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Area Code 888: What Is a Toll-Free Number and How Does It Work?
September 20, 2022
Call 888 XXX XXXX – you've seen it on billboards and heard it on the radio – what is so special about these numbers? Numbers with 888 as the area code are unique to the USA. They're known as toll-free numbers and your business should have one.
888 numbers are beneficial to business owners and their customers. Let's dive deep into the world of toll-free numbers, understand its benefits and learn how to get one.
The first thing to understand is what are toll-free numbers and how are they different from other phone numbers? Here's a quick reckoner to some of the most frequently asked questions about toll-free numbers.
What is a toll-free number?
As the name suggests, when someone calls a toll-free number, they are not charged any additional communication charges for that call. Toll-free numbers may have any of the following three-digit combinations as area code prefixes.
Numbers with this toll-free extension are mainly used in America.
Why are 888 numbers written as 1-888- XXX-XXXX?
Phone numbers in the USA typically have 7-digits preceded by the area code and the country code. 888 is the area code for toll-free numbers. This code stays the same irrespective of where the business may be located. These numbers are listed as 1-888- XXX-XXXX. The “1” is the country code for the USA.
All calls made from landlines to these toll-free numbers must be preceded by the country code to ensure that the call goes through directly rather than through an operator.
What is the +1 country code?
Country codes are short geocodes with alphabetic or numerical values to represent different countries. +1 is the country code for the USA.
Where are the 888 numbers valid?
Toll-free numbers preceded by 888 are valid throughout all the countries in the North American region that are part of the NANP. This includes the United States of America and Canada.
Are 888 numbers safe?
Numbers preceded by 888 are usually toll-free contact numbers for American companies. They are safe to call. Some of these numbers have earned the reputation of being spam numbers since businesses also use them for cold calls.
What is a vanity number?
A vanity number is a toll-free alpha-numeric number formatted in an easy-to-remember structure. For example, 1-800-DETROIT or 1-800-CANDLES.
How is a toll-free number different from a vanity number?
Vanity numbers are a type of toll-free number. The only difference between vanity numbers and regular toll-free numbers is the arrangement of the alphanumeric characters. Regular toll-free numbers have a random arrangement while vanity numbers are structured to remind customers about the brand's core business.
For example, 1-888-FLOWERS could be a vanity number for a florist.
What is the difference between the 888, 800, 855 and other such area codes?
There is no difference between any of the area codes used for toll-free numbers. They are all valid throughout the USA and Canada.
Why should you get a toll-free 888 number?
Your business probably already has a phone number. So, what extra benefits does a toll-free number provide?
It keeps your personal life separate from your professional life
Getting a toll-free number minimizes the need to hand out your personal number to customers. This way, all calls to your mobile number are personal and calls to the toll-free number are business related. The system can even be set up so that calls to the toll-free number can be routed to the concerned departments for a smoother workflow.
It is an effective marketing tool
A toll-free number has a nationwide presence and is not tied to any specific city or region. You can use it to market your products and services even in parts of the country where you do not have an office yet. These numbers can be promoted across marketing platforms to build brand awareness.
It makes your brand more credible
If you promoted a local phone number in an out-of-state location, your audience might be skeptical about your services. However, using a toll-free number projects an image of a national brand. Thus, it instils trust in the brand.
It makes your business more accessible
Calling toll-free numbers is free. Thus, people will be more willing to call these numbers as compared to regular phone numbers. It is an easy way to increase your call-back rate and find more leads.
It gives customers an easy-to-remember contact number
Toll-free numbers are easy to recall. Out of ten digits, the first four are standardized. The remaining 7-digits are usually grouped in a 3+4 structure which makes them memorable. This is why the toll-free numbers from jingles get stuck in your head.
It gives access to cloud-based data analytics
Today, toll-free numbers are often provided by could-based VoIP service providers. These service providers not only give you the facility to make and receive calls, they also gather data such as the length of each call, number of callbacks, etc. Accessing this data and its analysis can help you evaluate your marketing strategies and make changes when required to improve them.
