It seems that 800 telephone numbers have been around for a long time, becoming an integral part of the global business world, as well as for small and local business communities. In fact, AT&T introduced these toll-free telephone numbers in the 1960s and their popularity has spawned several other toll-free number combinations, including 888 and 877.
The HVAC industry is no stranger to 800 numbers either. All along the manufacturing, distribution, and retail chain the use of a toll-free number has become a valuable business tool for keeping and attracting customers. So it is no wonder that there are new ways to integrate 800 numbers into the marketing and advertising plans of HVAC contractors. Two of the newest uses of 800 numbers will be highlighted in this article.
1-800-REPAIRS1-800-REPAIRS gives consumers free access to local, licensed, and insured companies that stand behind their work with a written guarantee. All 1-800-REPAIRS service providers are prequalified through a certification process to ensure they meet the highest industry standards.
Service providers must submit copies of: proof of insurance, trade license, and written guarantee. Customers calling 1-800-REPAIRS are automatically dispatched to the certified 1-800-REPAIRS service provider in their area. “Our service utilizes a toll-free 800 vanity number - 1-800-REPAIRS - to give consumers an easy way to remember and contact various types of pre-qualified repair facilities, including HVAC contractors,” said Kerry P. Lauricella, founder of 1-800-REPAIRS.
Lauricella listed several advantages for contractors.
• Improved advertising results;
• Improved credibility;
• Service providers do not pay a percentage of the job;
• Customer calls are dispatched to only one service provider;
• Long-term contract not required;
• Service provider maintains their identity;
• Marketing support provided;
• Advertising networking.
“Each time a 1-800-REPAIRS service provider includes and promotes our seal of approval, it has proven to generate calls for not only that company but also other services,” Lauricella said. “Customers seeing 1-800-REPAIRS on a roofer’s jobsite sign for example may see the number and call for HVAC also.”
Lauricella noted his company maintains a healthy marketing support for HVAC contractors with questions. “Various types of Yellow Page, newspaper, billboard, truck signage, and radio ads have been created, tested, and proven to generate customer calls,” he said. “These various ads are made available online to 1-800-REPAIRS service providers.”
1-800AC-REPAIR1-800AC-REPAIR licenses vanity phone numbers throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The company licenses these numbers by the county in which the licensee draws his/her business from. “It then becomes theirs exclusively for that county only,” said Marsha Greenfield, national sales director of parent company Vanity Brands LLC. “1-800AC-REPAIR vanity numbers ring directly to their existing phone number, it is geo-routed directly.”
Greenfield noted some advantages of the vanity numbers, such as building brand awareness and refocusing marketing dollars. “It is a very cost effective way to continue to build a business,” she said. “Ask any business owner how important is their phone service and they would answer that it is No. 1.
“Ask them how many years are you in business and how many repeat customers remember their local numerical phone number. It also gives the business that competitive edge, and cuts back on the Yellow Pages and the Internet.”
Greenfield said that having 1-800AC-REPAIR on a truck is like having a moving billboard so that wherever a truck goes, so does 1-800AC-REPAIR, and the public starts associating the number with the name of the business.
“The bottom line is that people remember letters more so than numbers,” Greenfield said. “It’s been proven with all the Fortune 500 companies using those catchy 1-800GOFEDEX, 1-800-FLOWERS, etc.
“1-800 vanity phone numbers become imprinted in a prospect’s memory, long after an advertising campaign is completed and these numbers continue to produce calls. That’s because vanity phone numbers spell out exactly what you do.”
For more information, visit www.1800REPAIRS.com and call Greenfield at 1-800VANITYBRANDS.