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      How to get an UK phone number?

      Published in International

      The sixth largest economy on earth is that of the United Kingdom (Great Britain and Northern Ireland). No wonder you want to expand to the UK with your company, even despite Brexit.

      But how do you go about that logistically? A local office requires a hefty investment and may not even be necessary in the early stages. Still, for customers in the UK, it is desirable that you are easily accessible to ask questions or make a purchase. An English-language website with a phone number far away is then a turnoff.

      With a phone number in the United Kingdom you give this market what it asks for. You show that you know the local customs and serve your customers according to local expectations. Your company shows it is committed and comes across as much more reliable. In addition, a local phone number offers a more favorable calling rate (perhaps even free), which makes calling extra attractive.

      In this article we will discuss which types of telephone numbers there are in the United Kingdom and what their functions are. You will also discover which phone numbers are available and how to register them, even if your company is based outside of the UK (be it mainland Europe, United States or Asia).

      Available numbers

      Belfabriek was already known in Europe for a wide range of phone numbers in Germany, Netherlands and Belgium, but did you know that we can also offer numbers in more than 26 countries around the world? One of those countries is the United Kingdom. This way you complete the British look of your operations across the North Sea.

      You have a choice of geographical and non-geographical numbers. Which one suits your organization best depends on the purpose of the number. Do you mainly want to provide information or customer service or do you mainly want to score sales? For example, is a low call threshold more important than direct revenues from calls and minutes? Check the available types below and register your UK number directly online.

      Toll free 0800 and 0808 phone numbers

      A Freephone number is a phone number that is free to the caller, as long as that person calls from a landline. When someone calls a Freephone number in the UK from a cell phone, the caller will be charged a minimal fee. Exactly how high these are depends on the provider. Some mobile providers in the UK even stop charging a minute rate at all for calls to NGOs, for example.

      These toll-free 0800 and 0808 phone numbers are not tied to a particular city or region. Because it is free or at least cheap for callers, they are happy to grab the phone to call you. A Freephone number is great to use as a loss leader for organizations where calls often lead to sales, reservations, quote requests or donations. Examples include pizzerias, cab companies and charities.

      In the UK, a Freephone number started with 0500 until the year 2014, but gradually all numbers were being moved to the 0800 and 0808 prefixes. At the Belfabriek, you can easily register a Freephone number that starts with 0800 or 0808. UK customers nowadays expect toll free phone numbers to start with 08xx. It is not expected that this will change anytime soon. Therefore buying a 0800 or 0808 phone number is a future proof investment.

      National 030 Numbers

      Numbers beginning with 030 are non-geographic numbers with a local rate. This rate is the same for subscribers with a landline as with a cell phone.

      The 030 numbers are also usually within subscriptions with a fixed number of call minutes, so many callers will consider this a 'free' number. This makes 030 numbers an attractive alternative to a Freephone or Premium Rate number.

      090 and 091 Premium Rate Numbers

      The name gives it away: a Premium Rate number does charge the caller. These numbers exist in a Pay-Per-Minute (PPM) and a Pay-Per-Call (PPC) variant. The rate for a PPM number cannot currently exceed £3.60 per minute. The cost of a call to a PPC number cannot exceed £6.

      These maximum rates are set in the UK by PSA and can be found on their website.

      Premium Rate Numbers lend themselves well to telephone numbers from which no sales are usually made. Think of information numbers and (technical) support services.

      As of this moment Belfabriek does not offer 09x phone numbers. It is our experience that our customers find more use in other phone number types for conducting business in the UK. The problem is that 090 and 091 phone numbers have gotten a bad rap after callers were not aware of the costs involved, and were surprised by a considerable bill after their call. Therefore, 0900 phone numbers are generally seen as customer unfriendly. Not exactly the welcoming image you would want to portray to British customers.

      Geographic Numbers

      You can also turn to Belfabriek for "regular" or geographical phone numbers in the UK. Unlike all the other number types we've discussed above, these numbers are tied to a geographical location.

      The area code of these numbers starts with 01 or 02 and gives an indication of the place or region you are calling to. For example, 204 is London's area code, 01618 is Manchester's and 01316 is Edinburgh's. At the Belfabriek you can register geographical numbers in a wide range of cities, including Leeds, Glasgow, Newcastle, Brighton and Birmingham.

      Registering your own virtual UK phone number

      Whether you want to register a phone number in the UK or in another country, at Belfabriek you can easily handle the application online. We will take away all the headache dealing with British agencies.

      In our UK numbers shop you will find a sample list of available numbers. Do you see a suitable number in the list? Then you can order your own England service number from us today.

      If you do not see the number of your choice, or if you have any questions, please contact our customer service by phone, e-mail or contact form. Our English, German, Spanish and Dutch speaking customer service will be happy to answer them.

      Many extras

      Whichever UK number(s) you choose, at Belfabriek you will enjoy a host of free extras. Thanks to our Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system we can port your UK number to any phone in the world. This way you can easily handle incoming calls from the wherever you are based. That's a good thing to have when it's still a bit too early for you to open a physical office in the UK.

      The IVR makes it possible to link many functions to your UK telephone number. In fact, we make optimum use of that possibility. With our additional features, you not only improve your callers' experience and thus create additional goodwill, but you also learn how to get the most out of your telephone department. Specifically, you will receive the following extras with your UK number.

      Call statistics

      My Belfabriek is an extensive statistics dashboard that shows you how many incoming calls you have had, what the busiest hours are, which numbers you are called from most often, and so on. The statistics are updated live, so that you can, for example, immediately deploy more staff when the pressure demands it.

      Queue

      What about when all your employees are busy? The call queue plays the music of your choice and periodically tells callers how many are waiting before them. If the queue is too long, you can ask them to leave a message.

      Digital answering machine

      Also free is the digital answering machine feature. Callers can leave a message and you will immediately receive an e-mail with the link to the audio recording. So if you want, you can take immediate action and call back.

      Selection menu

      Callers may have a variety of questions. With a selection menu you can quickly put them through to the right department and the right person. The menu creates calm in your department and prevents unnecessary manual transfer.

      Call recording

      Allows you to record every phone conversation with your British callers, which is ideal for quality control and setting training goals.

      Register your English phone number now

      As you can see, when seriously attacking such a large market, it is important to have all the details in perfect order. More than a detail, a phone number is a communication channel with which you answer questions, create goodwill, generate leads and score direct or indirect sales. If only the best is enough for you, you've come to the right place.

      Register your professional UK phone number today and within a few days you will benefit from your international reach and the many extras our cloud based phone system offers.

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