How can your business get an 888 number?
You can get your business an 1-888 number quite easily from a VoIP service provider like Quicktalk. This number allows you to stay connected to your customer base irrespective of where you may be. You can answer calls to this number on your phone or through a laptop/desktop interface.
Your first step to getting a toll-free number is to visit the Quicktalk website. You will first need to register your business by entering a few details such as your name, business name, etc. It's a quick process that takes just a few seconds.
Next, set the country as the USA and browse through the available toll-free numbers to choose your number. Look for numbers with 888 as the area code.
You can simply sign up to Quicktalk and get started.
What are the key features to look for when choosing a toll-free service provider?
When you're getting a toll-free number from a VoIP service provider, think beyond the basics. There are many more features you can benefit from. Here are some of the must-have features to consider.
You should be able to record all incoming and outgoing calls. This is helpful from a quality control and training point of view. It is also important for legal compliance and to resolve disputes.
By listening to how your agents interact with customers, you can advise them on ways to improve their service and, in turn, have more satisfied customers.
IVR and Call Routing
When customers call with a query or an issue, they want to be able to speak to one person who will understand their concern and be able to resolve it. Sharing a concern with a business representative only to be told that it isn't their department and then be put on hold while the call is transferred can be frustrating.
Hence, you need a key-based Interactive Voice Response system that directs callers to the correct department or answers frequently asked questions. Simple information like store timing should be given out directly by the IVR.
When customers call a toll-free number, their first impression of the business is of the way they are greeted. You need to pick a service provider who allows you to customize greetings in your preferred language and tailor them to your company image. You should also be able to customize calls to be answered during and after business hours.
Along with customized greetings, also look into the availability of customized hold music. This way you can share useful information and updates with customers while they wait for their calls to be transferred.
Unanswered calls are lost opportunities for a business. They also harm the company's reputation and may cost you your customer's loyalty.
Hence, the service provider you choose should keep you connected at all times. For example, if you're not in the office, calls should be forwarded to your mobile phone. If your phone is busy, the call may be quickly forwarded to another line. This way, unanswered calls are minimized.
Live Call Monitoring
When you have multiple agents fielding calls, having the option to monitor live calls can be very helpful in maintaining high-quality standards. This refers to being able to listen to conversations while they are happening. If required, you should be able to advise agents during a call without the customer being aware of it. At other times, it may be helpful to be able to join in the conversation and have a group call without the need for call transfers.
Quicktalk is your ideal partner
There are many VoIP service providers that offer toll-free numbers. However, their services may be limited and not up to the same standard as Quicktalk. Some of the reasons why you should choose Quicktalk as your 888 toll-free number provider are:
Quicktalk is suited to businesses of all sizes. After the initial 7-day trial period, you can choose from 3 paid plans to find a package that matches your budget. These plans start from only $19 per month per company, and you can get as many numbers as you require.
Getting a toll-free number from Quicktalk makes more than just your incoming calls free. All 3 Quicktalk plans offer unlimited calling not only within the USA but also to landline and mobile numbers in over 90 other locations. Hence, you don't have to think twice about calling a customer.
Top-Notch Customer Support
Our team is here to help you with anything you need 24/7. If you ever have a question about our solution, a live representative will be there to help you.
Easily Accessible Data
Quicktalk gathers data such as call statistics during every call. Calls are also recorded. This data is stored in the cloud and can be accessed by you from anywhere to analyze your service quality. It can also be shared within the team to maintain a smooth flow of information.
The Power and Enterprise plan also allows you to add a survey at the end of each call to gather customer input on how you can improve your services further.
A Complete Calling Solution
Not only do you get an affordable phone number for your business, but you also get an entire system to help you manage your calls more professionally, efficiently, and with style;)
No matter your field of expertise and location, your business can succeed only when it is accessible to customers. The 888 toll free-number gives your brand credibility and helps you reach out to a nationwide audience. It has many benefits that a regular phone number does not offer. Getting a toll-free number from Quicktalk is quick, easy and cost-effective. Don't wait- get your toll-free number 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].