My colleague on the my1voice side wrote a fantastic blog post giving his thoughts on Google Voice integration with Gmail. In general, his thoughts were as follows - if you're a small business owner and you are looking for software to help you run your business, free sounds great in theory. In reality, free doesn't deliver reliability, useful business features, or a live person ready and available 24/7 to ensure your business services are working for you.
Don't get me wrong, using a free service isn't a bad thing - it actually has its advantages.
Let's take a look at the concept of free from another perspective - growing your business. A short while ago, a great piece of advice was passed along to me by a MyFax customer. This customer said, "In a down economy, nobody ever hesitates to call a toll-free number."
Queue the light bulb! He was one of the many MyFax and my1voice customers who have built their business around the use of a toll-free number.
Put yourself in the shoes of a local customer who has the option of calling two companies for a particular need - one that is located in his/her city or one in a neighboring county or state. In these tough times, where every penny counts, what choice do you think that customer makes?
This is where the use of toll-free numbers comes into play. What many experiments in behavioral economics and psychology have shown is that free can be a powerful tool - it removes boundaries and risks and allows the better product and/or service to win - and hopefuly that's yours!
But really, and maybe I'm just overthinking things - I mean, you wouldn't charge someone to visit your website, would you?
So it should be natural then, that you wouldn't charge them to phone you or send you a fax. Put another way, maybe the reason why toll-free numbers work so well for small business is that they make doing business with you easy...Not to mention giving your business a higher level of prestige by allowing you to cast a big shadow.
Either way you look at it, as a MyFax and my1voice customer you have a choice - either local or toll-free for the exact same cost - so get those numbers out there!
As a starter, remember to take advantage of our free business card offer to MyFax and my1voice customers to see for yourself why free has so many advantages.
And don't forget to take to the comments section to let us know how YOU'RE using free to build your small business!