Using UK toll free numbers to Build Your Brand

Using UK toll free numbers to Build Your Brand



Many successful businesses define their brand by a vanity UK toll free number, such as 1800FLOWERS1800DENTIST, and 1800CONTACTS.

While vanity UK toll free numbers of that caliber are hard to come by, there are still ways that your small business can get more out of an UK toll free number when it comes to making a name for yourself. Today I outline three straightforward steps to leading with UK toll free numbers and building your brand.

Step 1: Get a Good Great Vanity Number

This is the hardest part of this process. The key here is to find a vanity UK toll free number about which you can get really excited. You want brain stickiness. When customers see your vanity number, it’s going to set up camp in the back of their mind. When they have need a for your type of business in the future, they’re going to remember you first and not your competitors.

Certain vanity spellings can be very hard to find or simply aren’t available any more, and the national database doesn’t allow for searches on the “800″ prefix any longer. This makes it easy to settle on the first result you find or give up if you can’t quickly find something you like. Instead, get creative and brainstorm alternative ways that a vanity spelling can describe your business. Shorten up your vanity words – go for something that is only 4 or 5 letters, and then find a match that has a couple repeating digits leading into it (e.g. 8**-555-BIKE for a bicycle repair shop).

Alternatively, go for something that’s easy to memorize by way of repeating digits or ease of dialing. Remember 1-800-CALL-ATT? Dial down the middle! All of the vanity digits were located in the center of the dialing pad to make it easy to remember. Our own number is another example, 1-800-477-1477. Strong repeating digits, and all of the digits after 1-800 are dialed down the left side of a phone keypad.

So go ahead, start searching. I’ll wait. If you’re already a FreedomVoice customer, call us at 800-477-1477 ext. 2 and we can help you search and add numbers to your account.

Step 2: Put Your UK toll free number Everywhere

Start with the obvious places – get your new vanity UK toll free number up on your website, on your business cards, and on your direct response advertisements. Then go further. Do you participate in social media like Twitter, Facebook, or putting videos up on YouTube? Get your UK toll free number onto these channels, both in your account profiles and in your outward communication.

Move to more niche spaces. Do you get new business through Yelp or Google Local? Make sure your UK toll free number is updated there. Add it to the end of your email signatures for yourself and any employees. Does your business have a street-facing sign or window? Delivery or service trucks? Yep, there too. Any possible place your business can be seen, whether online, billboard, radio, tv, or print, include your UK toll free number. Make it an integral part of your brand, as necessary as even the name of your business or your website.

Step 3: Provide an Amazing Caller Experience

Finding a great number may be the hardest part of this process, but the award for most important goes to making your vanity UK toll free number something your existing and potential customers enjoy calling. It doesn’t matter how attractive and memorable your number is if you’re frustrating those who do call with an unhelpful auto attendant, long hold times, rude representatives, or voicemails that don’t get returned.

Consider having your auto attendant professionally scripted and recorded. Keep your call forwarding and call queue hold times manageable. Record calls to your customer support or other departments and review them online to make sure you’re providing only the best and most helpful service. And use features like voicemail-to-text to quickly follow-up on any missed calls.

You want to enlist your customers in your advertising army. You want them to spread positive reviews of your brand and drive people to your UK toll free number by word-of-mouth. The only way that’s going to happen is if you provide them with a happy experience when they contact you.

Have any ideas / experience with UK toll free numbers and branding? Comment below!


5 Reasons Your Home-Based Business Needs an 800 Number

5 Reasons Your Home-Based Business Needs an 800 Number

Running a business out of your home is no simple task. If you’re to have any success as a home-based entrepreneur, you must first learn to manage your time, balance your home and work lives, and maintain some semblance of health and hygiene.

But beyond your napping “sleeping” habits and your personal preference to shower/shave/get dressed, the technology you deploy also plays a big role in whether your operation gets off the ground. Here are five of the top reasons you should consider using an 800 number virtual phone system for your home-based business, instead of just relying on your personal home or cell phone numbers…

1. Look & Sound Professional

Giving potential clients and customers your home or cell phone number is the easiest way to betray the size of your home-based business. Even if you’re borderline superhero when it comes to your entrepreneurial powers, you’re still going to lose opportunities if companies are afraid you don’t have the resources to take care of their needs.

