Traditionally, most business phone numbers were preceded by a local area code, which was not required when calling from within the same area as the business. The local code also determines the cost of the call. The system is still very much alive, but there are many occasions when the alternative – non-geographic numbers, or NGNs – will be more appropriate. Active Business Communications supports the entire range of NGNs.
Why Choose an Non-Geographic Number?
Businesses usually choose to use an NGN for one of three reasons: making geographic location irrelevant; showing customer care by offering a free line; or to act as a revenue stream.
Making Your Location Irrelevant
The first possibility is that they do not want to appear parochial or tied to one location. While there are many businesses that benefit from letting their customers know they are local (a hairdresser’s on the high street, for example), others can offer their service nationally, and using a local dialling code could potentially put off non-local customers. If your business delivers components to anywhere in the UK with next-day delivery, you could be located anywhere in the UK and still fulfil your obligations. Or perhaps your business does not offer products at all but is a service that could be carried out with little or no customer contact; in such cases your location is irrelevant, so there’s no need to be identified with a particular town or city.
Meanwhile, depending on the package you choose, you can offer callers the chance to get in touch with you at local rate or free, which can help with the number of enquiries you have, especially when it’s a B2C business.
Many customers appreciate it when you offer a free helpline or advice line in the pre- or post-sales process. It shows you have a commitment to your customers, and that can have a positive impact on customer relations and therefore revenue. There are also international freephone numbers, should your business needs merit it. While the calls might be free for the customer, however, this will mean that the cost to the business is greater.
Your phone number can also become an active means of generating revenue. Fixed-rate and premium-rate lines can be set up for a number of purposes such as chat lines, competitions or helplines. Please note that there are strict guidelines laid down and maintained by PayphonePlus regarding how revenue-earning calls can be used.
Other Types of NGN
There are other uses for non-geographic numbers. Businesses or individuals can purchase specific numbers either because they are easy to remember or because their numbers form words when typed on an alphanumeric keypad (for example 227 4473 spells CAR HIRE). Similarly, a number could spell the name of a business or individual. NGNs are also useful for setting up voicemail numbers or to make call recordings. Please get in touch if you need more information.