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Area Code 866: Everything You Need To Know About 1-866 Numbers
November 25, 2022
Are you thinking of getting a toll-free number for your business? Whether you run a small retail store, a B2B service or run a franchise empire, an 866 toll-free number can be a valuable asset.
It builds an image of a well-established professional service, broadens your exposure and makes it easier for customers to contact you. Today, you can get a toll-free number activated in minutes from a VoIP service provider.
Once upon a time, toll-free numbers were believed to be available only to large, well-established businesses and emergency services. Today, any business, big or small can have an 866 toll-free number. Here's a quick guide to understanding what toll-free numbers are, the benefits they offer and how your business can get one.
What Are Toll-Free Numbers?
The USA and Canada follow a 10-digit landline numbering system with a 3-digit area code and a 7-digit number. If you're calling a number within the same number plan area, the area code does not need to be dialled. Certain Easily Recognizable Codes (ERCs) were kept aside to have a nationwide presence. 9 of these ERCs are designated as toll-free numbers.
This means that firstly, the number is valid throughout the country and secondly, callers are not charged for these calls. The toll-free numbers available to businesses in the USA are:
What Is An 866 Toll-Free Number?
These are toll-free phone numbers with ‘866' as the area code. They are typically written as 866-XXX-XXXX.
Why Are 866 Toll-Free Numbers Preceded By '1'?
In many instances, you will see toll-free numbers written as 1-866-XXX-XXXX. The last 7-digits are the individual landline phone numbers. 866 is the area code and 1 is the country code for the USA.
If you're calling a toll-free number from a landline, you don't need to add the country code. However, if you are calling from a mobile number or an international number, you will need to dial the country code before the 866 toll-free number.
What Are Country Codes?
Country codes or international dialling codes are alphanumeric codes that help identify countries in the international communication system. The USA is represented by the country code: +1.
What Area Is Represented By The 866-Area Code?
As with other toll-free numbers, an 866 toll-free number is not limited to any particular city or region. These numbers are valid throughout the country as well as in parts of Canada and other dependent regions included in the North America Numbering Plan (NANP).
Are Calls From Numbers With Area Code 866 Safe To Answer?
Phone numbers with 866 as the area code are toll-free numbers and safe to answer or call back. These numbers are usually used by businesses. Since they are often used to make promotional and marketing calls, some people mistakenly associate these numbers with spam calls.
What Are 866 Vanity Numbers?
Vanity numbers are one of the types of toll-free numbers. The difference lies in the 7-digits following the area code. In this case, they are not chosen at random but structured to connect with the business's core service.
For example, a florist may choose 866- 3569377 as their vanity number. When you look at the phone's alphanumeric dial pad, you'll see that this can also be read as 866-FLOWERS. Thus, it is easier to recall.
How Can You Differentiate Between Toll-Free And Vanity Numbers?
Toll-free numbers and vanity numbers have very little difference between them. Regular toll-free numbers include the 866 followed by a random combination of 7-digits. On the other hand, the 7-digits used for vanity numbers must spell out a specific word that relates to the business.
From a customer's point of view, vanity numbers may be easier to recall as compared to toll-free numbers but both types of numbers are free to call.
Are 866, 877 And 888 Toll-Free Numbers The Same?
Toll-free numbers starting with 866, 877 and 888 are all the same. They are all valid throughout the country and can be assigned to any business.
Why Does Your Business Need An 866 Toll-Free Number?
An 866 toll-free number can be a big asset to your business. Let's look at some of the benefits offered by these numbers:
A Toll-Free Number Gives You A Dedicated Number For Work Calls
Regular landline phones may tie you down to your desk. If you step away, customer calls may go unanswered and you might miss out on opportunities. This makes it tempting to share your personal mobile number. However, doing so blurs the line between work calls and personal calls.
Calls to a toll-free number from a VoIP service provider can be answered on mobile phones or desktop browsers. Toll-free numbers make sure you stay accessible at all times without having to give out your personal mobile number.
A Toll-Free Number Improves The Efficacy Of Your Marketing Efforts
Since a toll-free number is free to call from any part of the country, you can use a single number in all your promotional ad campaigns. You can even use this number in places where you have not yet established a physical presence. Thus, it makes more people aware of the brand.
Since these numbers are free to call, more people will be willing to reach out and hence your campaign will be more effective. Also, since all calls are routed to a single number, analyzing statistics becomes simpler.