An 800 number gets your foot in the door. With a professional-sounding auto attendant, voicemail service, and call forwarding to your home or cell phone, you get a professional image that reduces customer anxiety while still fitting your lifestyle. It’s not about tricking your customers — it’s about making a good first impression to earn the opportunity to show off what you can really do.

2. Nationwide Reach

Many entrepreneurs that work from home reach a nationwide audience via the Internet. To get anywhere with this kind of online business, you need to appear accessible. If you are advertising your contact phone number as a local number in Florida, you might have a tough time convincing customers in California that you’re the right business to take care of their needs. The problem is more than the customer having to dial long distance. If you seem far away, your potential customers might not feel secure giving you their business. Since 800 numbers are non-geographic, they immediately alleviate this problem and give you the appeal of a nationwide, fully-accessible business.

3. Maintain Your Privacy, Sanity

Just because you work out of your home, doesn’t mean you need to turn your personal life inside out and give up your private information to everyone with whom you do business. Having an 800 number that forwards to your other phone lines lets you keep your business life separate by maintaining the privacy of your home phone and cell phone numbers. Best of all, you can avoid 24/7 burnout by setting your 800 number call forwarding hours and days to draw a line as to when you’re “in the office” to take calls and when you need to be done for the day.

4. Prevent Missed Opportunities

As I mentioned before, one of the challenges of working from home is managing your professional and personal lives. On a micro scale, this can mean little interruptions in the middle of the day, like needing to leave home to pick up children from school or running time-sensitive errands. If you can’t avoid these tasks, you need to at least mitigate their impact on running your business.

With an 800 number, you get two quick benefits that keep you connected on the go. The first is Follow-Me-Live call forwarding that can track you down at multiple phone numbers to make a connection, such as your home office, cell phone, or personal home phone numbers. And if a missed call does reach your voicemail, it’s not the end of the world. With voicemail-to-email, your messages are delivered as audio file attachments to your email address, and you can even be alerted of these messages via text message. This gives you the ability to quickly return missed calls before they turn into missed opportunities.

5. Online Management Tools

Virtual phone systems are all about efficiency, getting more done with fewer resources and in less time. To keep you ahead of the curve, FreedomVoice 800 numbers are kept easy-to-manage with the WebLink Internet Control Panel. This secure, online back-office gives you total access to check your messages, change your settings, update your account information, run reports, and much more — from anywhere you have Internet access! With intuitive controls, you’re in control of your virtual phone system 24/7.

What are you waiting for? Get an 800 number for your home business today!

Toll Free Number Tricks: Custom Hold Music

Toll Free Number Tricks: Custom Hold Music

Local and toll free numbers are all about flexibility – it’s one of the many things that set someone apart from the competition. Instead of a one-size-fits-some solution, we offer a wide array of features, and the availability of open-ended system customization so that you can have your service fit your needs.

One of the more popular and creative areas that our customers like to change is their system’s hold music. Today I’m going to cover two available hold music options and how each can help your business.

Random Hold Music

The Random Hold Music feature is exactly what it may sound like – a random shuffle of several professional, studio-recorded hold music songs falling into one of four genres of your choice: Jazz, Easy Listening, Rock, or House. Each new caller will hear a different song in the same genre you’ve set, and callers on hold for an extended period will rotate through multiple songs instead of listening to the same song on repeat.

Random Hold Music can be targeted to your audience, setting the tone for the rest of the call. For example, rock music can get your callers excited about buying your product or some smooth jazz can soothe the nerves of frustrated callers on hold with your customer support line. Here, listen to some samples.

Personalized Hold Music

Personalized Hold Music gives you total control over this recording. With this feature, you are free to upload your own recorded music at any time as the hold music on your virtual phone system. This is a great way to make sure your hold music always stays current, changing with the season or otherwise swapping out new music regularly.

