When you select a new business telephone package from your chosen provider, you’ll probably be given a standardised inbound number which your clients and customers can use to contact you directly. However, many businesses are starting to work with third party companies who are able to change this default telephone number, offering businesses a number that’s more unique, and more memorable.
So, does it matter? Apparently so! UK mortgage broker Eddison Wells claims that ‘since we changed our inbound number to something memorable, business has been much better’, believing that a number that sticks in a customer’s head is a great way to ensure they give you a call. Customised business telephone numbers have long been a trend over in the United States where the use of ‘phonewords’ is particularly common, such as 1-800-HOLIDAY for the Holiday Inn hotel chain, although phonewords are also used in Australia, Japan, and even Russia, where they are frequently referred to as ‘vanity’ numbers.
Here are some ways to make your business telephone number work for you:
- Try to create your own phoneword. Although phonewords are not particularly popular in the UK, they are starting to be introduced slowly. In fact, Foxtons estate agents introduced their phoneword back in 2007: 0800-FOXTONS, which can be ‘translated’ as 0800 369 8667.
- You can improve communications and give your customers peace of mind by selecting a freephone number. In the UK, 0800 and 0808 are free from both landlines and mobiles, while 0500 numbers are free from landlines, but do incur a 7p – 40p cost per minute from mobiles.
- Think about including a repeating number pattern in your business telephone number, which can be as catchy as a tune. One of the most famous examples of this was the 1990’s kid’s show Live & Kicking, which had children all across the country singing ‘081 811 8181’ around the house!
Of course, there are lots of important factors to take into consideration when you compare business telephone systems and business telephone providers — price, features, and reputation, for example —but perhaps one of the most overlooked factors is whether or not you have the option to customise your telephone number for marketing purposes. A catchy business telephone number can be just as important in terms of advertising as a company slogan, or a memorable marketing campaign, ultimately boosting brand recall and transforming your brand into a household name.