A Toll-Free Number Builds Credibility
If you have multiple offices in different cities, using a toll-free number creates a unified image for the brand. Customers know that they can reach the company by dialling a single number from wherever they may be.
At the same time, if the company is just starting out, having a toll-free number can make you look more credible.
A Toll-Free Number Increases Call-Back Rates
From a customer's point of view, it is always better to call a toll-free number rather than a regular landline number. This is because calls to the latter can be charged at a per minute rate. It's enough to make people think twice before calling a company representative.
However, toll-free numbers are free for callers. Hence, switching to toll-free numbers is often linked to a sharp increase in customer callbacks.
Another point to note is that the number stays the same throughout the country. Hence, customers don't have to search for local numbers when they travel to different cities.
A Toll-Free Number Provides Access To Valuable Data
Getting a toll-free number from a VoIP service provider does a lot more than just improving your communication options. It provides access to a wealth of information that can further help improve customer services. For example, you can record calls and use them for training purposes. Some of the other types of data collected and made accessible are the number of calls made and received, average call duration, etc.
How To Get An 866 Toll-Free Number For Your Business?
You can get an 866 toll-free number for your business in minutes from a VoIP service provider like Quicktalk. The benefit of VoIP numbers is that you can use these numbers to make and receive calls from your smartphone as well as a desktop or laptop.
Quicktalk has a simple online process to get your business a toll-free number. Visit the Quicktalk website and register your business. The registration process is simple and free. All you need to do is enter your business details such as your brand name, etc.
Select your country from the drop-down menu and enter 866 in the area code. A list of available numbers will be generated. Choose the number you want for your business and get started.
Key Features To Consider When Choosing A VoIP Service Provider
Many VoIP service providers offer toll-free numbers. However, they are not all equal in terms of the types of features offered. Some features are must-haves while others are optional. Here are a few features your VoIP service provider must offer.
The number of agents will always probably be much higher than the number of managers and supervisors. Hence why you should also be able to record calls and play them back at a later time to measure the quality of your calls.
Call recordings are important for training and quality assessment as well as dispute resolution.
Rather than rely on a receptionist, you need an IVR menu for your toll-free number. A recorded greeting ensures that callers are greeted with a consistent message and an easy to understand menu to take the call further.
The IVR menu should be able to take inputs from the caller and direct the call to the concerned department. It would also be helpful if answers to simple FAQs like the store's opening hours could be provided at this stage of the call.
The VoIP service provider you choose must offer a call forwarding option. This allows calls that are unanswered at one line in a department to be forwarded to other available lines.
Similarly, if the call is made to an individual's desk and he/she is not there, the call should be forwarded to his/her mobile phone. This minimizes the number of unanswered phone calls.
The way your callers are greeted will create their first impression of the business. You should be able to customize greetings to reflect your brand image and communication tone in English as well as other popularly spoken languages.
What Makes Quicktalk the Right Partner for You?
Quicktalk simplifies the process of getting an 866 toll-free business number. Some of the reasons why this VoIP service provider is your ideal partner are:
Rather than confuse business owners with multiple plans, Quicktalk offers a single monthly plan for $19 per company for three users. Additional users and phone numbers can be taken up as the company grows.
The Quicktalk monthly plan is inclusive of unlimited calls to 35 destinations in 14 countries.
You can use a Quicktalk toll-free number to make and receive calls from mobile phones as well as laptop/desktop browsers. Thus, you never miss a wall. Quicktalk also offers a one-click live call transfer option.
All calls made and received by a Quicktalk toll-free number can be monitored by company supervisors and managers. Quicktalk offers live call monitoring as well as automatic call recording.
Customized Professional Greetings
With Quicktalk, you can personalize greetings in 16 languages. You can have different greetings for business hours and holidays. You can even add background music to your greeting. This ensures that your callers are greeted with a clear, consistent message and are sure that they have reached the right number. The greeting can be continued with a custom IVR to route all calls to the direct departments.
An 866 toll-free number is very important for businesses in all sectors. This could be what distinguishes your customer service from your competitors. A toll-free number from a VoIP service provider like Quicktalk makes sure you stay accessible to customers at all times and get access to the data that will help you improve the quality of service offered even more.
Quicktalk toll-free business numbers are budget-friendly, easy to set up and easy to use – so, get your free trial today.
Paul is a tech and business phone system enthusiast always open to discuss ideas. If you’re interested in collaborating on content projects or getting a product listed on our blog, don’t hesitate and reach out to us: [email protected].