It might seem like all the communication today is happening online. Email, chat and social media make up a large amount of communication but your phone is still a very important part of your overall marketing mix.
Social media gets a lot of attention but according to Call Centre Helpers these channels only account for 3% of all customer communications.
It might also surprise you to hear that 68% of consumers still get in touch with companies by phone.
Social media engagement is still very important but social media is not the first place customers go when they have a real need.
When a customer has a question, concern or complaint and they want an answer right now they pick up the phone.
Fortunately today there are numerous creative ways you can still use phone numbers in your marketing.
Local numbers and vanity 1-800 numbers
The two major kinds of phone numbers you’ll want to use are local numbers or vanity 1-800 numbers.
Local numbers with a local area code help establish your company as part of the local community. They’re excellent for building trust with local customers. They’re inexpensive and easy to set up.
Vanity 1-800 numbers on the other hand are much more expensive and difficult to get. There’s only a fixed number of them and most of the really good ones are already taken.
This makes it quite difficult to get something that fits your brand.
It’s very valuable to have one of these numbers because it greatly increases customers’ recall rate.
According to 800 Response, Consumers have a 58% average higher recall rate of vanity toll-free numbers over URLs in advertising.
This is especially the case when it comes to audible forms of advertising like radio or podcasts.
This benefit to retention might make it worth the extra expense and effort to get that vanity 1-800 number.
If you can’t get one though, a local number is the next best alternative. Especially if you’re a real estate agent in a local market.
Tracking the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns
You can register as many different phone numbers as you want and easily forward them to your main one. These phone numbers are called “virtual numbers”.
This makes them ideal for direct marketing campaigns. You can use different phone numbers in different advertisements and then easily track how many calls each advertisement received.
Social media accounts should each have their own tracking number as well. Your website should have one too.
You can even use multiple tracking numbers on your website so different numbers will display depending on what kinds of traffic you get.
A regular website visitor might see one number while a visitor from a Google Adwords ad might see a different number.
Contests and events
Virtual numbers are excellent for contests and events as well.
You can include a special number in a presentation or as part of a contest. Customers can then call or text that number to win a prize or get additional information.
You can even get fancy and put together clues that lead to a phone number.
For example you could run a contest in an open house by putting clues in each room. By collecting and solving the clues the visitors would visit each room in the house and get an opportunity to win a prize at the end.
This is a creative way to show off an entire house while collecting contact information from your prospects.
It’s also very cost effective and simple to set up.
Direct conversations with your clients and prospects
According to Help Scout 75% of consumers believe it takes too long to reach a live person on the phone.
Because of this belief giving out your direct number or the direct number of management can make a big impact.
No matter what sort of phone system you use though, you need to make sure it takes less than 2 minutes to get in touch with a human.
Any longer than that and people start to get frustrated. Then they turn to social media to complain…
Another excellent tactic is to create a VIP number to give to clients. This can be a simple virtual number that forwards to your main number.
A number like this makes your client feel special. This is especially effective when you hand them a business card and tell them the number on your card is your main number but “here’s a special number you can use to get in touch with me better”.
Phone numbers aren’t going away any time soon and your phone presence is still a very important part of your brand’s communication.
It’s still the best way for a client to get in touch with you if they have a question or complaint and they want an immediate response.
Don’t be afraid to use your phone numbers creatively.
Be sure that all your contact information on your websites, business cards, social media profiles and anywhere else is up to date as well.
Create a spreadsheet that lists which numbers you have in which locations to make keeping track of everything easier.
Correctly using the phone is one of the absolutely best ways to improve your customer service.