Ultimate Guide to Local Numbers in the United Kingdom

Local numbers are a gateway for businesses that want to connect deeply with their surrounding community.

This guide sheds light on the key role local numbers play not just in bridging the distance between businesses and their local customers but also in amplifying the brand’s presence in its immediate geography. Local numbers can transform customer engagement strategies for all businesses – from small start-ups to sprawling enterprises.

In this post, we navigate the nuances of local numbers, offering insights and practical advice to seamlessly integrate them into your business communications workflows.

Key Takeaways

  • Community connection: Local telephone numbers enhance businesses’ ties with their local community, improving accessibility and customer loyalty.
  • Increased call responses: Familiar area codes boost customer trust, leading to higher answer rates.
  • Cost-effective growth: Local telephone numbers offer cost savings and scalability, especially with VoIP integration.
  • Compliance and innovation: Adhering to regulations while adopting cloud telephony ensures businesses stay compliant and competitive.

Table of Contents

  1. Key takeaways
  2. Understanding local numbers in the UK
  3. Choosing the right local number for your business
  4. Benefits of using a local number
  5. Implement local numbers in your business
  6. Navigating challenges with local numbers
  7. Final thoughts on local numbers in the UK

Understanding local numbers in the UK

Understanding the intricacies of local phone numbers, from their structure to their strategic importance, is crucial for any entity looking to connect with local customers.

This section delves into what local numbers are, how they differ from non-geographic numbers, and why local numbers are indispensable for businesses in the UK.

What is a local phone number?

A local phone number in the UK is a specific type of telephone number tied to a designated geographic area, such as 020 for London or 0161 for Manchester.

These geographic numbers identify a business as local, which gives it a stronger presence in the area and tells the surrounding community that the business can be trusted. For businesses, utilising a local telephone number is a strategic approach that fosters a sense of belonging and familiarity.

Moreover, local numbers often result in lower call charges for customers within the same area, encouraging more frequent and cost-effective communication.

The difference between geographic & non-geographic numbers

In telecommunications, the distinction between geographic and non-geographic numbers is important for businesses and individuals alike.

Geographic numbers are tied to specific regions, carrying area codes that reflect their location, such as 0121 for Birmingham.

Conversely, non-geographic numbers are not linked to particular locations and often have prefixes such as 0800 or 0300.

Understanding this difference is crucial in choosing a number that aligns with your communication strategy, whether that is to emphasise your local identity or establish a nationwide appeal.

Choosing the right local number for your business

Opting for a memorable and geographically relevant local phone number can make a significant difference in how local customers perceive and remember your business.

This section will guide you through how to select the ideal local number, including how to acquire one and how area codes work.

Types of local numbers available

In the UK, businesses and individuals can choose from two main types of local numbers: the 01 and 02 series. These numbers are considered geographic, each linked to a specific area or city.

The distribution of these numbers is thoughtfully designed to reflect geographic regions, allowing businesses to align themselves closely with the specific area they serve.

Additionally, there’s an option to select memorable numbers within these series. Such numbers are designed to be easy for customers to remember and dial, which improves brand recognition and ensures smoother customer interactions.

Understanding area codes

Area codes in the UK are allocated by Ofcom, the governmental communications regulator.

These codes are prefixed to local numbers, defining the geographic area they are associated with, such as 028 for Belfast or 0131 for Edinburgh. This link between a local area code and its corresponding region enables callers to identify the general location of the number they’re dialling.

Understanding and choosing the appropriate area code is therefore essential for businesses as it directly influences how they are perceived within the local market.

How to get a local phone number

To acquire a new local phone number in the UK, start by contacting a telecommunications provider and specifying the geographic area you’re interested in, such as London or Manchester.

Many providers offer both traditional landline numbers and virtual local phone numbers, the latter being particularly useful if you require a local presence without a physical office in that area.

Virtual numbers can be set up quickly and integrated with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, enabling flexible call management features like call forwarding, voicemail, and conference calls.

