Thinking about registering a virtual local number or toll free number for your small business? Either option could be a wonderful addition to your business, making your company appear larger and more professional. There are a host of benefits to registering a virtual or toll free number for your business, which we’ll outline below.

We’ll also let you know what types of companies typically use virtual phone numbers and which use toll free numbers. This will help you find out which type you need – or if you need either at all.

Toll free numbers (1-800, -866, -877, -888)

The first thing business owners should consider when deciding whether or not they need a toll free phone number is the location of their customer base. If your business operates exclusively online or in a brick and mortar location and caters to a nationwide or wider regional audience, a toll free number may be the perfect step for you to take.

A toll free number allows even the smallest business to appear larger and well-established to customers and callers in general. When you see a business with a 1-800 or other toll free number, you assume it’s a trustworthy business that’s been around for a while. It’s comforting to customers because they’ve seen toll free numbers their entire lives and associated them with large brands.

Local brick and mortar businesses and companies that operate exclusively online for local customers may not get as many benefits by having a toll free number because a local number will be better recognized by their small and relatively concentrated audience. See the ‘Virtual phone number’ section below to see how a virtual, local phone number can help your business.

Virtual phone number

A virtual phone number is the perfect option for local small businesses and online businesses that cater to a relatively concentrated local audience.

Benefits of a virtual local number

A virtual phone number offered through a virtual receptionist provider, like Conversational, has the added benefit of allowing you to route your calls to a private voicemail box, another line (like your cell or home phone), or to your team of virtual receptionists.

An additional bonus is that a virtual phone number will mask your cell number when you make outgoing calls as your business. With a toll free or virtual local phone number, you can appear like a larger company and impress your customers with your level of professionalism instead of calling from and giving out your cell phone number to clients and customers.

Professionalism should be your business’ top priority on the phone, whether your audience is global, nationwide, or hyper-local. If you decide to go all the way and get a virtual phone number and live receptionist to route your calls for you, you will strengthen your communications considerably while improving your customer service and efficiency.