When was the last time you called someone? Yes, that’s right – not called over Skype or FaceTime, just made a conventional phone call? It might not have been particularly recently, given the huge range of other communication options at our disposal these days.
It’d be tempting to think that, even in the business world, telephone numbers are fading into irrelevance. However, if you run a small business, you shouldn’t act on the temptation to jettison a phone number for it; here are several important reasons why.
A phone number fosters a professional image for your business
In the hyper-competitive business world, first impressions can be paramount. Furthermore, the image you should seek to project to potential customers is a professional image – and you could struggle to do that if you leave a phone number off the list of contact details on your firm’s website.
The Atlantic staff writer Alexis C Madrigal has argued that “telephone culture is disappearing”, pointing out in partial justification the immense variety of other communication methods.
He mentions Facebook, Twitter and email, and enthuses about text messaging with its “words mixed with emoji, Bitmoji, reaction GIFs, regular old photos, video, links.” However, it’s not hard to gather that not all of these would be conducive to garnering the most professional look for your company.
You can strengthen your appeal to the local market
According to a You Gov survey of over 4,000 UK-based people, though 81% of respondents trusted “local business”, just 57% trusted business overall, as Start Up Donut explains. The implication is clear: you can attract more trust by positioning yourself as a local business.
That would give you an incentive to register a number linked to a specific geographical area of the UK if you are indeed eager to promote your services in that area. Consider that the staff at the UK telecoms firm Planet Numbers provide 020 numbers that would enable your business to look like it is based in London. Given London’s size, such numbers could open up great opportunities for you!
A telephone number can help you to meet a specific purpose
When you visit the website of a reputable provider of business phone numbers and see the variety of formats available for such numbers, you could soon feel… well, indecisive. However, by educating yourself on the differing implications between the formats, you can ease your selection of a number.
For example, if your business is a UK-based private outfit aimed at making a profit, you should disregard 0300 numbers, as these are reserved for government departments and registered charities. Your firm could, however, use 0333 and 0345 numbers, plus free-to-dial 0800 numbers.
If you’re still feeling a little confused, don’t be disheartened, as the corporate phone number provider in question could address concerns that you raise with them. Just remember that, as your company grows, the absence of a phone number on its site could make people suspicious – so you should avoid giving target customers that reason not to utilize your services!