Many FreedomVoice customers also use Personalized Hold Music to upload a pre-recorded message in place of actual music. This lets you use this recording as a promotional space, telling your customers about your latest deals or other important information of which they may not be aware – like how to follow you on Twitter or fan you on Facebook!

Cell Phones: A Leading Technology

Cell Phones: A Leading Technology

When did cell phones go from a dependent to a leading technology? Cell phones have always relied on other electronic advancements before they themselves could evolve. Surface mount technology, lithium-ion batteries, and better screens and displays, were all pioneered for other uses than cell phones. Mobiles, therefore, have had to wait on other electronics before they could progress. That’s now changing, since the cell phone is enough of a mass market item that it can drive the innovation vehicle, at least part of the time.

An example are TechnoConcepts’ (external link) new noise cancelling techniques, intended for the cell phone microphone market, but with applications beyond the mobile phone field. This is quite different than just a few years ago. Back then, a patent or press release would stress other uses first, then mention applicability to cellular radio as almost an afterthought. Are other technologies now going to have to wait until cell phones develop? Cameras for mobiles seem to be pioneering developments in folding optics. Can you think of any others areas where cell phones are leading the innovation charge?

The following paragraph is from TechnoConcept’s press release.

“Everyone is fully aware of the difficulty in hearing cell calls clearly when they are in a noisy environment such as a sporting event. These patent-pending inventions are additional technological advancements in the Company’s product portfolio. This cost-effective noise suppression technology can be readily integrated into commercial, industrial and military applications, including all 1.2 billion handsets expected by industry analysts to be sold in 2007. We believe that clear audio is needed by cell phone users and therefore this technology will be in high demand,” said Antonio Turgeon, chairman and CEO of TechnoConcepts.

Earth Day: How Can Telecommuting Help?

Earth Day: How Can Telecommuting Help?

On the eve of the 41st Earth Day, I’m going to invoke the big ‘T’: telecommuting. The benefits of telecommuting have never been more important to the health of the Earth. Each year, more cars hit the roads in long commutes, increasing energy consumption and putting out more and more pollution.

For decades, leaders in the telecommunications industry have pushed for greener solutions, encouraging and empowering business owners to create telework programs with technologies like virtual phone systems and the hosted VoIP PBX.

These technologies increase remote productivity and allow efficient management of remote employees. But even so, the adoption of telework programs is not progressing as rapidly as it should be. Perhaps part of the problem is a failure to realize the full environmental benefit of a nation working from home.

Our good friends at the Telework Research Network released some startling statistics about the impact of telecommuting yesterday, citing, “If every person in the U.S. with a telecommuting-compatible job worked at home on Earth Day, collectively it would:

– Save 900 million vehicle miles
– Save 45 million gallons of gas, $188 million in consumer savings
– Save 2.3 million barrels of oil, valued at $185 million
– Eliminate 423,000 tons of greenhouse gasses, equivalent to taking 77,000 cars off the road for a year
– Save 28 million kWh in net electricity, enough to power 2,600 homes for a year
– Save 775 people from traffic injury and deaths

And that’s just one day! Multiply those figures across an entire year, and you have an amazing potential to reduce commuter consumption and pollution and preserve the planet. The Telework Research Network also states that only 2% of the U.S. workforce telecommutes a majority of the time, though 40% could. So it’s time to start asking: what’s the hold up? Why are people that can telecommute not doing so?

I don’t think it’s because people like rushing out the door, thoroughly enjoy being stuck in traffic, and can’t live without their morning talk radio shows on the drive to work. I believe it’s a matter of culture – we’ve always left home to go to work, so it’s stamped on our brains and in our society that this is how it should be. On top of that, there’s a great deal of management anxiety and technophobia. An employee working out of their home has to be able to be held to the same standard as one in the office, and it is a tough sell to get some business owners to understand that there are tools out there to make that happen.

