Guidance on 0800 Numbers for Businesses Outside of the UK.
If you run a business that is outside of the UK but would like to have a presence in Britain that British consumers and businesses will recognise, then investing in an 0800 telephone number makes a great deal of sense. In the past, 0800 numbers – toll-free or freephone numbers in the UK – used to have to be supplied by a registered network operator. This meant that the service would piggyback on a standard telephone line with a fixed connection somewhere in the country. However, with virtual telephony services, 0800 numbers can be supplied in a way that means that they can redirect calls to any phone number you like. This includes overseas numbers, VoIP services and even mobile phones.
Consequently, it is now possible for companies in Germany, Japan, the United States and South Africa, for example, to publish a telephone number that UK callers will feel at home with. Even better, they are more likely to call it than a standard, geographical number that connects to a UK telephone exchange because nearly everyone in the country understands that an 0800 call won’t cost them anything. As such, they are popular throughout the British Isles as both customer service and sales hotlines.
All you need to make a success of an 0800 number – even if you are based outside of the UK – is to publish it in places where British consumers and businesses will see it. This might mean on your social media or it could be as simple as putting it on your corporate website. Of course, adding an 0800 number to business cards, promotional literature and sales leaflets that will be distributed in the UK is also a good idea. Most firms find they get more inbound calls when they use an 0800 number as their point of contact compared to a standard British landline.
According to one of the main British suppliers of 0800 numbers, Cleartone Communications, when people in the UK dial a freephone business number, they won’t even realise that their call is being redirected overseas. As such, you can have calls to the service forward to any country you like without there being a delay or a noticeable alteration in the way the call connects. So long as calls are answered by someone who can speak English well, there is no reason for callers to even know they are connected to an office outside of the UK. Indeed, you can even have calls to your 0800 number answered automatically and for a recorded greeting to be made before the call goes on to be transferred for an even more professional service.
Please note that overseas businesses that have an office in the UK can have calls to their 0800 number directed there instead of their head office. What’s more, there is a great deal of flexibility on offer. For example, if it is a national holiday in the UK and your London office, for example, isn’t open, then you can have inbound calls sent to one of your overseas offices for a while before resuming normal operations at a later date. As such, investing in an 0800 number is a good idea if you want to build up your commercial presence in the UK.