Whether you just launched your first startup, or you are running an enterprise-level company, your business needs a phone number for prospects and customers to contact you. But if you have started looking for a phone number for your business, you've probably noticed that there are many different types from which to choose.
The options for virtual numbers can seem overwhelming: toll free numbers, local phone numbers, UIFN phone numbers, and even vanity numbers. So, which type of number is right for your business? Let's find out.
International Toll Free Numbers
International toll free numbers allow customers to contact businesses at no charge. The owner of the toll free number (the business) pays a nominal monthly fee and modest per-minute charges for minutes used.
Toll free numbers are available from countries around the world; customers in a specific country recognize them as free to call, and are often more likely to contact a business that advertises one.
Are International Toll Free Numbers Right for Your Business?
Businesses with customers in multiple countries often benefit from international toll free numbers. For example: a business in India may have customers in the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States. The business would advertise UK, Germany, and US toll free numbers to these regions (respectively), allowing those customers to contact the business free of charge.
Local (DID) Phone Numbers
Also known as Direct Inward Dialing (DID) numbers, local phone numbers are specific to a local city or region. These numbers can provide your business with the appearance of an in-country or local office without the expense of opening a new branch or hiring local employees.
Local phone numbers are not free to call; however, they cost customers no more than a local call.
Are Local Phone Numbers Right for Your Business?
Local phone numbers are a valuable asset for businesses that want to establish a local presence in various geographies without opening a new location. Local phone numbers can also be used in countries for which a toll free number is not available.
Universal International Freephone Numbers (UIFN)
UIFN numbers are virtual numbers that can be dialed from multiple countries. This is different from an international toll free phone number, which is country-specific. Businesses that serve customers in multiple countries but only want to use one phone number often choose freephone numbers. Just like normal toll free numbers, UIFN numbers are free to call for your customers.
Are UIFN Numbers Right for Your Business?
Although UIFN numbers might seem like an ideal option, they come with more restrictions than ITFS or local phone numbers. They require a registration fee, and must be registered in a minimum of two countries. They can also take up to 180 days to provision and set up.
Contact your provider to find out if a UIFN number is a good choice for your business.
Learn More About Virtual Numbers
Looking for more information on virtual phone number options for your business? Talk to an AVOXI VoIP specialist or explore the articles below: