There’s a lot of evidence out there to suggest that the telephone just isn’t as important as it once was for getting in touch with businesses. After all, more businesses these days have a Facebook or Twitter page through which to converse with customers, to say nothing of the vast range of other Internet-age communication technologies like email, Skype and WhatsApp.
However, none of the above necessarily gives you a good reason to ditch your business phone number. The bald truth is that a phone number is still important for your business, for reasons like those stated below.
For urgent queries, the telephone remains tops
If people are still getting in touch with your business in a world in which so many other (admittedly often lazier) communication options exist, the likelihood is that they do so in the knowledge that telephone contact remains surely the most immediate form of contact of all.
After all, a spoken discussion with a living, breathing human being does tend to instil that bit more urgency in the recipient of the call. There certainly isn’t the option for the business owner to hear what the caller has to say and then just ignore them for a while before answering, as is possible with email.
A phone number makes your brand more trustworthy
Imagine that you are comparing businesses that have a very similar offering and websites that are just as smartly-presented, easy to navigate and informative as each other… except that one features a phone number, and the other doesn’t.
Furthermore, the phone number in question may be one local to you, as a business can acquire even if they aren’t actually a locally-based firm, by investing in a virtual phone number from a company like Planet Numbers.
Let’s face it – you’re probably going to trust the business with the phone number more. They’ve got a phone number, and a local one to boot, so they’re presumably less likely to be a disreputable fly-by-night operation. Even people searching on mobile largely share this stance – according to Google research, 47% of them would look for another company if they couldn’t find a phone number for a particular firm.
Not everyone is even online
It’s easy – especially if you are a member of the tech-savvy Millennial generation – to presume that everyone uses online messenger apps and social media platforms to communicate these days. However, even in 2015, 14% of British households still lacked any Internet access at all.
Of course, the significance of this statistic depends largely on your business’s target demographic – among households with one adult aged 65 or over, that percentage jumped up to 51%. Either way, there could be a lot of potential customers that your business completely misses if it doesn’t even have its own phone number.
Phone contact gives your firm that ‘human touch’
Ultimately, some of us just love to talk, and we love to feel like we are dealing with a real, living person whenever we contact a business, instead of simply depending on a rather impersonal response from firstname.lastname@example.org.
In today’s age in which many customers – especially the older generations – are becoming exasperated by the takeover of technology for seemingly everything, that ‘human touch’ can be a competitive advantage in itself. When people can contact you via your own business phone number and speak to you directly, they are more likely to remember you for the right reasons.
Sure, the telephone may not have quite the central role that it once did in business communications, but it is still definitely important for an ambitious organisation. Phone contact simply offers advantages that no other contact option can, so a great business phone number is still well worth the investment.
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