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Time To Dump The Toll Free Number?

 
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Old 08-25-2015, 10:50 AM   #21
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Re: Time To Dump The Toll Free Number?


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Originally Posted by ContractorMstry View Post
It really is a tough call and maybe it is best to survey your past customers to see what they have to say about it. It also depends if you are trying to become a big company. If so, then I would say keep it. Some people are drawn to a big strong company over little ones and some people stay away from big companies to support local guys.

I would survey first and then decide. You could maybe do the best of both worlds. Have the vanity number for easy remembering and have a subhead or tagline with emphasis on the fact that you are a local small business owner and not some giant multi location business.
You mean something like this?
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Old 08-31-2015, 11:22 AM   #22
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Re: Time To Dump The Toll Free Number?


I would use both of them. And use a call forwarder like grasshopper phones.

Advertise your 888 number and under it put your cell with the local number. If you service more then one area code, then purchase another number and have it forward.

So for us we service all of Florida.
I advertise a 1888 number becuase I feel it makes us look like a big company and its looks more professional.

Then under that number I say, call your local technician.
and have those numbers listed. Or your cell, and that will give it the Personal touch.

So now the customer sees several numbers and assumes that it is a very big company so they decide to go with us vs a smaller company for confidence that job will get done etc.

Now each of these numbers is only $5 a month from Grasshopper.
I set up call forwarding so that each number will ring to one central number, my office manager, or it can be to your cell phone.

It works VERY very well for us. Check out my website and you can see all the numbers, but if you call any of them Eric will answer and can then dispatch the call or forward it to whomever may need to answer it.
www.CenturianWildlife.com
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Old 08-31-2015, 04:16 PM   #23
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Re: Time To Dump The Toll Free Number?


I ditch my 1 800 number. the initial reason was to lower all my bills.
I had a 1 800 # that went to an answering service, name and # type deal. my phone would also forward calls to this #.
What I found was I lost touch with my biz. I don't regret ditching it at all besides the google and sales calls.
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:46 AM   #24
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Re: Time To Dump The Toll Free Number?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmangnitz View Post
I would use both of them. And use a call forwarder like grasshopper phones.

Advertise your 888 number and under it put your cell with the local number. If you service more then one area code, then purchase another number and have it forward.

So for us we service all of Florida.
I advertise a 1888 number becuase I feel it makes us look like a big company and its looks more professional.

Then under that number I say, call your local technician.
and have those numbers listed. Or your cell, and that will give it the Personal touch.

So now the customer sees several numbers and assumes that it is a very big company so they decide to go with us vs a smaller company for confidence that job will get done etc.

Now each of these numbers is only $5 a month from Grasshopper.
I set up call forwarding so that each number will ring to one central number, my office manager, or it can be to your cell phone.

It works VERY very well for us. Check out my website and you can see all the numbers, but if you call any of them Eric will answer and can then dispatch the call or forward it to whomever may need to answer it.
www.CenturianWildlife.com

I think having a consistent brand is most important. That means having consistent marketing, including your number. I see too many contractors with too much info on their trucks and advertisements.

Your advertisements, trucks, and pretty all of your marketing is lucky to get 2 seconds of a consumer's attention. In that time you need to be able to tell them how to reach you and what you do. I like the vanity number because it tells people exactly what you do and how to reach you in the same breathe.

Look at the photo I've attached. Which one would you remember? One of them as THREE phone numbers on them, the other a single easy to remember vanity number. People know you are local because your truck is in their market and they have indicated they've been in business for a long time on there.

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Old 09-02-2015, 01:50 AM   #25
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Re: Time To Dump The Toll Free Number?


Quote:
Originally Posted by bradcoopersmith View Post
I think having a consistent brand is most important. That means having consistent marketing, including your number. I see too many contractors with too much info on their trucks and advertisements.

Your advertisements, trucks, and pretty all of your marketing is lucky to get 2 seconds of a consumer's attention. In that time you need to be able to tell them how to reach you and what you do. I like the vanity number because it tells people exactly what you do and how to reach you in the same breathe.

Look at the photo I've attached. Which one would you remember? One of them as THREE phone numbers on them, the other a single easy to remember vanity number. People know you are local because your truck is in their market and they have indicated they've been in business for a long time on there.

