How to get a Custom Phone Number for Business

A custom phone number is a great way for small businesses to improve brand recognition and credibility. A phone number can reveal a lot about a company — its location, how established it is and even how much it values customers. In this guide, we’ll explain the types of custom number available, the business benefits of getting a custom number and how to get a custom number for business.

What Is a Custom Number?

A custom number, also known as a “vanity number” is a telephone number that has been specifically chosen by a business or individual. Customers can select the seven digits that follow the area code. These can be numerical or alphabetical, for example, 0800-FLOWERS. Vanity phone numbers are a type of virtual business phone number,  meaning calls can route to any device chosen by the business owner.

What Types of Custom Phone Number Are There?

There are several types of custom number to choose from. Each type has its benefits. To determine the best one for your business, consider what you want to achieve and what budget is available.  

Custom Free Phone (Toll-Free) Numbers

In the UK, 0800 numbers are the most popular toll-free phone numbers. 0808 and 0500 are also free to call, but these numbers are less familiar to people. Providing a free way for customers and prospects to contact a business shows a strong commitment to customer service. Support lines or customer service often use toll-free vanity numbers. They can also be used to increase the number of incoming calls to the sales team. An 0800 number is instantly recognisable as a toll-free number. Add a business-relevant word to the code to make it even more memorable and boost brand recognition.

Custom Local Phone Numbers

Local numbers, also known as “area call numbers”, “ghost numbers” and “remote call forward numbers” are a simple and cost-effective way for businesses to expand into areas where they do not have a physical office. In this way, they can save a business thousands of pounds in rental costs. A company based in Nottingham could use a custom local number for London to attract consumers from that area without paying the high rental costs of setting up an office in the city. Callers dial the local area code and are routed to a chosen device, for example, a mobile phone or the head office. The caller is unaware of this process as they only see the local business number. 

Why Should I Use a Custom Number?

A custom number can be great for business for several reasons:

Enhanced Brand Recognition

Some area codes, such as 0800, are instantly recognisable. Adding a word that is relevant to your business can make a business telephone number even more memorable. It gives a powerful boost to a company brand.

Improved Customer Service

Toll-free numbers allow customers and prospects to contact a business at no charge, even from a mobile phone. This represents excellent customer service and instils trust in the company. It can also increase the number of inbound calls,  meaning your sales team will have more leads to work with. Local numbers also keep costs low for the caller and the business.

Greater Credibility

Developing a reputation as a reliable and trustworthy company can take time and it is often difficult for startups to compete with more established businesses. A business using a mobile phone number as its primary business number will look unprofessional and untrustworthy. An 0800 or 0845 number will make a company appear established with national reach. 

Track Marketing Activities

There are several creative ways you can use a custom number in marketing campaigns, including tracking marketing activities. By linking a custom number to an advert, it’s easy to track the number of calls generated from that marketing campaign. This allows a business to identify successful marketing activities that they can expand or repeat and to cut spending on campaigns that are not delivering results. 

How to Get a Custom Number for Business

Step 1. Choose the custom number you want. This could be a string of memorable or meaningful numbers or a word. There are three to four letters assigned to each number on a telephone dial pad. Make a note of the numbers that correspond to the word you wish to spell out. The seven numbers selected will be added after the area code. Make the number as memorable and relevant to your business as possible.

Step 2. Choose an area code. Do you want to offer customers a toll-free number? Or is the priority to branch out into a particular geographical area with a local number? 

Step 3. Identify a telephone service provider. City Numbers offers highly memorable 0800, 0845, 0844 and 0771 numbers. There are over 4000 virtual city phone numbers available, covering most of the world. Our state-of-the-art portal allows businesses to manage calls, assess real-time statistics and access additional features. 

Step 4. Contact the telephone service provider to find out if your chosen number is available. As there are multiple letters assigned to each number on the dial pad, another business may be using your chosen combination.

Step 5. Consider your expected level of usage and select an appropriate plan. The easiest way to do this is to look back at recent phone bills to get an idea of the number of minutes per month you are likely to use. City Numbers offers three price plans, allowing businesses to scale the service as they grow. For 0800 numbers, the Pay As You Go plan starts from as little as £5 per month.

Step 6. City Numbers can have your business up and running with a new number in minutes. Once we have accepted your payment plan and payment has cleared, your number will be live and ready to use.

A custom number offers a range of business benefits. It’s a great way to increase brand recognition, expand into new locations and enhance the customer experience. Obtaining and setting up a custom number is quick, easy and cost-effective. What are you waiting for? 

Find out more about the local numbers, toll-free numbers and international numbers available from City Numbers and take your business to the next level with a custom number. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.

About audreyoh

She currently drives web CRO for j2 Global's Cloud Connect services, focusing on eCommerce, SaaS, and developing UX optimized content for both B2B and B2C users on all channels. She is a published freelance writer, independent filmmaker, and artist.
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