NTS Numbers Explained - Which one is right for your business?
NTS numbers are intended for businesses which want to expand their customer base, appeal to a new market and generally present themselves in the most professional manner possible. But since there is not just one option in this market, it is important to make the right decision and select an appropriate number to which inbound calls will be made. Here is a look at the different NTS numbers which are available and the circumstances in which they will be suitable for your business.
One of the most common NTS services adopted by commercial organisations is a Freephone number, which is designed to allow potential customers and clients to call a business without incurring any cost for doing so. Companies generally choose a Freephone number for their main point of contact, perhaps the sales line, so that people can get in touch efficiently and hopefully invest in goods or services. However, it is not unusual for businesses to pick a Freephone NTS number when running a support line for after sales care, as this may be seen as a selling point in the first place and a sign that the company in question is committed to its customers.
It is necessary to bear in mind that for the time being, the calls made to Freephone numbers will only be eligible to avoid charges if made from a landline telephone. So customers who are calling from mobile handsets will still be charged, which might compromise the effectiveness of this NTS number as a marketing tool.
The good news is that industry regulator Ofcom has changed the rules so that mobile network providers will no longer be able to impose fees upon calls made by customers to Freephone numbers. As such, this type of NTS number will truly be free to call for anyone, irrespective of the device they are using.
As you might imagine a Freephone number will require the business to cover the cost of communications, so it can be a relatively expensive service to harness. But you must take into account the increase in sales and the promotional potential which are part and parcel of offering a Freephone number when carrying out a calculation of its value, as this will make it easier to establish whether you will make a return on your investment.
An additional benefit of Freephone numbers is that they are by nature non-geographic. This means that they are not tied down to a specific dialling code and can indeed be used to forward calls on to whichever landline number your business is using, masking its point of origin. This makes it easier to promote your company on a national level, rather than having obvious regional ties built into the contact number. This is relevant even if your business is not based in a particular area, as it will enable you to lay down foundations further afield and develop them over time.
If you want to mitigate the cost of inbound calls made to your company, or even generate revenue as a result of them, then it could be worth choosing premium rate NTS numbers. As with Freephone numbers these will be non-geographic and come with all the marketing benefits that this entails while having the additional asset of allowing your company to charge inbound callers for their use of the service. A premium NTC number could be a good choice if you are going to be operating a call centre to deal with questions and queries from existing customers. Most people will expect that getting in touch with a customer service representative is going to cost them at least a small amount and you can vary the rate charged based on your own strategies and requirements.
There is even more reason to choose a premium NTS number given the current trends in the telecoms market which mean that many landline users will have inclusive minutes as part of their tariff that let them make calls to 0847 and 0870 numbers without increasing their bill. When this is the case, a premium rate number is effectively the same as a Freephone number from the point of view of the caller, so businesses can still make money from a point of contact and phone bills will not be going through the roof at the other end.
It is sensible to carry out extensive research so as to establish which type of premium service is the most appropriate for your business, but many companies will already be familiar with this type of NTS number and will have no trouble justifying migration.
NTS numbers can take whichever form you deem to be fit for your firm, so while you might want a non-geographic number to help you boost the nationwide profile of the company, it might also be fitting to select a geographic number to deliver targeted results. For example, you could get an NTS number with a particular area code at the beginning just as you start to offer products and services in this region, but before you have established a base of operations within it. In this case the NTS number can be pointed back at a call centre or other office outside of the region, but let you appeal to local customers in the same way as if you had already set up shop nearby.
This kind of approach is popular with many companies and means that a certain type of customer will be compelled to call your firm in a way that might not have been possible if you stuck with a non-geographic number.
NTS numbers of all kinds are advantageous to businesses which need to be agile and may not be sticking around in the same place forever. If, for example, you stuck with the standard landline number provided at your premises, then if you ever need to move offices you will need to get a completely different number, dialling code and all. But a company with an NTS number will simply be able to change the number to which this points, thus retaining a level of consistency and continuity which means you will not lose customers when you move.
The same positive aspects can be gained when you are dealing with a disaster and may need to forward calls to a different location, or even channel them through to mobiles or home landlines to preserve continuity. NTS numbers are flexible, affordable and worth choosing no matter what the size of the company in question or the number of callers it wants to support.