1300 Numbers and 1800 Numbers: How do they Work?
These are "virtual" numbers, in that they aren't tied to any one specific phone in the same way that your landline and mobile numbers are.
Instead, you route each inbound number to the "answerpoints" at which you want it to ring, including landlines, mobile phones, fax machines or call answering services. You can select multiple answerpoints for a single inbound number, for example if you want to ring a different number outside of regular business hours, or if you want your calls to go through to an answering service when your line is busy or not being answered.
National businesses can route calls from their 1300 numbers and 1800 numbers to the answerpoint closest to where the caller is located (for example, a call from Queensland could be routed to the Brisbane office, and one from South Australia to the Adelaide office). And when 5pm rolls around and everyone in your East Coast offices goes home, calls can be routed to the Perth office to provide customers with extended support hours. (You can find out more about routing options in the blog post 1800 Number and 1300 Number Routing Options Simplified.)
Because 1300 numbers and 1800 numbers are not tied to any specific phone or exchange, you can take them with you when you move. That means that as your business grows and you move into bigger and better offices, and expand across the country, your phone number remains the same.
And the inbound number belongs to you: not to your telco. That means you can transfer your services to a different telco without losing or needing to change your number.
Why do you Need 1800 or 1300 Numbers for your Business?
As described above, inbound number routing provides great flexibility in terms of where and how you can answer your calls, plus you can keep the same inbound number for the life of your business. And that's not all they can do.
An inbound number helps to conceal both the size and location of your business, which can be a great benefit when you're first starting out.
By listing an inbound number, and then pointing it to your mobile, you give the impression of being a much larger business than just one person with a mobile. And if you're running an online business that supports customers Australia-wide, an inbound number helps to encourage customers from around the country to phone you while hiding the fact that you're doing most of the work from your kitchen table!
As your business grows, you can take advantage of other inbound number benefits, including the ability to get detailed reporting information about your calls to help you measure things like the effectiveness of different marketing campaigns.
Inbound numbers can also help to encourage customers to call. When dialled from a landline anywhere in Australia, a 13 number or 1300 number call can cost as low as a local call. On the other hand calls to 1800 numbers are a free for the caller. Customers who may hesitate before calling a long distance or mobile number are typically more comfortable about dialling an inbound number.
Alltel has a range of 13, 1300 and 1800 number plans designed for businesses of all sizes available on a month-by-month basis.
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