In this age of instant connection on Twitter, texting and other forms of media, you may wonder if a toll-free number is still necessary or even important.

After all, the reason that these numbers were first offered was to help customers reach out and connect with you without paying high long distance fees. Now that this problem is solved through mobile phone plans and home plans that offer flat rates for calls anywhere, you may think that toll-free numbers are a thing of the past. Think again!

Having a toll free number is essential no matter what type of business you’re in – and with a virtual phone answering service it’s easier than ever to get a number.

Here are three reasons why you need to use a 1-800 number if you aren’t right now:

1. Memorability.

How many people rely on their smartphones to remember numbers for them? Most people can’t remember their own spouse’s number let alone the local number for the plumber that they saw advertised on Facebook. In an age where we rely on computers to remember things for us, having a 1-800 number that communicates the value of your business can be a real asset. Instead of taking time to Google (or use the phone book) for a plumber in the middle of a crisis, your customers can easily remember 1-800-4NO-LEAKS and get the help that they need. People are more likely to call you if you have a vanity toll free number – which can result in more business for you.

2. Credibility.

Even though a lot of the discovery and sales process can take place online these days, there’s something about having a 1-800 number that boosts your businesses credibility. Big corporations were the first to have toll-free numbers, and having one on your website and in your marketing material still brings an air of legitimacy to your business. Even if you’re a one-person shop with a virtual phone answering service, you can appear to be much larger just by using toll-free number.

3. Flexibility.

Let’s say you start your consulting firm in your small town. But as the years go by, you find yourself serving people all over the city – and even in the next county over. If you got a local number rather than a toll-free number at the start of your business, you might feel limited as you grow. Your new clients will wonder if you can meet their needs since your number is attached to a specific geographic location. But with a toll-free number, you can stay flexible and successfully market anywhere that you find your business growing.

Don’t miss out on the opportunities that come with having a toll-free number!