What does Your Phone Number Say about Your Business?
Many companies underestimate the importance of having the right phone number for their business and don’t consider what this says about their company and their brand. Here is a simple guide to the options.
Many start-ups think they can save money by just using a mobile number on business cards and websites. Yet research shows that 30% of people will not call a company that does not have a landline. The perception is that a landline number offers a guarantee of permanence and trust.
To get round this some people running their business from home start using the home phone line for business. This can cause problems in determining who is calling – what might be an important business call is actually mum calling for a chat. Equally, as most people move house regularly it can mean having to change the company phone number when you do so.
A simple way round both the situations is to have a virtual landline number, which can point at any number, you wish. It can even whisper an announcement so you know which number was actually called. Alternatively you can use a VOIP app on your mobile to make calls and present that number.
A second area of debate is whether to use 0800, 0845 , 030 or Geographic numbers to front your business. A lot depends on where your clients are calling from and what type of phone they are using. If they are calling from mobiles then the cost of making calls to 08 numbers can be very expensive. Also most networks warn callers of the cost, at which point a lot hang up. 08 numbers can be an advantage if you want to hide a location or want people calling from landlines to get through for free. But note that a call to an 0845 number usually costs more than a call to a normal landline number. The rules around calls from mobiles to 0800 numbers change next year and it will be more expensive for companies using them as the cost of the call will shift from the caller to them.
It is easy to achieve a virtual presence both in the UK and overseas. The advance of technologies such as SIP mean it can look as if you have many offices around the country. International, city and freephone numbers can be ordered over the web.
Finally, using 0844 and 0871 numbers sends a very bad message particularly when used for customer service and sales lines. These numbers are expensive to call, especially from mobiles. Also when people are calling to place orders it creates a bad impression if they can see that you are trying to make a few pence a minute on their call. The law changed in 2014 preventing companies using these number for post sales support to residential suppliers. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-23590778
For more information on inbound numbers go to https://www.equinox.uat.3mil.co.ukservice-solutions/tester/
Contact us on 020 8912 0845 for advice on what is the best number for your organisation.