In other countries, Toll Free Number and IVR goes hand in hand or, without IVR nobody thinks about owning a toll free number. But, I have been getting many Toll Free Number enquiries from this IVR Blog where people have asked if the toll free number can be forwarded to their mobile number! While, there is nothing wrong in getting the toll free number to one’s Mobile Phone, but, I think it is an under-utilization of a toll free number.
I would like to quickly add few facts about Toll Free Number in India
1. Telecom operators provide 11 digit toll free number which is just a number starting with 1800, which can be dialed by any mobile phone, land line number without prefixing 0.
2. This Toll Free number has to be forwarded/terminated on another telephone lie/ PRI line or even mobile number. And this number could be anywhere in India.
3. The cost/charges of owning of the Toll Free Number and the phone number where calls to toll free numbers are forwarded/terminated are completely different and dependent of each other.
4. The caller will not be charged, but the owner of the toll free number will bear the cost of both Toll Free Number as well as the other telephone number.
5. The number simultaneous calls to the toll free numbers is minimum 30 or a PRI line. It means that at one point of time, 30 people can dial to the toll free number and get connected. But, if the toll free number is forwarded to one Mobile Number, then at one point of time, only one person will be able to speak, rest 29 people will get busy tone.
So, I hope the above five points are clear enough why any one who wants to own a toll free number for his business should also have an IVR!
IVR is particularly helpful if the toll free number is not used for a call centre. In normal situation, there would be many call agents to accept those minimum 30 simultaneous calls from the toll free number. But for organisations, which do not have a call centre, IVR is the ideal solution! The best part is, in order to use IVR, one can always go for hosted IVR model which will require very low initial investment and get benefit of pay-per-usage model.
In this hosted IVR option, one can just forward the toll free number to telephone number of Hosted IVR Service provides! Now a days, it is easy to find a reliable hosted IVR service provider in every country.
And if you are a programmer, then one can use one of those Cloud Telephony Service provider and make your own IVR for your toll free service.
IVR for your toll free number has many benefits:-
1. It will record all incoming calls with date and time stamp. It will not allow any incoming call go unanswered.
2. IVR works 24 hours a day. At non office hours, IVR can record a voice mail which can be emailed directly to your mailbox while at office hours, calls can be routed intelligently to different departments.
3. IVR can provide updated routine information to caller which does not require human intervention. This saves cost for organisation and delivers quick service to clients.
So, if you are seriously looking for toll free number for your business where both existing and prospective clients can contact you, consider an IVR system too!