In a fast-paced environment, small businesses need to “move with the times” to remain competitive. One initiative to gain a competitive edge over other small businesses or to level the competition against larger enterprises is to use an 800 number. Doing so suggests company credibility and capability especially when serving an international customer base. While there are several providers available, selecting the right one presents a challenge if you are not familiar with the options available. AVOXI takes a look at your options and compares two top providers with AVOXI’s 800 number services.
Are You a Small Business Serving an International Market?
In the United States, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) uses size standards and average annual receipts as metrics. And, depending on your industry, those metrics change. Typical small businesses in the international market space range from 20 to 250 employees. Some have a single connection to another country; others connect to multiple countries.
For example, an online retailer based in France can operate globally with 20 employees. A toll free 800 number enables customers to call free of charge from the US/Canada market. It sets up easy access to the customer service line when using call forwarding features.
800 numbers are available for multiple sources including traditional carriers. Pricing and rates from VoIP providers compare more favorably and offers a small business an affordable phone set up while projecting a professional image. In addition, many providers offer attractive capabilities such as vanity numbers, fax-to-phone, voice answering system, time-of-day routing, and more.
Comparing 800 Number Providers for Small Businesses
US 800 numbers are toll free numbers that begin with 800, 888, 877, 866, 855 or 844, with all six prefixes costing the same. Other countries offer 800 toll free numbers as well, including: Australia, Singapore, Ecuador, India, and more. In general, when you set up an 800 number, your business pays for the call charges while your customers call you at no cost to them.
When shopping for an 800 number you quickly find that there is an abundance of providers. To simplify comparisons, we are using VoIP providers as the pricing overall is more favorable—especially for small businesses.
TollFreeFowarding.com is a longstanding international telecommunication provider that services business of all sizes with 800 numbers and offers plans targeted to small business.
The Starter plans offer a “Pay As You Go” option for $9 per month and $0.046 per minute rates when calls forward to SIP or VoIP. Using our example of an online retailer based in France, the per minute rate goes up to $0.059 when forwarding to a landline.
A Starter plan with 400 minutes comes at a cost of $14 per month with rates of $0.041 per minute for overage when forwarding to SIP/VoIP. When ringing to a France landline, minutes decrease to 250 with a $0.054 per minute rate for overage.
All TollFreeForwarding.com 800 numbers come with standard features, which include:
- Call Forwarding
- Simultaneous Ringing
- Time/Day Routing
- Customizable Voice Menu (IVR)
- Voicemail to Email
- Fax to Email
- Real-Time Call Reporting
Additional features like “Call Recording” are available for an additional fee.
RingCentral, Inc. an established telecommunication provider offering cloud communications solutions to businesses around the world. RingCentral offers 800 number packages specifically designed for the smaller business. Using our same scenario of an online retailer based in France. Let’s take a look at RingCentral’s small business packages for toll free numbers.
The Essentials package includes 100 toll free minutes for $29.99 per month, per user.
For calls forwarding to a France number, international rates apply per minute.
RingCentral’s Standard plans include a wide range of features, although the more advanced features are only available on the Premium or Ultimate plans. Standard features include:
- High-definition (HD) voice
- Visual voicemail and voicemail-to-email
- Automatic call recording
- Glip for team collaboration
- Missed-call notifications
- Internet fax
AVOXI is a leading cloud communications, business VoIP service, and contact center software provider, delivering next-generation solutions to thousands of business around the globe. AVOXI offers a variety of 800 number packages to suit your specific needs. Using the same scenario of the France-based online retailer, let’s take a look at plans favorable for a small business.
When forwarding calls to SIP/VoIP, the Business Classic plan is a pay-as-you-go option for $4.49 per month and $0.041 per minute usage rates. The Business Basic plan offers 400 minutes at $7.99 per month with $0.037 per minute rates for overage. If forwarding to a France landline, the Classic minute rate is $0.059. The Business Basic minutes change to 269 included with $0.055 per minute rate for overage.
All 800 number packages from AVOXI come with 40+ VoIP business features, including:
- Time of Day Routing
- Call Recording (2 weeks)
- IVR / Auto Attendant
- Call Groups / Call Handling
- Find Me/Follow Me
- Voicemail to Email
- Fax to Email
- Call Barring
- Call Screening
- Dial-by-Name Directory
- Custom Caller ID
- User Portal / Online Mobile Interface
Additional features like hosted call recording are available in select packages or with a custom quote.
Which 800 Number Provider Is Right for Your Small Business?
Before choosing a provider, it's important to identify your businesses current and future needs. With so many providers in the market, it is wise to select an established provider, specializing in the telecommunication industry. Choosing a reputable company provides stability and assures you of reputable customer service.
While comparing providers, it is important to remember that cheaper is not always better. To ensure you get the best option for your business, you need to look at the overall package based on your specific requirement. The goal is to find a provider that offers a balance between price, features, and service.
Want more information? Talk to a VoIP Specialist about your particular business requirements or visit our online shopping cart.