Toll Free Number has become popular, easy to get and affordable now a days after Cloud Telephony Service providers started selling it to even small businesses. Having a toll free number for customer support as well as other enquiries for a business or organisation is considered brand multiplier.
When Toll Free Number is provided by Cloud Telephony Companies, they always bundle it with many advanced IVR ( Interactive Voice Response) features like call hunting, voice mail system, SMS alert, intelligent call routing based on time of the day, etc.
But apart from Toll Free Numbers provided by them, many businesses have Toll Free Numbers which are forwarded to on-premise PBX, landline PRI number, or even a mobile number.
While Cloud Telephony Service companies have competitive price for TollFree numbers, still there is monthly rental apart from call charges. So, it may not be that affordable after all! Also, there is always problem of customisation with Cloud Telephony Providers. They either provide ‘Do It Yourself’ Tool for customising IVR flow or charge money for doing customisation.
Most of the businesses which feel the need of TollFree Numbers, normally have IT infrastructure in terms of manpower and PC/Server hardware. With recent technological advances in telephony industry in India, telecom companies have started providing PRI lines using SIP technology which eliminates requirement of CTI Boards, a extra cost which was too cost prohibitive, and I feel this was one reason for growing Cloud Telephony Companies in India.
So, now using Asterisk based Telephony System using such PRI line is very cost effective. Configuring an Asterisk system for smart and efficient usage of TollFree Number to maximise its benefit for the business has become much more affordable. TollFree number can now be terminated on-premise, do smart routing of incoming calls using Asterisk. One can implement Call Hunting, VoiceMail System, call recording easily, without having to pay any monthly rental or Customisation charge to any cloud telephony companies.
So, I would say, TollFree Number, SIp based PRI and Asterisk System is the lowest Cost, feature rich solution for any business to derive maximum benefit of owning a toll free number.