7 min read
What To Keep in Mind When Choosing Your Business Phone Number
Did you know that, according to this year’s WTC Report, more than half of shoppers wish brands would be innovative in how they use digital technology to improve their experience? So, why would you ever think of purchasing a business phone number? One of the main reasons is – no matter how digital technology has gotten to the core of each industry – interacting with a human assistant still scores high in customer satisfaction.
Not to mention the fact that thanks to the latest developments in IT, today, it is possible to choose a business phone number across several customization options and for a wide variety of services. A business phone number will help you meet the needs of all client segments and optimize processes and costs. Here is what to keep in mind to make the right decision.
Business Phone Number: Four Essentials for Making the Right Decision
- Know your Customers
You are indeed aware that the first market rule is knowing your customers. This is where all good business decisions happen. For this purpose, tons of excellent market studies are available out there to help you focus on your target groups’ needs and preferences and design the perfect customer-centered solution. To name one, consumers tend to adopt specific behavioral patterns, such as responding differently according to the Country or regional zip codes they see on their screen for any incoming call.
When choosing your business phone number, pay special attention to data on consumer behavior with respect to calling campaigns, client service, and client support.
- Research National and International Regulations
Each country has its regulations that apply to customer communications over voice calls and messages. For this reason, you must have a clear understanding of all the rules in your countries of operation and those from which you expect to receive and make calls to ensure that your business processes are in compliance.
For this purpose, identify clearly what your business phone number will be used for. Is it only for customer support? Or do you intend to activate telemarketing campaigns? Will you send and receive phone calls or SMS only? Depending on the answer, different rules apply for modes and content. For example, TechTarget’s “Global Technology Marketing and the Law” white paper reports that in the UK, advertisers may only send direct marketing texts to those users who have given prior consent, while in India, promotional texts must be limited to specific times of the day. Since there is no specific general directive on the topic in the EU, each country has adopted different strategies. Among others, Germany and France prohibit comparative advertisement and apply strict opt-in regulatory schemes.
- Compare Options
When you start tapping into the market of business phone numbers, you will find a broad variety of services – ranging from landline to virtual (also known as VoIP), from toll-free to costs based on local rates, from local to international prefix. Act carefully and compare all fixed, variable, and hidden fees that each option includes and that might affect your expenses and your customers’ behavior.
Always remind yourself to keep it simple and stick to your customers’ wants and needs. Choosing the right business phone number will have an impact on costs and determine your brand perception. For many, it will still be one of the first points of contact with your business in the digital era.
- Think Omnichannel
To quote Bolt Solutions CEO Eric Gewirtzmann during an interview for global consultancy company McKinsey – There is a big difference between being multichannel and being omnichannel. Too often, brands seem to use different channels–such as websites, brick and mortar stores, and call centers–with no relation whatsoever. The result is customers get a changing experience and variable results depending on which touchpoint they choose. In 2019 more than 80% of the entire Italian population used a mix of offline and online channels throughout their path to purchase. Your business phone number is only one piece of the customer journey, integrating various channels and devices to get the same result.
As to the phone number, a recommended solution is to adopt the same across all touchpoints and steps of the funnel – i.e., pre-sales, sales, service assistant, and technical support. Today specialized companies provide the most straightforward option–a single, unique phone number–for many services. They are not limited to voice (inbound and outbound). They can include SMS, such as transactional, OTP and marketing messages, WhatsApp with standard and rich media communications, and chatbots, either through WhatsApp or Messenger interface.
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