A Universal International Freephone Number (UIFN), also known as a universal toll free number, is a special type of telephone number. UIFNs were created to allow organisations and businesses to use one unique freephone number across multiple countries.
Traditionally, different countries have their own freephone number formatting. For example, in the UK, numbers beginning “0800” are toll free. Whereas in Japan, toll free numbers use the prefix “0120” – and in Spain they begin with “900”. This can cause callers to become confused about whether they will or won’t be charged when making international calls to these numbers.
By using one prefix over many different countries, UIFNs were created in part to help clear up this confusion. Taking the prefix “00800”, UIFNs are used by large companies and organisations (such as the EU) to indicate that calls made to them are free no matter where the caller is located.
The UIFN number service is regulated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Today, more than 50 countries participate in the UIFN program – including the UK, the US, France, Germany, China, Brazil, Canada and Australia. This makes UIFNs very well suited for businesses looking to use toll free numbers in more than two countries.
Previously, multinational companies and organisations which wanted to give customers the ability to get in touch for free would have to use different numbers in different countries – making international marketing difficult. With a UIFN, companies only need to use one number, and can display this to all their customers.
There are plenty of benefits to choosing a UFIN. Here are six big ones.
1. Global Credibility
By mimicking the well-known “0800” prefix, UIFNs connote security and trust. And, because many callers recognise the UIFN format, they know that, if they make a call to that number, they will reach a trustworthy, legitimate business – and that they won’t be charged for placing their call.
2. Global Presence
Using one number in multiple countries makes it far easier to launch international marketing campaigns. For businesses looking to launch multi-country marketing campaigns, a UIFN will reduce costs, decrease roll-out time and allow you to take a flexible approach to further international growth.
3. Centralised Resources
UIFNs can be routed to any destination or device of your choosing. This means that, rather than having to set up overseas offices to oversee international expansion, you can begin targeting overseas customers from home. This will reduce expansion overheads and allow you to retain control throughout your expansion.
4. Improved Worldwide Services
By running your international numbers from one location, you will be able to provide a consistent, high-quality, standardised service to customers all over the world. This will help consolidate your international brand and simplify your administration processes.
5. Instantly Enter New Markets
Because your UIFN can be called from many different countries, you will be able to respond quickly to international growth opportunities; by eliminating the need to purchase local telecoms solutions, and by allowing you to reuse existing marketing collateral, a UIFN makes it possible to create a presence in a new country and begin taking calls almost immediately.
6. Inherent Flexibility
With a UIFN, you will be able to take advantage of international opportunities that previously may have been difficult to pursue. A UIFN build flexibility into your business, meaning you can react to global developments and exploit international prospects in real-time.
WMX Global is a leading technology supplier and innovative international communications provider. We have established relationships with renowned carriers across the globe and are able to provide UIFNs in more than 40 countries. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you.
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