What Does Your Phone Number Say About You?
I bet this is a question you have never asked yourself.
But when it comes to your business and the image you project, it is the finer details that require your closest attention. You are always thinking about your target audience, how to engage them on social media, entice them to your site and get them to contact you. You pay close attention to the messages you send out by your choice of font size, the colour of your logo and the language you use.
Why not your phone number? Your phone number is part of your customers’ first contact with and experience of your company: it matters.
Do you even have a phone number?
With an increasing amount of businesses setting up shop online, this trend has also seen an increase in the number of companies operating on an email-only basis. Web contact forms and inquiries via social media are becoming more and more popular among the web-savvy businesses of today.
But there is an element of professionalism that is missing when you neglect to provide a contact number. If the only way your potential customers can get hold of you is via a link on your website, you are limiting your scope.
For one, you are saying a flat “No” to traditional, offline marketing, which isn’t something that you want to write off as “old-fashioned.” You can list your website and social pages on leaflets and business cards, but for less web-savvy customers, this is an alienating tactic.
Not only does a phone number make you more contactable to a wider audience, but it adds significantly to your professional image. Often when people contact a business for the first time, they have many questions regarding your services, pricing and how you will meet personal expectations. This can be done easily over the phone in one quick exchange, rather than waiting on email and having to go back and forth every time your customer thinks of a new question.
Are you advertising your mobile phone number?
Advertising your mobile phone number says one of three things: either you’re a brand new business, a small company (probably a one man band), or are frequently out of the office.
If you’re a tradesman such as a plumber or builder, then you probably are frequently out and about and your mobile number is simply the best way to get hold of you. On the other hand, if you’re a one-man band, you’re probably running your business from home and don’t want to give out your home number for business.
Ask yourself if this is the impression you want to give your customers. A mobile number is not unprofessional – certainly it is better than no contact number at all. But advertising your mobile might be perceived as rather ‘small time.’
A dedicated business number projects a much more professional image and gives customers the impression of a larger company. It also instils a sense of trust with your clients, as you appear more established and, therefore, more experienced.
Do you have a geographic or a national phone number?
So you have a dedicated phone number. Are you advertising an area code easily identifiable as your region or an 08 number?
Geographic numbers (numbers beginning in 01 and 02) are region-specific, making them a good option for local businesses, targeting customers in their local area. This would be a good choice for a high street solicitors firm, for example, who more likely to target customers in their region rather than up and down the country.
For an online service provider, on the other hand, for whom location is not a constraint, a geographic number might box them in, giving customers the impression that they offer a local service when this is not the case. These companies want to emphasise the national (and potentially international) reach of their firm and can do so with an 08 number.
08 numbers are confusing…
Firstly, let’s be clear: there are different types of 08 number.
0800 and 0808 numbers
From landlines, calls to these numbers are usually free, though charges from mobiles may cost between 14p and 40p. Used by businesses and non-profit organisations
Other 08 numbers, including 0845
These numbers are chargeable, business-rate numbers, employed by small and large businesses. When your customers call you on an 0845 or 0844 number, for example, they will be charged between 1p and 13p a minute from a landline. If, however, they are calling you from a mobile, these rates will typically increase to between 20p and 41p a minute.
What about these 03 numbers I’ve heard so much about?
From next summer, it will not be legal for companies to provide 0845 or 087 numbers for customer complaint lines, meaning customers will (rightly) no longer be charged for their dissatisfaction.
Largely, it is 03 numbers that will replace the more costly 08 numbers, costing callers no more than calls to geographic (01 or 02) numbers. Calls from landlines typically cost around 10p a minute, while calls from mobiles cost roughly between 10p and 40 per minute.
These 03 numbers convey an equally professional image as do 08 numbers and as they are cheaper from mobiles, they let your customers know that you care about their phone bill at the end of the month!
For more information about 08 numbers and more, click here.
With alldayPA, you receive an 0845 number as standard with your account and can advertise it as the contact number for your business. Great for your professional image, this solution is also affordable with alldayPA as we do not charge for your 0845 number.
The number you choose to represent your business is important. It sets the tone for your business as it sets customer expectations as they press “Call” and wait for your greeting.