International Toll-free Numbers (ITFN): Advantages and How Customer Service Outsourcing Increments Global Cross-border Sales Success

“For e-Commerce sellers looking to go big and expand their business internationally to other countries to take advantage of sustained sales growth and a stronger competitive edge in the global eCommerce market, it’s vitally important to consider the advantages that International Toll-free Numbers (ITFN) bring over the Universal International Freephone Numbers (UIFN) 1-800 toll-free phone number option – such as better coverage and cost savings; with international numbers, businesses can substantially increment their customer acquisition and customer retention rates while improving brand loyalty over the long-term. In addition to the benefits that ITFN provides, superb customer service outsourcing options – such as our very own Callnovo Contact Center – can improve upon each eCommerce sellers’ sales success even more with the activation and hosting of international numbers through its Global Omnichannel Cloud Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Platform, as well as with localized customer service in each customer’s native language to ensure that no consumer is left out, ensuring 24/7/365 service that successfully mitigates language and service access barriers and increases global sales opportunities.”

1-800 Toll-free Numbers: A Necessity for Market-expanding eCommerce Businesses

Taking the big jump from national to international eCommerce selling through cross-border eCommerce markets is a difficult task as much should be factored in – especially when it comes to how your e-Commerce business tackles the challenge of providing superb 24/7/365 customer service that meets eCommerce customers’ needs at exactly the right moment and when consumers need them met; not only does the challenge present itself of providing customer service at all hours to maximize on the customer acquisition/customer retention benefits that come along with full access to your service – but, as for most eSellers providing service to non-native language-speaking countries, there’s also the challenge of assuring that your business’ eCommerce consumers receive accurate and clear communication that meets their sales needs rapidly, ensuring the provision of high-quality experiences that encourage their trust in your brand(s) and influence them to remain long-term loyal customers that spread the word about your company to others via word-of-mouth advertising.

To successfully tackle those challenges, it’s highly important for e-Commerce businesses expanding to overseas e-Commerce markets to consider how 1-800 toll-free numbers can help; along with customer service outsourcing (which we’ll talk about below), the activation/ implementation of 1-800 tollfree numbers is a viable option that guarantees sales consumers direct contact with your e-Commerce seller’s CSRs at all times in their native languages. With properly implemented 1-800 toll free phone number access, market-expanding global eSellers like yours can:

  • provide an easily-accessible free point-of-contact, ensuring pleasant customer service experiences that successfully augment customer loyalty,
  • take advantage of the above-mentioned point-of-contact as a direct, unique marketing approach that creates eCommerce sales opportunities since consumers oftentimes connect with companies to make pre-sales inquiries that eventually lead to successful e-Commerce purchases,
  • take advantage of the forementioned “free” aspect of 1-800 toll free numbers which effectively eliminates uncertainty in callers’ minds regarding a business’ validity and reputability, encouraging an increase in inquiries and purchases and leading to higher sales profit margins – furthermore, the accompanying voicemail system further helps your business to solve routine queries, and
  • 1-800 number subscription rates and installation costs are significantly lower than regular telephone devices; additionally, 1-800 numbers offer voicemail services, call screening, and message centers – good for lowering operational costs.

International Numbers (ITFN) vs. Universal Numbers (UIFN)

When choosing 1-800 toll-free phone number options, there’re two different types; these are:

  • International Toll-free Numbers (ITFN), and
  • Universal International Freephone Numbers.

International Toll Free Numbers – as mentioned above – allow customers to contact your business free-of-charge, placing the affordable service costs on the receiver (your business) – processed via your 1-800 phone number provider; international numbers work through the International Toll Free Forwarding Service (ITFS) – and no international calling fees are applied. International numbers essentially exist in different forms but are identified by dialing prefixes attributed to geographic area codes or a specific regions. Universal International Free-phone Numbers – while not the same as ITFNs – share some similar characteristics; universal numbers are also free for callers to use, companies pay a one-time registration fee in order to secure the phone number, universal numbers work through the International Freephone Service (IFS), and UIFNs are composed of a three-digit country code that is followed by a Global Subscriber Number (GSN) comprised of 8 digits.

