According to a Hubspot report, 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service. Customer service, therefore, is the cornerstone of successful businesses because it makes your brand stand apart in the competitive landscape.
When it comes to achieving excellent customer service, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all. Yet being available to the customers and ensuring effective communication are some essential elements that no business should overlook.
A toll-free number has your organization covered on both fronts, ensuring round-the-clock availability and enabling seamless communication with every single caller.
In the COVID-19 scenario, availability and communication become all the more crucial for businesses because they drive consumer trust. While consolidating trust and staying connected with their customers is vital for all business verticals, it is a tad more critical for a few industries in situations like the COVID-19-crisis.
Before knowing more about the industries that have specifically benefited from toll-free number service during the global crisis, you need to take a deep dive into the service, how it works, and the benefits it provides.
Let us explain in detail.
What is a Toll-Free Number?
Toll-free numbers are phone numbers that do not incur any charges to the caller but to the called party. With this motivation of not having to pay for the call, customers are more likely to interact with your business.
For the caller, the number works just like any other phone number does, but things differ at the recipient’s end. When a caller dials it, the toll-free number provider routes the call to a cloud telephony destination they manage for the business.
Simply speaking, the calls reach the business agents and the charges are incurred by the organization only. Even as things sound simple, there are complex features that make the service far more advanced than you may think. These include:
- Call Forwarding
- Call Routing
- Call Queuing
- Call Transferring
- Call Barging
- Personalized greetings
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
- Caller ID
- CRM Integration
- Vanity Numbers
Clearly, you get a lot more than you expect if you choose to empower your company with this service.
What are the Benefits of Toll-Free Numbers?
Before exploring the crisis-specific benefits of the service, it makes sense to understand the generic benefits it serves to your business.
- Round-the-clock availability- A business that is always available is bound to win customer attention and trust. Callers can dial anytime and get real-time support from an IVR system or a live agent, as the need be.
- Better customer care- With a toll-free number that customers need not spend a penny on, you can show how much customer relationships matter to your business. Further, it shows the intention to go the extra mile with better customer care, which matters all the more during a crisis.
- Enhanced customer retention- Better customer care translates into greater trust and satisfaction, which further boosts retention even during tough times like the pandemic. You need not invest a fortune to make the customers stay. These numbers just do the trick.
- Stronger brand image- Embracing a toll-free number improves the brand’s image without massive investment in high-value branding strategies. A small investment takes your business a long way and presents it as a professional brand that prioritizes customer service.
- Boost employee productivity- As the system routes the calls to the agent best equipped to handle the caller’s concerns, your customer support team ends up being more efficient. Moreover, they have access to caller information, which enables them to perform better.
- Insightful business decisions: A toll-free number system also offers data and analytics capabilities that provide insights like the number of calls received, missed calls, caller locations, and more. These insights come in handy in the decision-making processes. Pandemic or not, toll-free numbers have immense potential for a business to make smarter connections with its customers. Some industries have actually made it big by embracing them through the crisis.
How Industries Leverage Toll-Free Number Services During Crisis?
Although the pandemic has brought many challenges, it can also be considered a period of opportunity. Everything boils down to having the right perspective and taking the right approach. Some businesses have found their savior in toll-free numbers.
As retail businesses had to close down during the crisis, most made the switch to e-commerce. They continued to prioritize online shopping and delivery to bear the brunt of reduced footfall in physical stores. E-commerce companies rely greatly on toll-free numbers to match the growing customer base and demand during the crisis. Since they get thousands of queries related to orders, accounts, payments, and offers, handling them while ensuring caller satisfaction becomes much easier with these numbers in place.
Toll-free numbers have played a significant role in keeping banking operations on track amid the pandemic. Customers who were initially apprehensive about digital transactions were greatly supported by the customer care executives available 24×7. Banks offered dedicated toll-free phone lines to let the callers enquire about their balance, transfer funds, make payments, and get answers to their questions.
With virtual healthcare becoming the need of the hour, this is one industry that relied significantly on toll-free numbers to deliver services and assistance to patients (even those calling just out of the fear of the virus). The lines kept support staff available 24×7 while ensuring that people stayed at home unless they genuinely needed face-to-face checkups and hospital care. Apart from telehealth services, these numbers also played a vital role in mental and emotional support in response to extensive self-isolation and quarantine.
Another vertical that achieved growth with the help of toll-free numbers in India is on-demand services such as taxi services, food delivery businesses, home, and personal care services, medicine delivery services, and more. The entire business model is based on a phone system, and toll-free numbers have been the mainstay of operations for them throughout the crisis.
Needless to say, the government sector has derived extensive benefits from these providers during the COVID-19 era. They have invested in dedicated helplines for the public so that common people could seek guidelines to clear their doubts and apprehensions through the tough times.
Whether it is about the helpline for COVID-19 patients or those seeking information on travel or competitive exams, toll-free numbers have brought every piece of information to their fingertips.