Toll Free Number and IVRS has very close relationship. Big companies, apart from Teleocm companies, which have large customer base, normally have a toll free number as call center. In US, normally Toll Free number starts with 800, in India, it starts with 1800.
Recently I got an inquiry from a company in India, about Toll Free Number and setting up a call center. After talking to the company, I realised, many people have either no idea or wrong impression about Toll Free Number. For Example,
a. Toll Free numbers are free for both the toll free number owner as well as caller.
b. The procedure to have Toll Free Number must be very difficult. Lot of Red-Tapism involved.
c. One toll free number will have one line.
But, actually Toll Free numbers are free for callers only! Not for the company who owns the Toll Free Number! The company has to pay for each incoming calls by the duration of the caller or as per negotiation with the Telecom Service Provider. That is why Telecom Companies can have their own Toll Free numbers! and in India, it changes circle to circle too! Even the Telecom Company has to pay to other Telecom Operators to accept free calls from them!
It is not difficult at all to get a Toll Free Number! But hey, if you are late in getting hold of Toll Free Numbers, you may not get those fancy, easy to remember Toll Free Numbers! All you have to do is, call up any Teleom operator, they will come running to you or at least that is what happens in India!
One toll free number will have minimum 30 channels or 30 lines! Because normally Toll Free numbers are provided through E1 lines. And having a Toll Free number with only 5/6 lines does not make any sense, also Toll Free Number without IVR System in place does not make any sense! At least that is my opinion. So, for any IVR System for a Toll Free Number, one must have Digital CTI Card!
Is there any company which can offer all these services ? I doubt if there is any such company presently. You may get companies which can provide you solutions with Call Center Applications, some will provide you CRM applications, some will provide you only the EPABXs, ACD etc. But the complete solutions of a Toll Free Number requires the followings:
1. Get a Toll free number from Telecom companies. Properly discuss calls landing from all other Teleom operators in your area/country.
2. Look for suitable call center application
3. If you have already a CRM in place, which normally one does before one thinks about Toll Free Number and Call Center, integration might be a nightmare! It is not easy to integrate Call Center and exiting CRM, but then it is not difficult too! but proper care and planning must be taken.
4. Call Center Hardware along with proper power back up.
So it is a complete turnkey solution! If you thought you would get a Toll Free Number, put up an 4 channel IVRS and you will have a call center running, you are wrong!