When setting up a VoIP system, ensure you have a stable internet connection and compatible hardware, such as a VoIP-enabled phone or headset.

VoIP technology converts your voice into a digital signal, enabling you to make calls directly from a computer, VoIP phone, or other data-driven device, streamlining your communications.

Benefits of using a local number

Adopting a local number significantly boosts your business’s visibility and connection within its community.

This section explores the benefits of local numbers in establishing a trusted presence, enhancing customer relations, and supporting business growth.

Enhance local presence & image

A local phone number instantly roots a business within its community, establishing that it is accessible and dedicated to local interests. This accessibility strengthens the bond between the business and its customers, making it particularly appealing to those who support local enterprises. Such a presence fosters a welcoming, community-focused image that attracts loyal customers.

Improve customer trust & confidence

Customers tend to place higher trust in businesses with local numbers, seeing them as more established and customer-oriented. A local number signals a business’s commitment to the community, making customers more comfortable with and confident in initiating contact. This perceived legitimacy encourages deeper customer engagement and trust.

Advanced call management features

Local numbers come equipped with advanced call management features that greatly enhance business operations and customer interactions. These features include call forwarding, voicemail, caller ID, and interactive voice response (IVR) systems, which streamline communication and ensure no call goes unanswered.

By leveraging these tools, businesses can maintain a high level of professionalism and responsiveness, contributing to a positive customer experience.

Increase call answer rates

Local phone numbers significantly boost call answer rates, as calls are less likely to be dismissed as spam. Customers recognise local area codes and are therefore more inclined to answer, increasing the likelihood of successful communication. This is especially valuable for businesses aiming to enhance their outreach and customer service.

Reduce costs for businesses

Switching to local phone numbers enables businesses to significantly cut down on communication expenses. With local numbers classified as ‘local rate’, businesses and their customers can enjoy lower call charges, making communication more cost-effective. When integrated with VoIP technology, these savings are further amplified due to reduced call rates associated with VoIP calls.

Moreover, leveraging local numbers facilitates a virtual local presence, allowing businesses to bypass the need for high overheads linked to maintaining physical offices across different regions.

Facilitate market expansion & testing

Local numbers enable businesses to strategically enter and test new markets with minimal investment. By adopting a local number in a new area, businesses can gauge customer response and gather valuable feedback without the need for a physical presence, allowing for informed decisions on market expansion.

Support targeted marketing efforts

Local numbers are instrumental in executing targeted marketing campaigns. They allow businesses to customise their outreach efforts to specific geographic demographics, targeting multiple locations and enhancing the relevance and personalisation of their marketing messages. This targeted approach improves engagement rates and fosters a closer connection with the intended audience.

Implement local numbers in your business

Maximising your local number’s value is key to strategic engagement with your community.

This section outlines methods to integrate, market, and analyse your local number to enhance business operations and customer engagement.

Integrate with business systems

Integrating local numbers into your business through traditional and cloud PBX phone systems is a simple process.

Modern PBX systems seamlessly integrate local numbers via virtual landline solutions, enhancing your business’s accessibility and professionalism.

By incorporating local numbers into cloud PBX systems, businesses can manage their inbound and outbound calls, services, and accounts more efficiently, ensuring that every customer interaction is routed and handled effectively.

Emphasise your local number in marketing communications

Leveraging local numbers in your marketing strategies can significantly enhance your business’s local presence.

When you send out marketing communication, whether physical or digital, include your local phone number on the marketing collateral so that customers can see your brand’s local presence.

This approach amplifies the impact of your outreach efforts, making each call a potential touchpoint for building stronger customer relationships.

Get business insights from analysing call data

Analysing call data offers invaluable insights into customer interactions.

By integrating your local phone number with PBX and CRM systems and utilising call analytics and reporting tools, you can track inbound and outbound calls, phone call patterns, and caller behaviours.

This data-driven tactic enables you to understand customer needs better, refine your communication strategies, and enhance service delivery.