The Advantages of International Toll-free Numbers (ITFN)

International Tollfree Numbers provide several advantages over UIFNs that wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the lack of limitations – yes, the lack of limitations – that the International Toll Free Service (ITFS) currently has; eCommerce sellers like your very own can benefit from international numbers because they sufficiently augment business’ long-term sales success in the global market – as well as its competitive edge, providing a direct lifeline to worldwide customers that want to get in touch with your company regarding pre-sales/post-sales questions and concerns – without access restrictions, directly influencing global customer acquisition and customer retention numbers and improving the sustained growth of your company’s brand loyalty. Practically speaking:

  • International numbers provide the ability to answer worldwide callers’ phone calls from anywhere around the world on any device (mobile phones, landlines, business process outsourcing (BPO), and fax machines),
  • International numbers provide unlimited coverage to 160+ countries worldwide, providing for cross-border eSellers literally a world of sales opportunity with the assurance of long-term sales growth and financial stability,
  • ITFNs improve caller response rates due to their advertising campaign advantages – since it’s been proven that advertisements that feature ITFNs receive up to 30% more of customer responses than those without them,
  • International numbers boost revenue by minimizing missed leads and by providing additional channels that can help close more deals, and
  • on a greater note, International Toll-free Numbers belong to each business – as it would yours; you would own the number – it would be yours to keep – in other words, your e-Commerce business wouldn’t be restricted to a single provider, and the number would be mobile, allowing you to practically create a virtual online presence.

The Current Limitations of UIFN

Universal International Freephone Numbers – while beneficial when it comes to unifying customer service caller options regardless of the service country – currently are a set-back and share many limitations that unfortunately make them a sub-par 1-800 toll-free customer calling option. In contrast to International Toll-free Numbers and their wide benefits:

  • UIFNs are only accessible from approximately 50 countries – they significantly limit worldwide customer service access and customer reach,
  • as opposed to ITFNs, UIFNs are accompanied by registration fees – and, it can take up to 2-3 weeks to activate them, slowing down their launch rate and preventing rapid access to customers,
  • in opposition to ITFNs, there’re certain restrictions – as well as a formatting hoop to jump through:
    • restrictions are imposed on countries – for instance, UIFN numbers can only be dialed from Telecom New Zealand’s and Vodaphone’s mobile networks within the country, hotels within Taiwan aren’t required to provide UIFN access – and, in the Netherlands, UIFN accessibility isn’t enforced by law – so, many phone providers don’t honor the standard;
    • callers must dial their country’s international access code (IAC) before inputting the rest of the number – which is a nuisance for callers from countries that are not used to the format, making advertising more difficult; and,
  • in contrast to the cheaper ITFN option, as mentioned and in addition to the above:
    • access to UIFN requires one-time universal registration fees that can cost up to USD$ 300.00 dollars depending on the market;
    • access to UIFN requires payment of annual maintenance fees; and,
    • access also requires monthly subscription fees for each service country.

Weighing in the limitations that UIFNs are restricted by, it’s clear that ITFNs are the better option for most cross-border market-expansion purposes – especially, if eCommerce companies want to maximize on their global market advantage.

Callnovo Contact Center: a Viable Customer Service Outsourcing Solution for Cross-Border Market Expansion

For cross-border market-expanding e-Commerce sellers considering the best 1-800 toll free customer calling option for their business needs, we at Callnovo Contact Center – an internationally-known and trusted leader in outsourced customer service and tech support that has been providing exceptional multilingual and omnichannel customer service solutions to over 1,000 businesses for more than 16 years and within more than 40 industries – actually provide a superb customer service outsourcing solution that can help businesses like your own to take advantage of the benefits that toll-free calling options provide in order to secure 24/7/365 localized customer service in 35+ languages (such as: English, Malaysian, Spanish, Mandarin / Cantonese, French, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, German, Turkish, Arabic, Portuguese – amongst others) that successfully meets and rises above the language and service coverage challenges that global eSellers face in reference to global market expansion. With our highly-customizable and state-of-the-art Global Omnichannel SaaS Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Platform that handles the activation/hosting of 1-800 toll free calling options such as the forementioned ITFN option at a low cost, as well as an expert customer service team that has been successfully-trained in the customer service soft-skills necessary to handle your specific customer service needs, your business can be assured that it’ll have what it takes in the way of help so that it may expand to other cross-border markets and then start to build a more successful eCommerce sales business.

In conclusion, as the 1-800 calling option offers grand market-expansion benefits over the UIFN option for eCommerce businesses looking to rise above the accompanying language and service coverage challenges, Callnovo Contact Center’s ready as a viable customer service outsourcing option to help such businesses make their market expansion dreams become a reality with 1-800 number activation and hosting and a native-language localized customer service support team that can successfully provide all-access customer service at any time – anywhere, ensuring high-quality customer experiences that create long-term brand loyalty and ensure eCommerce sales success.

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