In today’s mobile world, where it seems like everyone has a cell phone and can call long distance without paying extra, you may be wondering why 800 numbers still exist – after all, they are only useful for landlines and no one has those! Well, this perceived reality where landlines are totally gone, is just not the case. According to a Center of Disease Control (CDC) survey, nearly half of all Americans still have a landline, 41% of Americans maintain landlines (Source: CDC). What's more, the CDC also reports that 29% of 24-34 year-olds use a landline to keep in touch (in combination with a cell), and 15% of people living with non-family members still have landlines as well.
So, why are landlines still around? Back-up, yes, but there are various other reasons too -- for example, some people may be in areas that don't have proper cell reception or broadband access. Another example is that of senior citizens for whom it may be simpler to use the technology with which they are familiar. Businesses, particularly those that cater to people who are reliant on landlines, may want to consider 800 numbers or other toll free numbers to ensure that customers are comfortable calling.
Not only do 800 numbers (and other toll free numbers) offer a guaranteed-to-be-free form of communication for your customers, but they provide other perks as well, such as:
- Give customers a widely available, easy to use means of contacting the company
- Remove insecurities about a business by evoking a sense of trust and the feeling of a large company regardless of business size
- Expand business reach with one toll free number that's a fraction of the cost of adding local phone numbers in many geographic regions
- Provide memorable contact number for promotional campaigns, making it easier for your customers to get in touch and respond to offers
- Seamlessly support your customers by routing your toll free number directly to your support staff
- With virtual phone systems, 800 numbers are inexpensive to maintain, easy to set up and connect directly with the phone(s) you already have
People still like to make calls to get certain issues resolved. Research from Invoca shows that voice conversations are the most influential yet overlooked interactions in a buyer’s journey -- for instance, 75 percent of consumers say a phone call is the quickest way to get a response from a company. By emphasizing the call channel, your business is likely to come out ahead.