilling trust in one initial customer, you’ve broadened your base to another four customers.

The other key element here to seal the deal in communication with your customers is to be able to offer them a vanity number tied with your brand (as well as your web domain) that is easy for them to remember, and pass along to their family and friends. You’d be surprised how easy this is for customers to do, as well as how effective and easy this can be tied into your marketing strategy. This is just one reason why toll free numbers equal much higher conversion rates. The number of leads generated from advertising a vanity toll free number can easily increase your overall call volume and convert those leads into customers.

 

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Toll Free Benefits, Vanity and Branding |
June 5th, 2014

Toll Free Numbers, Vanity Toll Free, Toll Free Number Benefits, Small Business, EntrepreneursEntrepreneurs and small business owners understand how toll free numbers increase customer counts by establishing a brand presence in the community. They learn about the benefits and enhanced services that augment the value of utilizing a toll free vanity number to handle special promotions, customer service queries, and generate small business growth.

When it comes down to deciding on a toll free vanity number, many small business owners still have questions about how it all works. Here are five FAQs about toll free numbers that small business owners are dying to know.

How Do the Minutes Work?

Every small business owner receives 100 minutes per month for each account created. The minutes automatically reset at the first of each month and do not roll over to accumulate the following month. You are notified whenever your small business toll free vanity number account approaches the 100-minute mark. All incoming toll free vanity number calls count towards the 100-minute allocation and you monitor your usage by accessing the free online account manager tool.

Can I Use More Than Seven Digits?

The longer word does not require customers to type every digit. For example, if a customer types in the first seven digits in CUSTOMIZE to contact Custom Toll Free, the toll free vanity number begins to ring on our end. Extra letters in long toll free numbers represent trailing digits and only enhance customer recognition of your small business.

What Does "Just My Area" Mean?

Once you select toll free numbers for your small business, you then must select your service area. Your service area comprises of the area codes from which you receive toll free vanity number calls. Nationwide service means you receive your number throughout the continental United States. You can also choose "Just My Area," which requires you select the area codes that allow customers to access your toll free vanity number.

Do I Own My Toll Free Vanity Number?

When small businesses participate in a shared use platform, they agree to share toll free numbers with other customers. You sign a licensing agreement that declares you do not have exclusive rights to the number. The licensing agreement ensures every user of the toll free vanity number can access the number any time. Portable numbers are also available and allow small business owners and entrepreneurs to move numbers to other carriers.

How Do I Cancel?

We value each of our customers, but we understand the business climate changes and that means you may have to cancel your toll free vanity number. If that is the case, you can send an email to Custom Toll Free’s internal support team to cancel your toll free number service. You have to cancel by the 15th of the month in order to avoid incurring charges for the subsequent month. Toll free number customers receive a confirmation email that verifies the cancellation date.

Toll free numbers really come with a number of benefits for small businesses: they are easy to use, manage, and take along with busy entrepreneurs who are always on-the-go. They are also affordable and have an extremely high return on investment rate. Toll free numbers are no doubt the missing key to a successful marketing strategy a successful small business growth.

 

Toll Free Benefits |
 
 
What is a Shared Number?
What is a Shared Number?
 
 
Why Vanities Work Why Vanities Work
 

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