In all fairness, the 1 number on the truck is much larger and easier to read, especially on the road. Putting 3 numbers on a truck like that isn't advisable. Advertising on your trucks is more of a branding tool so it makes more sense to have a number that is memorable and in big font.

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Old 09-02-2015, 10:31 AM   #26
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Re: Time To Dump The Toll Free Number?


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Originally Posted by RoofSolutions View Post
In all fairness, the 1 number on the truck is much larger and easier to read, especially on the road. Putting 3 numbers on a truck like that isn't advisable. Advertising on your trucks is more of a branding tool so it makes more sense to have a number that is memorable and in big font.

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Thank you. spoken like someone who understands marketing.
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Old 04-08-2016, 12:44 AM   #27
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Re: Time To Dump The Toll Free Number?


It can be a great idea to show size and confidence in a company however if you're a roofing contractor having a 800 number might come off as a "fly by night" company. If you take that route follow up with providing legitimate reviews and testimonials.

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Old 09-25-2016, 08:00 PM   #28
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Re: Time To Dump The Toll Free Number?


We tested this exact question - local numbers get more calls, customers just feel more comfortable knowing that you're in the neighborhood.
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Old 10-10-2017, 03:03 PM   #29
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Re: Time To Dump The Toll Free Number?


dont regret dumping my 1800 #just another expense.
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Old 10-10-2017, 09:42 PM   #30
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Re: Time To Dump The Toll Free Number?


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Originally Posted by NYgutterguy View Post
Felt like things were getting stale so going through a bit of a makeover. New logo, new site, lettering on my pick up, business cards, and yard signs for this year. Just not sure about my 888 number anymore.

Ive been using a my 888 phone number which is on both my cube vans that run the entire length of the truck for last 15 years. My pickup just has mags on doors with website on tailgate. Both vans are old so not gonna change up whats already on them because my luck ill wrap them and theyll die right after.

I also have a local number for where i live for local advertising and another local number that has been the company number since 1970 in a different county.(yes too many numbers) I personally dont think phone numbers matter anymore.

Part of me always felt like the 888 number might turn some people away cause might appear like im a bigger company when in reality im just a small local guy and thats how i present myself.

Is it time to get rid of the toll free number? Should i just pick one of the local numbers and use it exclusively? Will keep all numbers active but not sure if i want it on any of the new stuff.

The toll free number spells out "NO-SEAM" btw
Get rid of whatever's not working and increase what is working. Simple as that.
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Old 10-10-2017, 10:02 PM   #31
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Re: Time To Dump The Toll Free Number?


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Originally Posted by Dean Craig View Post
Get rid of whatever's not working and increase what is working. Simple as that.


I wouldn't know what was working and what wasn't. Never really paid attention to who was calling on what number. Been two years since stopped using number. Don't miss it def don't need it now. Site gets me enough leads to keep me busy as I want to be


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Old 10-10-2017, 10:12 PM   #32
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Re: Time To Dump The Toll Free Number?


Considering the fact that almost everybody uses cell phones which don't charge you for minutes or long-distance why would you pay for a 1800-number? In my opinion like stated above that's ancient technology/advertising

Unless the number is catchy and easy to remember


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Old 10-11-2017, 05:50 AM   #33
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Re: Time To Dump The Toll Free Number?


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Considering the fact that almost everybody uses cell phones which don't charge you for minutes or long-distance why would you pay for a 1800-number? In my opinion like stated above that's ancient technology/advertising

Unless the number is catchy and easy to remember


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My number is still active though not visible anywhere besides my cube vans. It's 888-8no-seam Got it over 20 years ago.


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Old 10-11-2017, 09:48 AM   #34
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Re: Time To Dump The Toll Free Number?


The amount of work I get by Text message is staggering. I'm a small one-man show so most of my jobs are under $10k. I've never had a landline for personal or business. It's useless IMO. Put your local number up and say call or text.

However if you're number has been out there for decades it may be good to keep it, but strip it down to the cheapest possible plan and forward it to your cell.
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:16 PM   #35
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Re: Time To Dump The Toll Free Number?


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Originally Posted by RMDailey View Post
The amount of work I get by Text message is staggering. I'm a small one-man show so most of my jobs are under $10k. I've never had a landline for personal or business. It's useless IMO. Put your local number up and say call or text.

