Picking the correct number types for your business
Have you ever thought about what your inbound phone number says about you, or even what it can do for you?
Lets explore the various phone number prefixes and look at some of the benefits of each. There is no right answer for any business, however there are certainly choices.
Firstly, we have Geographic Numbers which start with an 01 or an 02. Your local physical telephone exchange address originally dictated your local or geographic number. Nowadays, with new VOIP services, these can exist as virtual geographic numbers and be routed to other numbers of your choice. Businesses can now post several geographic Inbound numbers to give the impression of operating in several different locations.
The 07 number range is reserved for mobiles and pagers, with minor exceptions.
Personal or ‘follow me’ numbers start with 070 or 076 making them unique from other 07 numbers used by mobile phones. Personal numbers enable businesses to give out a single phone number, subsequently redirecting incoming calls to different locations when required. There are many 070 numbers to choose from, but they usually cost more to call than mobile numbers. Numbers beginning 070 and 076 are similar in appearance to mobile phone numbers. The Isle of Man has the number range 07264 exclusively reserved for their use.
Alternatively you might consider a Non Geographic number or sometimes referred to as an NTS (Number Translation Service). There are different prefixes for each type of number:
Charities and Public Sector organisations can use 0300 and 0303 numbers. The ranges 0333 or 0330 are available if the business does not fit those criteria. Businesses can apply for an 034/037 number to specifically convert their existing 084/087 numbers. Calls charges to these Non-geographic numbers are at geographic rate.
Freephone numbers begin with the prefix 0800 or 0808. These are a range of numbers used to direct calls to a Local or Mobile number of your choice. Your callers call them for free. A business might want to give the impression of a national presence by using a Freephone number. These type of numbers also can be used to track marketing activities by setting up several specific numbers for a particular campaigns.
Non-geographic fixed-rate or special-rate services are the main use for the remaining 08 range. These numbers are charge at higher rates than standard phone calls. Access charges as well as a standard charge make up the total call charge. The most commonly used ranges are 0843, 0844, 0845 and 0870, 0871 and 0872
Corporate or VOIP networks use the 055 and 056 ranges.
Premium Rate numbers beginning with 09 can be expensive to call. The applicable service charge should be clearly shown when a service number beginning with 09 is advertised. Competitions, TV shows and chargeable services are the most likely use for these type of numbers.
It is possible to have the appearance of operating or advertising in another country by securing International/Toll free numbers with the calls terminating the calls on UK based phone number. International to International terminations e.g. a Spanish Virtual number can also be terminated to your French office number. There are some key security checks to go through but its all possible.