Monday, July 9, 2012

Beware of Spelling Out Your Phone Number!

An experience on the way to my dog's vet led me to write this post - she's AOK now, but an accident in the car led to a frantic search on-line for a place that could clean my car ASAP!

That's when I realized we sometimes still live in the past.  A time when you could get your business name or a clever phrase spelled out with what us old telecom geeks called "a vanity number" (think 555-SALE or 8XX-MY-HOME).  Finding the perfect set of words would make us think we were the cat's pajamas.  But don't waste your money - those days are gone!   And here's why:
  • More than ever people are turning to smart phones (think iphone, droid, blackberry).  Although there are shortcut keys around this  - callers want  numbers, not words.
  • Many users are opting to bypass the traditional land line all together in place of mobile phones only and using Internet calling tools like Skype.
  • If we do happened to be at home, who has the time to do the K=5 spelling?  Your customers would much rather dial than play the hunt and peck game.

To help ensure your customers can easily reach you I suggest the following:
  • Prominently display your numerical phone number on your home page as well as the contact page of your website (and if the layout can support it - on every page!).
  • If you still dig/own a vanity number that's cool - just make sure you display all of the numbers below or next to the vanity number so customers have a choice as to which way to dial.
  • Make sure your numbers are visible enough for the small hand-held laptops, notebooks and mobile devices on which they will be seen.  
Your clients in times of panic (or not) will thank you!