However if you're number has been out there for decades it may be good to keep it, but strip it down to the cheapest possible plan and forward it to your cell.
Yea man a lot of people prefer to text before they'll call nowadays. Thanks for using my favorite word "staggering" lol
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Old 10-16-2017, 07:22 AM   #36
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Re: Time To Dump The Toll Free Number?


Wow. I am in Florida. 50% of the calls that come in are out of state numbers. Why do you even need an 800 number these days?
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Old 11-19-2017, 12:00 PM   #37
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Re: Time To Dump The Toll Free Number?


if we called from a non-local number everyone just automatically thinks its spam, which 99.9999% of the time it is, so we only use local numbers.
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Old 11-19-2017, 01:06 PM   #38
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Re: Time To Dump The Toll Free Number?


I live in upstate NY and probably half of my business comes with out of state area codes.
Seems that a lot of people move and keep their old numbers now.

I do not dare not answer out of state area codes anymore.
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Old 11-22-2017, 07:49 AM   #39
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Re: Time To Dump The Toll Free Number?


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Originally Posted by bradcoopersmith View Post
Just like your website and the internet have evolved so have toll-free numbers. If you still think someone who sees a toll-free phone number is worried about whose paying for the call or that you are not a local company, then i need to ask if you still drive an el camino, perm your hair or rock a leisure suit? Joking aside that is a dated way of viewing them. Today toll-free numbers mean business and are more popular than ever. They now have 855 and 844, and will be introducing 833 (not that these are good like 800s and 888s but still, if no one is dialing them why do they keep introducing new ones?)

Today toll-free phone numbers convey two main concepts: 1) Customer service and (2) being established/professional. Your local number could be your cell phone. Who wants to give anything but the impression of being a solid and established company with an emphasis on customer service?

Here are some key factors to consider:

1. More people are holding onto their local cell phone numbers.. Last year it was reported that over 60% of people who moved kept their original cell phone number. People are putting less emphasis on local area codes and younger consumers don't view them as the older demographic has in the past. Having a toll-free number is unchanging and people recognize the toll-free prefixes (800, 888) no matter where they are from (even internationally).

2. Too many new area codes are being introduced and that means your local area code is not as significant as it once was. Since 1995 there have been over 241 new area codes introduced. See here: http://www.nationalnanpa.com/enas/npaSince1995Report.do. The FCC plans on releasing another 22 (see here: http://www.nationalnanpa.com/enas/pl...rviceReport.do). They put these new area codes right on top of the old ones creating an overlay. This makes dialing local numbers more confusing but it's the only solution the government can do to keep up with all the new devices requiring phone numbers.

3. Emphasis on a website is not an immediate call to action or a direct response tool. I don't know about you but i want people who see my trucks and ads to react immediately. A phone number, especially a high quality vanity number, gives them something immediate and unforgettable. They can't search your site while they are driving and many will forget it by the time they reach their destination. There are so many website URLs out there that people do not recall them at the same rate they do a vanity number like 1-800-FLOWERS or 1-888-FENCING. Secondly, most people are not typing in your proper URL into the address bar, they are Googling it. This in turn leads them to a lot of other things, including competitors, national directory/lead sites and review sites which may or may not be in your favor (that is an issue for an entirely different thread). A phone number is direct and immediate response. The more phone calls you get the more opportunities you have to sell. I want to increase my phone calls because I know i am most likely to make a sale with someone i speak too versus a click, a like or tweet.

One final note is that i don't think a random number does much. But since you have a vanity number it makes a lot of sense.
That was a very good post!

I would like to add that I would never use a regular number because a very high percent of customers want to know where a contractor's shop is located and these customers will not call the contractors when they think the contractor is too far away. I found that many customers as little as 4 miles from our office think we are too far from them.

I would like to confirm from the post above that there are so many new prefixes that I think people are calling me from other states. About 10 years ago, the phone company introduced a '424' area code. I am in California, thought the prefix was in Georgia and I never answered my phone when I saw the '424' prefix.

I think 80% of our customers call us on our '800' number and the other 20% capture other numbers as we call them. I am from the old school and don't like the 888, 877, 866 and other prefixes. I think the '800' number makes a company look older and more-established. All you need to do is lose 1 great job and there goes all the money you saved by being to frugal. Make it so your customers don't have to think, wonder, or worry. When customers call and ask where we are located I tell them we are all over the place. I cut them off and ask them where they are located.

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