Tuesday, 7 June 2011
David Clarke, Director of leading telecoms company DBS, reveals how an 0845 number coupled with IVR can give your business the professional edge.
“Many people choose to have 0845 numbers to make their business look more professional” says David Clarke, Director of DBS Telecoms in Lincolnshire, one of the leading suppliers of non-geographic 0800, 0845 and 0844 numbers in the UK. “They’re far easier and cheaper to get than most people realise. If you order an 0845 number with us, if it’s between 9am and 4pm on a normal working day then we will have the number connected, tested, up and running for you within one working hour. It only costs a one off set up fee of £5 + VAT (£9.99 if the number is being pointed to a mobile phone number), and then a monthly rental of £5 + VAT. If the 0845 number is pointed to a landline then it is free for you to receive calls, although if it is pointed to a mobile then you are charged 8p + VAT per minute to receive the call, which increases to 27p per minute if you are on the 3 Mobile network.”
So what benefit does an 0845 number give your company? “Because an 0845 number is a non-geographic number, it doesn’t tie you to one specific town, area or region” says David Clarke. “For example, if you saw a kitchen fitting company and it advertised its contact number with a geographic area code (for example, Lincoln 01522), you would naturally think that that company was Lincoln based and only operated in the Lincoln area. You probably wouldn’t bother to read on beyond that point. However, if you saw a kitchen fitting company and the contact number started 0845 you would probably think that it was a national company, as that number is non-geographic and so can apply anywhere in the country. At the least, you wouldn’t think that it only operated in one specific area, and would read on to find out what areas it did operate in.”
“As well as giving your company a national feel, 0845 numbers are generally used by large companies, so even if you’re only a one man band, having an 0845 number will make your company look larger and more professional that it potentially actually is”. David Clarke goes on to say that there are other features that you can add to your 0845 number to professionalise it further if you so wish to. “DBS offers 10 different extra features which you can add to your lo-call 0845 number if you so wish, as well as our fax-to-email service, but the key one which really gives a professional feel to a company when you phone them is IVR”.
IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response. It is the system that, when you phone a company, it thanks you for your call and gives you a welcome message, and then asks you to press 1 for this department, press 2 for that department etc. Also known as auto attendant, it is more commonly known as the “Press 1 for Sales” function. The different numbers can then be routed through to different numbers, so if sales is on one phone number, 1 can be routed to that, and if accounts is on a different number 2 can be routed to that. However, if you’re just using it to look bigger than you actually are then all the options can be routed to the same place!