Why the Numbers You Choose Matter
It doesn’t matter how far we are into this digital revolution, the humble telephone number is still an essential part of any business. But surely a telephone number is a just a telephone number, nothing more, nothing less – right? WRONG. Believe it or not, the telephone number associated with your business can be a powerful tool in the acquisition of new customers and the way in which your brand is perceived.
There are a variety of call tracking numbers you can pick from within the UK including:
- Freephone numbers (0800 / 0808)
- Local geographic numbers (such as 01 / 02)
- Mobile friendly numbers (03)
- Non-geographic numbers (such as 0844 / 0845)
Internationally Calltracks can also provide regional or toll-free tracking numbers for around 70 countries worldwide.
Non-geographical numbers (NGNs) are numbers that are not associated with a specific location and can benefit a business in a range of ways. If you are a business that is able to operate on a national or global scale, then displaying a telephone number that is not specific to a location may benefit you. Displaying a ‘local’ telephone number can, and does, dissuade customers from contacting you as they can assume that you do not operate on such a large scale or are not able to serve their particular area.
If you are an SME that operates on a national scale, having a NGN that begins with 03, or 08, can give potential customers the impression that your business is larger than you are. This can go a long way to increasing the trust of your brand.
The problem with 08 numbers is that they have a reputation for being expensive to the caller if calling from a mobile. To help give more guidance to consumers, on 1st July 2015, Ofcom introduced a new initiative that has changed the pricing of 08 numbers. Now, if you call a freephone number 0808 or 0800 from a landine or mobile, it is completely free to the caller.
With fewer UK homes using a landline chances are that your customer will be contacting you via a mobile. So by only offering an avenue that will cost them money may see you lose that battle to a competitor with another option. For example 0844 numbers still incur consumers a service charge and an access charge. However, there is another type of number you may not be aware of, 03. These are non-geographical numbers that are charged at regional rates, even from a mobile. Calls to these numbers are even included in most inclusive call packages, making it an even more attractive option. At Calltracks we swap to these numbers when a consumer views our website from a mobile browser
The other side to the coin, is the regional geographical number – 01 and 02 numbers that can be extremely effective should you operate on a regional level, or in specific locations. These numbers are widely recognised and people are comfortable with ringing them. The other point to note is that just because you advertise a particular regional number, the routing doesn’t have to stay in the area. For example at Calltracks we could show a Glasgow number and have this route through to our office in London.
With popularity of online search engines, both new and existing customers are likely to go to the internet to obtain a company’s contact details rather than save it. We recently analysed a cross section of 1.5 million calls across multiple clients. In the cross section there was a mixture of both online and offline tracking numbers. From this we found that on average 60.88% of callers have called more than one number to get through to the same company. What this tell us is that the majority of customers will not save or remember a phone number because they subsequently call up on different tracking numbers. This suggests that using a mixture tracking numbers do not negatively impact your customer experience.
Ultimately, we would always advocate testing to make sure you pick the numbers that perform best for your business. A typical A/B test that allows you to monitor conversion rates would be a great starting point.
Have you tried experimenting with tracking numbers yet? If you have any experiences, test results or feedback it would be great to let us know in the comments.