Geographic routing can benefit many types of users. Here I will cover customer facing companies and Vanity Toll-Free Number Brokers.
Geographic routing, also known as toll-free call forwarding, is an enhanced toll-free service that allows companies with call centers or offices in different locations to route calls based on origin – city, state, area code – to the appropriate call center or office.
For example, one company can have a single 1-800 number and route toll-free calls from the Southeast to their Atlanta call center, calls from the Northeast to the New York call center, calls from the Mid West to Chicago, etc.
The routing is based on the location of the originating number. First, the carrier picks up the CLI or ANI (the calling party’s phone number) then checks it against an existing database. The call is then forwarded to the corresponding destination number or IP address that has been pre-programmed into the carrier switch or gateway.
Geographic routing is simply one form of enhanced or intelligent routing.
For Vanity Toll-Free Number Brokers:
Many localized businesses do not need or want a toll-free number that extends beyond their coverage area. And some vanity toll-free numbers have too much value to be locked into just one market.
There are vanity toll-free number brokers who can address the situations described above. These brokers sell the same toll-free number(s) to businesses in different area codes and states. While it can be one toll-free number such as 1-888-JOHN LAW, they can sell and provision that number to say, the law firm of Smith & Wilson for the Atlanta area, then re-sell and provision the same number to Jones and Murray in the Miami, Florida area. Geographic routing makes this possible.
The brokers typically require a carrier that can not only run a database look-up for each area code sold and route toll-free calls to the correct geographic destination, but also be able to subsequently bill on separate sub-accounts. These sub-accounts are used for re-billing to the business customer(s) by the broker.
It’s a win all the way around – for the carrier, the broker and the business customer who is looking for an easy-to-to-remember number but who can only do business locally due to either legal or distance considerations.
Next up – Enhanced Toll-free Routing, Part 2: Time of day Routing