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WEB/DIGITAL 1-800# for website?

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yveskleinsky

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We keep debating on whether or not to offer an 800# for customer service on our site. ...We are trying to get the site to be independent of us, however, we don't want to lose a lot of business either. One half of the debate is if our UI is easy enough, we shouldn't be getting any calls, and if they use the internet they should be able to get all their questions answered on our site. We're also thinking that we only need a small number of sales per month to breakeven with our costs, which I don't anticipate will be an issue, so anything above that is gravy. The other side is that we want to be there for the people that still have questions or can't figure out how to navigate the site, but it would cost us more as we would have to hire people (probably do it ourselves until sales require employees) or be tether to our phone all the time.

What has been your experience with 800#s online? Do you call them? Do you like them? Is it worth it to offer a phone line to people, or should we not concentrate on this segment of our users? Any thoughts?
 

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offroadaz

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Feb 5, 2008
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We keep debating on whether or not to offer an 800# for customer service on our site. ...We are trying to get the site to be independent of us, however, we don't want to lose a lot of business either. One half of the debate is if our UI is easy enough, we shouldn't be getting any calls, and if they use the internet they should be able to get all their questions answered on our site. We're also thinking that we only need a small number of sales per month to breakeven with our costs, which I don't anticipate will be an issue, so anything above that is gravy. The other side is that we want to be there for the people that still have questions or can't figure out how to navigate the site, but it would cost us more as we would have to hire people (probably do it ourselves until sales require employees) or be tether to our phone all the time.

What has been your experience with 800#s online? Do you call them? Do you like them? Is it worth it to offer a phone line to people, or should we not concentrate on this segment of our users? Any thoughts?
depending on the site, but I usually look for an 800 number to help determine if they are legitimate or not. Im always leery of sites that take orders but only offer an online form or email as a way to contact them
 

MJ DeMarco

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My experience has been that putting an 800# on your website increases conversion, whether it is called or not. Consumers like the idea that a human is just a phone-call away.
 

GoldenEggs

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I think you should offer a phone line to people. I like to know that there is atleast a possibility of getting a human being to talk to, rather than to just figure it out from the website.

That being said, I don't like answering our phone. This is because I'm not knowledgeable about our products but my work around that is to just say I am only a receptionist. When my husband answers the phone, 90% of the time it results in a sale. But we really encourage people to purchase via the website.
 

Jorge

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Really timely thread yves, Im with the same doubt.

Do you know how much can cost to setup and maintain one?
 
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yveskleinsky

yveskleinsky

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Great, great feedback everyone, thank you. We will get a 800#.

Jorge, currently we have a phoneline thru vmail.com.
Pros:
- $20/month
- professional sounding recording
- 800 number, so we aren't giving out our cell #s (so we can answer the phone professionally)
- can choose different numbers for it to ring to (WildAmbitions and I split up the week, so we aren't each on call 24/7/365)
- missed calls go to you email, then you can log into your vmail acct and hear the message left by the caller
- modifable greetings, including the option of having it "professionally done"

Cons:
- additional fees for minutes used over a certain amount (I think our plan gives us around 200/month- not that many!)
 

Jorge

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Oct 5, 2007
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Great yves, thanks!

I was planning to setup one and use it through skype-in to get the phone calls from my computer.

I hope it works ok. I'll check into vmail.com

thanks!
 

biophase

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Definitely get an 800 number. I have one for my ebiz and get about 5 calls a week. The conversion rate of the phone calls is around 90%. I expect to make a sale whenever I answer the phone.

I think definitely helps that people see an 800 number on the site. Mine is at the very top in bright bold numbers.

I'm finding that there are still alot of people who are afraid to buy things online. People often call just to place orders. My 800 number is from vonage. I don't remember the cost, maybe $20/mo?
 

BLSH

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Jan 14, 2008
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Does Vmail offer personalised/vanity phone #s? Anyone else that offers this service? Like 1800-Flowers etc?
 

aptohosting

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Hi guys,

We use www.kall8.com, they are by far the best we have seen. You only pay $2 per month plus the minutes that you use!

Definitely look into them.

Tom
www.aptohosting.com
 

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LightHouse

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Yes, just check the site: http://gotvmail.com

Just got one last night and they set up a local number as well. Definitely an easy to use service, i had them randomly slect and 800 number for 15 dollars as opposed to getting a 866/877 number. both numbers we active withing two minutes and i could log in and administer everything online. the only part that confused me was setting up all the different recordings. Once i called their customer service it was done in two minutes.

i didnt even look up the site i had remebered the name from this post which was a good bit ago.... defintly a product of good name selection and great branding.
 

aptohosting

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My experience has been that putting an 800# on your website increases conversion, whether it is called or not. Consumers like the idea that a human is just a phone-call away.
I concur ;-)

We noticed a huge sales increase when we got our 866 #.

Definitley worth the money, GO WITH www.kall8.com they only charge based on the minutes you actually use.

Tom C.
www.aptohosting.com
 

carlhuber

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20 a month doesn't sound like that much if you can expect to surpass it easily in sales amounts, I'd say definitely go for it.
 

hakrjak

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I use 800pbx.com -- and they seem to be cheap and reliable. Only costs me $14.99 a month I think.

People definitely buy off on you being a legit biz if you have a toll free #, and some older folks won't sent payment online -- and will want to call in their info.

- Hakrjak
 

TC2

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Jun 30, 2008
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I am using Kall8.com for my online store. It's very cheap. It also supports Fax.

Now-a-day, the cell phone with free national wide long distance call is not a concern. So people call whatever number you put on your web site.

With 1-800 number on your site, it makes your site more professional.
 

DylanO

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Jul 4, 2008
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Hey guys, thanks for posting the pricing. I've always wondered how expensive an 800 number was and assumed it was MUCH more expensive. Nice to know that it's actually affordable, if one can figure out how to staf it.

Dylan
 

santiago

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Aug 20, 2007
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I have used 1800now.com - free to setup, and forwards the 800 number to a ring-to number (your cell or office or whatever). Only 3.9cents per minute. I've had no problems at all. $2 fee if you use less than $20 in minutes.

I've also used my800online.com, which works well, but it is a little more (5.9 per minute) and they don't let you select your 800 number, if that is important to you. No monthly fee however.


Either way, an 800 number is a must for a professional business on the web.
 

TC2

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Jun 30, 2008
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for those of you who use kall8.com

let's say i have recording which people can leave a vm.

do i get charged for the minutes left on vm?

also, is this just a call forwarding feature? or is there a call router in which the 800 number is displayed when making outbound calls.

I believe Kall8 does charge VM as long as the call is connected.

I forward the call directory to my cell phone, so I can pick it up right away or I direct them into voice mail. They are cheap and good quality so far!
 

ryanpal

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I believe Kall8 does charge VM as long as the call is connected.

I forward the call directory to my cell phone, so I can pick it up right away or I direct them into voice mail. They are cheap and good quality so far!
your regular cell phone vm or does it play a vm you setup by call8?

if it's forwarded to my cell phone, i wouldn't want it to play my cell phones vm
 

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THEKID105

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Sep 21, 2008
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Great question. I had a website that I trashed years ago. There was an 800 nubmber that just said please leave a message. They rarely called back. It is however an option to use the answering machine with different mailbox numbers even though it is the same phone. Another option is to have them e-mail you the questions. There was one site that used the actual purchasers of the product to answer questions. You see it is an opion if they are your immediate downline. This is only effective in network marketting kind of businesses. Anyway, good luck!
 

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