Leveraging these insights can lead to more effective engagement, ultimately driving business growth and customer satisfaction.

Navigating challenges with local numbers

While local numbers fortify your connection with the community, they come with challenges such as portability and scalability, market reach, regulatory compliance, and technical integration.

This section delves into effective strategies for overcoming these hurdles, ensuring your local numbers continue to serve as a valuable asset in your business’s communication toolkit.

Overcoming portability & scalability issues

As your business evolves, you will need to address portability and scalability, and local numbers can help with this.

Transitioning to virtual landlines, like those offered by United Telecoms, allows for seamless porting of geographic numbers, ensuring you remain accessible.

For detailed guidance, refer to our guide on how to port landline numbers to VoIP in the United Kingdom. This process not only maintains number continuity during provider changes and expansions but also simplifies the management of multiple local numbers, significantly reducing administrative efforts.

Contact a United Telecoms specialist to begin your seamless transition.

Broadening your market reach

Expanding your market reach beyond local confines requires the strategic use of both geographic and non-geographic numbers.

While local numbers nurture community ties, incorporating non-geographic or international number/s can project a broader presence, appealing to a national audience.

Integrating these diverse numbers into your marketing strategies ensures your business resonates with both local patrons and potential customers across the country, effectively balancing regional loyalty with nationwide appeal.

Ensuring regulatory compliance & cost transparency

Staying compliant with Ofcom’s regulations and the National Telephone Numbering Plan is crucial for businesses utilising 01 and 02 geographic numbers.

These regulations ensure transparency around call charges, which vary for landlines and mobile phone devices across providers and may include connection fees.

Businesses must accurately communicate these potential costs to customers, reflecting any variations due to time of day or specific call packages.

Adherence to these guidelines not only aligns with legal requirements but also upholds customer trust in a dynamic telecommunications environment.

Addressing technical integration challenges

Streamline the integration of local numbers into your business’s communication system with solutions like HV.Select, offered by United Telecoms.

Utilising the BT network, HV.Select brings the power of VoIP to your local numbers, enhancing connectivity without the need for traditional PBX hardware. It offers flexible options – whether you’re looking to fully move to the cloud with foundation and mobile licences or prefer a hybrid approach with HV.Select SIP, which allows VoIP calls while keeping your existing PBX.

This setup ensures your local numbers work seamlessly within a modern, cloud-enabled telecommunication infrastructure.

Final thoughts on local numbers in the UK

Local numbers are a strategic asset for UK businesses because they enhance community engagement and offer versatility in customer interaction and technological integration. They play a critical role in building trust, increasing call response rates and providing cost-efficient communication solutions.

Incorporating local numbers into marketing strategies and customer service protocols allows businesses to tailor their approach to meet the unique demands of their local market while unlocking a competitive advantage. The ability to port numbers and scale operations as businesses grow further underscores the flexibility and value of local numbers and virtual landlines.

For businesses looking to solidify their local presence and navigate the complexities of modern telecommunications with ease, local numbers offer a proven path to success. United Telecoms UK stands ready to support your journey, offering expert guidance and customised solutions to maximise the potential of local numbers for your business.

Got questions? Contact our experts today.


We service the following locations across London and the United Kingdom

Greater London: City of London, Hounslow, Barking and Dagenham, Islington, Barnet, Kensington and Chelsea, Bexley, Kingston upon Thames, Brent, Lambeth, Bromley, Lewisham, Camden, Merton Croydon, Newham, Ealing, Redbridge, Enfield, Richmond upon Thames, Greenwich, Southwark, Hackney, Sutton, Hammersmith and Fulham, Tower Hamlets, Haringey, Waltham Forest, Harrow, Wandsworth, Havering, Westminster and Hillingdon.

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London Office

2 Osborne Way
KT19 8GR
United Kingdom (UK)

Tel: 033 1630 0516
Tel: 020 3399 8011

Email: info@united-telecoms.co.uk

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