Have you ever dialed a toll-free number (TFR) for a business or service and been disappointed to find that the number doesn’t work? If you have, I’m sure you will agree that it is more disappointing to find that a toll-free number doesn’t connect than if it was a regular toll number. There’s a certain loss of legitimacy, it feels sketchy somehow. 

Toll-free numbers convey authenticity, honesty, and a genuine commitment to customers. They are often deployed in bulk to help businesses to connect to their own regional hubs as well as to their customer bases dispersed across broad geographic areas. Toll-free national and international numbers can run to the thousands at any given time meaning complexity, lots of complexity. And this complexity makes traditional toll-free number testing both labor-intensive and inadequate.  

Let’s take a look at the problems associated with traditional toll-free number testing in more detail and discuss how upgrading your toll-free number testing process is the answer.

Worldwide woes

Toll-free numbers are extremely valuable to businesses looking to service domestic or international customers, or both. Toll-free means that your customers don’t have to consider the cost of the call and are more likely to reach out, irrespective of their geographic location. They are particularly valuable when trying to break into a new market where your brand is less well known because they demonstrate commitment to your client base and can even serve as a marketing tool if the number is memorable enough. 

But without adequate toll-free number testing tools in play to ensure that calls are connecting properly and voice quality is optimal, toll-free means nothing. Regular, round the clock national and international toll-free number testing that can verify call connection and performance in real time is the only guarantee you have that your customers are getting the service you want for them.  

A problem scaled

Many businesses and organizations use toll-free numbers to incentivize engagement with sales and marketing campaigns. Maintaining a live inventory of activated, reactivated, and deactivated toll-free numbers, across every geographic region they relate to is an arduous task. 

Add to this the reality that sales and marketing campaigns are usually cyclical; new campaigns will replace older ones in an attempt to keep things fresh. Now we have more numbers and the reintroduction of previously deactivated ones. 

Manual toll-free number testing means dialing each of these numbers, working through every prompt to reach every endpoint. Testing in these chaotic environments, by necessity, becomes sporadic and incomplete.

But what happens when problems inevitably arise? If you don’t have an always-on, end-to-end toll-free number testing mechanism in place, the first you will hear about an issue is from your customers, and that is far from optimal.

Bad enough if your problem relates to one toll-free number in isolation, but scaled across every toll-free number you have in operation? Disaster. The outcome, inevitably, is irritated customers with itchy feet, and browbeaten agents with a similar inclination.

The money pit

So, what happens to all the toll free numbers that are no longer in use, that you are still paying for? If you don’t have an automated, always-on toll-free number testing process in place to weed those out, you’ll just go on paying. 

Similarly, if your testing process doesn’t highlight network operator or carrier failings, you are paying for a subpar service and guaranteeing future problems. 

There’s something else to consider here; many industries and services are heavily regulated. They are obliged to provide accurate contact information for their customers; contact information that relates functional, in-service numbers. Failure to comply with these regulations can mean hefty penalties and damage to reputations. Add into the soup the seasonal surges healthcare and home energy companies experience and you are in a murky broth!

The safety net

The good news is that by simply upgrading your toll-free number testing process, you can catch all of these issues before your customers’ experience with your service is affected irreparably. Automated testing for your toll-free numbers can help you to wrest back control over what could otherwise become a very messy situation. 

At Spearline, we have developed a suite of number testing solutions that can test your toll-free numbers using our private, local infrastructure in any USA or Canadian state, or from any of the 83 countries worldwide where Spearline has a presence. So, no matter where your customers are located, we can provide you with a round the clock, 365 birds-eye view of their experience with your service across a huge variety of providers and mobile networks.

Our automated Voice Assure number testing tool verifies call connection, voice quality, latency, and other key call performance metrics. Armed with this critical information, you can proactively diagnose, escalate, and resolve issues before they become obvious problems. 

Our end-to-end Voice Assure number testing solution has no installation requirement, meaning, with just a few simple clicks, you can be up and testing in no time. And you can adapt our RESTful APIs to meet the needs of your current systems and workflows

Voice Assure tests your toll-free numbers according to your schedule, highlighting genuine failures as they emerge and providing you with realtime alerts, reporting and analytics delivered directly to your own personalized dashboard. 

You can also avail of a bespoke set of follow-up tests to check call fail states and audio quality that drops below a predetermined threshold. These customized tests and alerts will help to determine if a failure or voice quality issue is part of a persistent problem, or a once-off occurrence. 

Our Voice Assure Realtime tool includes our powerful Provider Selection feature, which allows you to troubleshoot your global contact numbers across multiple in-country network providers. Provider Selection hands you the reins so you can decide on the network operators you want to test, offering alternative routes for every country’s fixed line and mobile carrier network. With Provider Selection, you have greater visibility into the conduct of your numbers across multiple voice providers and geographical locations.

The data you receive from our toll-free number testing process provides you with invaluable insights into the critical aspects of your customer experience worldwide. You can use this data to negotiate SLAs with carriers and mobile networks and to help you to understand how your service stacks up against our benchmark indicators and your own historical data.

Reach out to us today to find out more about Voice Assure and let us help you to take control of your toll-free number testing.