The decision comes down to business owners and managers. They have to be willing and able to responsibly create a telework program with technologies that allow for efficient management from remote. But getting to that stage is going to take a stronger movement from the office worker. If you could be telecommuting more, why not bring that up with your boss? Explain the benefits, how it can help the company, how you’ll be just as productive, if not moreso, from the comfort of your own home. They may say no, but at least you’ve planted the seed and can nurture it from there.

Let’s make the next decade about finding the answers that will get more people out of the office, of the roads, and working from home to help save the planet. Personal efforts toward conservation start by examining what you do every day, and if you can cross a long commute off your list, you’ll be doing the Earth a great big favor.

Happy Earth Day 2016!

Toll Free 800 Numbers: Instant Professional Image

Toll Free 800 Numbers: Instant Professional Image

Whether you’re just starting a new business or looking to expand your growing business, figuring out how to get a toll free number of your own can be a bit of a mystery. But getting your business set up with a toll free number is easier than you might think, and can help you immediately add to your professional image.

Getting an 800 number isn’t like setting up traditional phone service through your local phone company. Here are a few differences that make it easy to get started with a virtual toll free number.

1. No Equipment to Buy

That’s right – virtual toll free numbers are an equipment-free business phone solution. There’s no expensive call switching equipment that will swallow your budget, since all of the features and functionality are hosted from remote by your toll free number service provider. You get a professional auto attendant, multiple voicemail extensions, and can forward calls to your existing phones without any on-site installation or maintenance.

2. No Software to Install

With FreedomVoice, not only is there no equipment to buy, there’s no confusing software to download and install. Your toll free number service is controlled 100% from remote, and you can change your settings and check your messages at any time online through your secure WebLink interface.

3. Instant Number Activation

The best part of getting a toll free number from FreedomVoice? It’s activated instantly! Choose your own 800 toll free number and it will be ready for you to configure and use as soon as you place your order. We’ll help you walk through setting up your service and in a few quick steps you’ll be good to go!

So what are you waiting for? Choose your own 800 number today!

Note: As an exception to the above, vanity toll free number reservations require 1-3 business days to activate from the SMS/800 National Database.

Is 888 a Toll Free Number?

Is 888 a Toll Free Number?

One of the more common questions we answer here at FreedomVOICE is what prefixes are toll free numbers, and what the differences are between them all. We never tire of the question – it gives us the opportunity to share our expertise and help startups and entrepreneurs that are looking to get the most out of a toll free number and virtual phone system.

In short, yes – 888 is a prefix for toll free numbers. But how does it stack up to an 800 number?

Toll free numbers have been around in the U.S. since 1967, but really didn’t see much business use until much later. Back then, the only available toll free number prefix was the ubiquitous “800 number“, which had nearly 30 years to worm its way into consumer’s minds as being the toll free number prefix. But by 1996, increasing demand and competition for these numbers brought on the unveiling of another prefix – the 888 toll free number. Since then, 877 and 866 have been added, with 855 slated on deck.

So if 800 has been around the longest, and is most easily recognized, why would your business want to consider a toll free number of another prefix? The top two reasons, hands down, are scarcity and freshness.


I’m not going to say that all of the good 800 numbers are taken – there are still a couple gems to found out there for your business with an 800 prefix. I will say, though, that the well is starting to run pretty dry and that your pool of options are much greater if you do decide to go with an 866, 877, or 888 number. With these prefixes, you can easily track down a great toll free number with repeating digits (“2525″), sequential digits (“2345″), or even a vanity toll free number that spells out words that describe your business (e.g. “BIKE” OR “FLOWERS”).

While you might not get the same ease of recognition from your non-800 prefix, you can still wind up with a more attractive number that gets better response and is easier for your audience to remember.


With a given 800 number, being around as long as these numbers have, there’s a good chance it has passed through at least a couple owners in their time before you get your hands on it. Toll free numbers are required to wait in holding for several months before being reissued – but there’s always a chance that the 800 number you get is still floating around out on old marketing materials, websites, and business cards. To truly make a new toll free number your own and to grow that number as part of your company, you might want to consider a more fresh 866, 877, or 888 number.

