What are Inbound Services?
13, 1300 and 1800 are Australian inbound phone numbers that make it easier for your customers to do business with you. It gives customers and staff a single number to remember for your business, regardless of where in Australia you are or where your caller is located.
Transportable (you can take them when you move – even interstate!), inbound numbers provide your business an important, professional identity, and help simplify and enhance your customers’ phone experience.
There are different types of inbound numbers and each has its own features, benefits and associated costs. The service you choose for your business will depend on your individual telephony needs, budgets and business objectives.
What is the difference?
Aside from the number of digits in the numbers (13 has six digits, 1300 and 1800 have ten), the most notable difference between 13, 1300 and 1800 numbers are the fees incurred by the caller.
1800 numbers are referred to as toll-free or free-call numbers as calls made from a landline to an 1800 number are free for the caller, no matter where in Australia they are calling from. Calls made from a landline to a 13 or 1300 number incurs the cost of a local call, regardless of the caller’s location within Australia.
Calls to inbound numbers from mobile phones typically incur fees to the caller from their mobile provider.
Also worth noting is that the six digit 13 numbers are a classified as a premium service (there are only 10,000 in total). As a finite resource, they attract a larger government surcharge per number compared to longer 1300 and 1800 numbers.
13, 1300 and 1800 numbers do not work when called from overseas. If you have international clients and want to encourage them to contact you by phone, blueAPACHE can provide international toll free numbers (eg. 0800 number) and transfer them locally in accordance with your routing rules.
Which Inbound Service should you choose?
This decision depends entirely on your business goals and the outcome you wish to achieve with an Inbound Service.
With only six digits, 13 numbers are easy to remember making them a powerful marketing tool. They are best suited for businesses with larger call volumes (as seen in retail, customer service and not for profit sectors).
1300 numbers are ideal for any business wanting to have national coverage in a cost-effective manner. They broaden the reach of your business while giving customers a single point of contact.
1800 numbers provide your customers with free calls from landlines regardless of where in Australia they are, making them ideal for businesses that want to encourage contact from customers and prospects. Being a true free call, 1800 numbers are regarded as a powerful sales tool that can give your business a competitive advantage in local and interstate markets.
What is routing?
Put simply, call routing is a set of policy rules that your provider puts in place to dictate where calls to your inbound numbers go.
Most organisations have them go to a single number, perhaps directing after hours calls to a separate number. More complex routes can use not only time of day to dictate how calls are handled, but add call origin, workloads, day of week, distribution splits and blocking rules to ensure they maximise call accessibility.
What are the benefits?
- Inbound Services provide a higher degree of control over your calls and your customers’ experience – you can customise your greeting message, route calls intelligently based on desired call flows and reduce wait times by distributing workloads evenly.
- They are completely portable within Australia. Inbound Services are phone system, carrier and network agnostic; allowing you to keep the same number for the life of your business no matter how many times you move.
- Inbound Services can provide a wealth of information – call reports, usage data, call recordings and inbound call analytics; all of which can be used to streamline your call handling process and improve customer service.
- A nation-wide single point of contact means 13, 1300 and 1800 numbers increase the likelihood that a customer or a prospect will call you, while making it easier for you to track the performance of your marketing campaigns.
- Inbound Services can enhance your brand image, by projecting a professional, large-scale appearance that instils confidence in customers.