When you commit your business to a specific type of phone number, whether it’s a DID number or a vanity number, you are making a choice that will impact your visibility and accessibility for many years to come.
But how should a company decide what kind of phone number to get? Parts one and two of this blog will discuss the benefits of each number type—so you can decide which one best meets the needs of your business.
In the past, an office needed a physical phone line for each employee who required a private line. Nowadays, however, companies can simply purchase a single T1-PRI circuit with a block of Direct Inward Dialing (DID) numbers, which are virtual numbers that allow companies to route inbound calls to specific phones. Or they can use SIP (Session Initiated Protocol) technology to carry DIDs over their existing internet connection.
In other words, just one physical connection to a carrier via a T1-PRI circuit—or an internet connection using SIP—has the capability of directing tens, to even hundreds, of simultaneous calls to as many employee extensions as needed.
DID numbers are used jointly with an enterprise’s private branch exchange (PBX) system, such as the 3CX system. A DID provider such as TelWare essentially dedicates one or several trunk lines to the customer’s PBX phone system and designates a block of numbers to this line; the PBX system then directs incoming calls to the appropriate extension. As a result, company employees can each have an individual phone number without a physical telephone line for each number.
Callers appreciate DIDs because they can reach the desired extension without having to call a company’s main number and then search through a directory; every employee has a direct number that is easily accessible, thus saving callers time.
In summary, compared to a traditional copper phone line, DIDs are usually:
- less costly
- easily routed to different networked business locations
- capable of handling multiple calls (while traditional lines can only handle one call per line)
- more flexible, thus giving your business a competitive advantage.
Everyone knows the primary benefit of a toll-free number is that your clients won’t have to worry about paying long-distance charges, regardless of where they’re calling from.
However, what you may not have considered is that toll-free numbers aren’t just for large businesses with far-reaching locations. Even small businesses can enhance their professional image by having a toll-free number backed by a reliable hosted PBX, thus creating the impression that you are a major player in the business world.
Luckily, TelWare offers a variety of toll-free numbers, including 800, 888, 877, 866, 855, or 844 numbers. Our toll-free numbers are a simple monthly charge and are added to your hosted monthly bill.
Perhaps the only disadvantage to getting a toll-free number is that in the long term they may become obsolete as more and more businesses turn to SIP (internet-based) technology. However, toll-free numbers certainly aren’t going away any time soon, especially since customers are used to looking for them when they need customer service. So if you want customers out of your own area code, toll-free numbers continue to be essential.
In part two of “What Does a Phone Number Say about Your Business?” we’ll discuss two additional types of numbers—vanity numbers and virtual numbers—as possible options for your company. Stay tuned!
To learn more about what type of number might be best for your business, call TelWare at 1-800-637-3148. TelWare is a national leader in the installation of voice, video, data, and unified communications solutions.