If you have made the decision and decided to buy a number for your business then there are a number of factors you should consider before you commit yourself. We’ve put a few points down that we think all customers should consider before they hit the ‘buy now’ button.
So where do you start when you want to buy a number. Most businesses either have existing relationships with current telecommunication providers or will start be looking online. Searching online can be quite a daunting process as you will be faced with buy fax number pages and pages of suppliers trying to sell you their wares. Type in the term ‘buy 0845 numbers’ into Google and you’ll see what we mean, you’ll be bombarded with terms like ‘free’, ‘memorable’, ‘no contract’. So how do you choose the right provider?
If you taken into consideration these main points then this should help steer you in the right direction.
1) What do you get for your buck? Check the small print and ask the company to clarify what you get when you purchase a number. Is it just the number translation to your landline or mobile or do you get extra services included in the price? Extra services can range from advanced IVR set up, time of day routing, call queuing, fax to email and call whisper. Many companies will offer these services but they’ll add on extra for them so always check what’s included in the price.
2) Competitive pricing – there are a lot of resellers out there that will be offering numbers for ‘free’. I would always be a little more wary of these as you should always ask yourself ‘why is it free?’, ‘what’s the after sales service like?’ etc.. We’re not saying that there is anything wrong with free numbers it’s just you should always check behind the scenes a little before jumping in.
3) What’s the network like? What kind of UK presence do they have? Can they handle high call volumes? What is their disaster recovery like? Many people seem to forget about these points until the number they bought goes down and their customers can’t get through to them.
4) I’m not happy with my current provider so can I take my number elsewhere? This again is often overlooked at the start with customers being blinded by ‘free numbers’ and ‘inclusive minutes’. Before you buy your number make sure that you ask the provider if they have porting agreements in place with all the major networks because sometimes things do go wrong and the last thing you want to happen is to be told you can’t port your number away because your provider doesn’t have any porting agreements in place. Personally, I would always make sure I had a contract in place for my number for added security and peace of mind. Make sure you can terminate your contract with a notice period – normally around the 30 day mark.
5) How much control do I have over my number and services? Most providers should provide you with your own secure online portal to manage your number and services. You can monitor your call stats and set up your services. Again, you want to make sure that this is included in the package price and that you are not expected to pay more for it.
6) Why not try before you buy! Have a play around with the service and see if it’s right for you and your business. If they’re not willing to set you up with a demo in the first place then is this someone you want to do business with long term?