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Right now I have a local phone#. I'm just wondering, would adding a toll free # increase trust and therefore conversions? or would it just lead to more phone calls?
We took the TFN off of our site for a day and our overall site conversion plummeted by 60%.
Talk about a bunch of people running around screaming, "PUT IT BACK! PUT IT BACK!" :)
It gives users a sense that you're a real company. They don't necessarily use the phone number - they just like to see it there.
You can get 800 prefix #s if you insist on it as a condition to signing up with a carrier.
800 is like dot com. 866 is about as good as a dot biz url. Great the real thing.
I get calls on my toll free by mistake. Some insurance company has a similar number to mine and I get at least 2-3 calls a week meant to be for that company. Not much, but if it's close to some huge company's tech support number - then you are in trouble.
One of our 800#s is similar to the collection number used by a huge bank. We get calls for them, about 3-8 a week. Annoying, and we have to pay for them. But each costs about 6 cents. No big deal.
Note that you don't get just one toll free number. I think they always provide a minimum of five. We only use one of the five we have. But calls can arrive on any of them. You will get some wrong numbers.
During the stock bubble of the 90s many firms acquired far more toll free numbers than they needed. They're easier to get now.
We're a brick//mortar retailer. I was mostly asking store clerks not techies. If you lump the three together many will realize they're toll free. But if you just ask "where is area code 866?", many will think its geographic.
Heck, 866 has only been used for a few years. 855 is next, I think. Everyone still refers to all of them as "800 numbers."
When you get a toll free number, some companies will allow you to ask who owned a number previously before you decide to take it. Particularly with 800 numbers, this can be a problem if you are receiving many calls (which cost you money). One company was receiving so many of these calls, they had to switch their number - turned out it was formerly a biz to speak to someone in the adult profession, "absolutely free" ;)
Do you think that adding a toll free number to the site and placing it in a prominent space on each page will increase sales? Does anyone have stats to show that introducing a toll free number increases sales?
"Another stat: About 100% of the top commerce sites have a toll free number!"
By top commerce sites, I mean one that actually makes a consistant profit. :)
But you are right. I looked all over Amazon and found no phone #, not even on the page where they have $5,000 Segway scooters for sale.
Any other major sites without phone numbers? Interesting topic to me. Especially looking for sites selling higher priced products.
I thought I had found one large, well-known site without a toll free number, but then discovered it. I have yet to see a big player in my section of the market that doesn't have one. This is indeed, interesting. Even some of the smaller stores have one.
Better get on to BT again!
Quarterly Fee: £90.50
Call Charge (Per Minute): £0.45
Not too bad really considering. The only thing is BT are sooooo slow in getting things like this set up, agents say they'll ring back, but they haven't a clue what they're at and never call back :(
As I recall, we pay 6.4 cents per minute. There is a $25 minimum on our plan but we always go well over it. Whole setup process took a few days when we did it several years ago. We use Sprint. We used them for our brick/mortar stores so we may get some discounts.
What about a professional B2B site? ...seeing an 800 number makes you think "MegaCorp, long hold, sales rep"
No way! Local number tells me that I have to pay for the call and this business might be a local mom and pop type.
I suppose it depends on what kind of business you are. Smaller operations may appealing for some B2C. B2B customers think, "Hey, big company, they're well established." Less risk!
It seems like it shouldn't be a big deal - but it really can be.
Even though rates have come way down, a lot of people are still trained not to pick up the phone to make a long distance call. Old habits die hard.
Also, there may be company policies in place against LD calls - even for business purposes.
Another factor keeping LD calls to a minimum: a lot of companies have "account codes" set up on their outgoing LD service. This means employees have to punch in an accounting code before they can make an LD call. Those types of codes are put in place to make it easier to account for expenses - but it can stop some people from making LD calls.
And there's also that legitimacy thing that we touched on earlier in this thread. Consumers (both business and non-business) see your company as having "gone the extra mile" in providing a toll-free number on the site. In the U.S., we're trained to know that a "1-800" number means it's for a business. So we associate (appropriately or not) that someone who has one of those numbers is a "more" legitimate business than someone who doesn't. And that may be all that it takes to get their business - or lose it.