You won’t get the same level of established presence as you would with 800 numbers, but you may be able to save yourself some headache while keeping a key part of your brand fresh.

To browse 866, 877, 888, or 800 toll free numbers, or to search for your own vanity toll free number, check out what FreedomVOICE has to offer.

Are Toll Free Numbers Portable?

Are Toll Free Numbers Portable?

Toll SymbolYou’ve built your toll free number to be the pulse of your business. It touches every part of your advertising, from your business cards, to your website, radio commercials, billboards, tv spots, and more. It’s your virtual receptionist, your technical support hotline, your sales contact, your voicemail service, and your dedicated fax line. It’s become an integral piece of your growing brand.

But now you want to transfer (or “port”) your toll free number to a new service provider. Can you do that?

The short answer is yes, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) protects toll free numbers and requires that they be portable. This means you can safeguard your valuable 800 number or vanity toll free number by moving it to the service provider of your choice at your discretion. There are, however, a handful of intricacies that can make the process more painful than it needs to be. Here are 5 important steps that can help you avoid common pitfalls and make the transfer of your toll free number as smooth as possible:

1. Make Sure Your New Provider Will Accept Your Transfer
This is one of the biggest blunders in transferring toll free numbers. Before getting started with the transfer process, make sure the new provider you’ve selected allows customers to transfer existing toll free numbers to their service. And while you’re at it, ask how much the transfer costs. A $30 one-time charge is standard. Anything more is unreasonable.

2. Verify Your Information with Your Old Provider
Figure out all of your account information that your old toll free number provider has on file. Get your name, your address, the credit card they have on file (last 4 digits), any passwords – everything they could reasonably ask about your account to verify your identity. Don’t be afraid to ask them to spell things out. You’re going to need this later, and it needs to be bulletproof.

3. Settle Any Outstanding Balance with Your Old Provider
While you’ve got them on the phone asking about your account info, make sure your account with your old provider is in good standing with no unpaid balance due. If your old service provider thinks you’re transferring your number to skip out on your bill, this is one of the few legitimate reasons they can use to prevent you from transferring your toll free number. Don’t give them this excuse – settle up before moving forward.

4. Contact Your New Provider to Start the Transfer
When you’re ready to transfer your toll free number, contact your new service provider – not your old one. Your new provider will generally provide a toll free number transfer form, sometimes called a RespOrg form, which you’ll complete, sign, and fax back. This form grants your new provider permission to transfer your toll free number to a new RespOrg, or the Responsible Organization in charge of maintaining and provisioning your toll free number.

This is where all that account information you collected previously from your old provider will come in handy. Make sure what you’re providing on the RespOrg form matches what your old provider has on file. Once received, your new provider will send this form to your old provider and begin the transfer process. Any mismatch whatsoever between what the form says and the account information they have can lead to your old provider rejecting your request and delaying the transfer of your toll free number.

5. Don’t Cancel Your Old Service Until the Transfer Is Complete
This is critical – your old toll free number service provider only has to honor your transfer request if your account with them is still active and, as mentioned before, in good standing. Even if you’ve only recently cancelled the service, your old provider can reject your toll free number transfer request indefinitely and you run the risk of losing the number permanently. Wait until you have definitive confirmation from your new toll free number service provider that the transfer has been completed, then contact your old provider to terminate your service with them.

Warning: You Can’t Transfer Shared-Use Toll Free Numbers
A “shared-use” toll free number is pretty straightforward – you’re agreeing to share the same toll free number with one or more other unrelated businesses, usually because the number has a rare vanity number spelling or is otherwise easy to remember. Each business gets a different piece of the toll free number, usually broken up by geographical region, but in the end the number belongs to the service provider and is only being leased out in bits and pieces. None of the businesses sharing the toll free number can take it with them if they want to move to a new provider.

In most cases, however, both the scarcity and value of these numbers are exaggerated and you can get your own very attractive vanity toll free number without the ridiculous price tag and headache that comes with sharing such an important part of your business with strangers. For this reason, FreedomVOICE does not offer, and generally discourages businesses from using a shared-use toll free number.