I have been wondering for a while whether I should have my phone number on my website. In the past, I had decided against it, as I didn’t want to have my personal phone number on there. I don’t want potential clients calling me on my personal phone, so I’ve always thought not to bother. However, having done some work with a client recently, I realised how important it is to have a phone number on your website. It allows people to speak to you, if that’s what they want.
I was reviewing this particular client’s website, and there was no clear number on the homepage. There was no number in the footer and no number on the contact page. When I finally found the number it wasn’t even clickable! That’s one of my bugbears as you have to try and remember the number. Make it easy for your clients – do everything that you can do give them a remarkable service!
Should you have your phone number on your website?
There are quite a few articles published about whether it is a good idea to have a number on your website. And obviously, it will always depend on your business and personal preferences. But this post was inspired by a podcast that I listened to on the topic (details at the bottom)
A friend of mine who is a CRO (conversion rate optimisation) specialist said:
“Usually from UX perspective, [having a phone number on your website] is a good thing. From a sales perspective, you want it to be front and centre, especially if the site doesn’t transact, and then even if it does, you still want to maximise the number of sales channels as much as possible. From a complaint, cancellation/returns point of view, again, no point in hiding your number. It only annoys people (and they’ll end up finding it anyway) – and, if it’s easily accessible it can reduce buyer anxiety.”
From a marketing (my) point of view here are three reasons why I think you should have your number on your website.
1. People like to be able to talk to a human – it builds trust
Personally, I sometimes want to be able to talk to a human being. I like to find out more about a product or service before buying it. If there isn’t a phone number on the website, that puts me off. In my eyes, the website doesn’t feel as trustworthy. In the health and wellbeing industry, where personal rapport is key, coming across as trustworthy is especially relevant.
If a customer has an issue with lower back pain, for example, and they need to see a Pilates teacher, they will want to know about your qualifications and your experience in treating that condition before they come and see you. They will also want to know that they can trust you with whatever problems they are having. Talking to someone beforehand is a great start to building a relationship based on trust and respect.
2. Customers want to ask questions and get advice before purchasing
I think that a lot of people (and not just me) want to actually speak to someone before deciding to go ahead and buying a service/product. This might also be the case if they are unsure as to which product or service they should buy. Customers might want to know what results you have had with other clients or hear about situations where you have helped others with similar conditions.
For example, they might want to find out more about how you work, how many sessions they might need, and a multitude of other questions. Often you’ll find that people naturally want some kind of reassurance that you are the right person for them before committing to an appointment.
Once your number is on your website and available to them, if they don’t want to call you, they don’t have to. They can just email you or book an appointment online. You’re definitely not losing any business by choosing to make it easy for your prospective clients to phone you. However, if someone wants to call you and speak to you, you may lose a customer if you don’t give them the option. Plus, let’s not forget that you might even be able to sell them other products or services that can help them and which, in turn, will generate more income for you.
3. Customers like to communicate in different ways
Remember that people like to communicate in different ways. They like to use different channels for communication. My husband likes to email everyone (even for a dinner reservation, which drives me mad, as I think it is just so much easier to call and get an immediate answer!). My mum likes to meet people in person to talk about anything and everything. She just can’t understand why anyone would want to communicate via social media! Sometimes I like to pick up the phone and speak to someone – I love asking lots of questions and asking for advice about what I am buying. And I also just want to get an answer there and then.
Some customers like to use social media and would prefer to get in touch that way. Everyone is different, so it’s well worth thinking about your target customer and the different ways that they might want to contact you. You might also choose to use Facebook messenger and chat options on your site. Marketing is about the customer experience. Always be remarkable. Make the sales process a good process for your client. But also, make it easy for them to connect with you, to trust you, to try you out, to buy from you.
What if you don’t want to use your personal number on your website?
If you don’t want to use your personal phone number on your website (like me), here are a number of options for you that I personally investigated, but there are lots of other types of numbers that you can choose, including freephone numbers, international numbers, and memorable phone numbers.
Have a Skype number
I have just bought a Skype number with a London dialing code which I am using on this site that directs through to my mobile if not answered. The reason that I opted for this is that it’s not expensive for my potential clients to call. Some of the numbers I looked at charged the caller quite high fees. It’s also an ongoing monthly contract which I can cancel at any time. I can also forward the calls to my mobile and just buy Skype credit to do so. This seems to be the best-value option without a long-term commitment.
Use a service like TTNC
I spoke to a company called TTNC. They have great customer service by the way and come highly recommended by Trustpilot. I am sure that there are lots of other companies that have similar offerings, but I just googled this one. I got to speak to Marcus, who was fantastic, very knowledgeable and nice. We got to talk on chat, as I called them out of office hours. If you want the cheapest option for just £20 a year you can get a 084 number. And that’s free to forward to your mobile.
The one thing to note is that there is a cost to the customer to call a 084 number. Generally, the phone networks charge an access charge and TTNC then charges a small call charge. So this is actually a cheaper option than Skype. But I didn’t like the fact that my client would have to pay higher call charges, so I decided against it.
Contact your mobile phone network
You can also contact your mobile phone network and get a SIM card with its own number. Then you can forward all calls from that mobile line to your mobile. For me, this was going to work out at about £120 a year with a contract, so I will wait to see how many calls I get before deciding to go down that route. I had asked about a PAYG SIM, but with my network, you can’t forward calls to your mobile if you’re on PAYG.
Things to think about if you display your phone number on your website
- Make sure that you have a voicemail message. That way, if you can’t take a call people can still leave a message.
- Try to call the person back in good time. They want to speak to you so get back to them as soon as it’s convenient.
- Add extra services, if needed, like a virtual receptionist and call blocking.
- Make sure that the phone number is clickable and visible at the top of the webpage. Many people suggest displaying it in the header. Personally, I would have the phone number in the footer too so that people can find it there. Plus, it’s quite a commonplace to show it.
Do you want to find out more about using your phone number on your website?
This post was inspired by a podcast that I listen to called Marketing School with Neil Patel and Eric Su. I can highly recommend the podcast. In that particular episode, they discuss whether it’s worth having a phone number on your website. Both Neil Patel and Eric Su have a huge amount of traffic to their company websites. And they admitted they get junk phone calls as a result of having their phone number on there.
However, they have very large companies with big sales teams, and they sell high-ticket items. They have said that phone numbers don’t work that well for them. However, for smaller purchases, which would be relevant to most people in the health and wellbeing industry, they think it would probably work a lot better. If you want to know more, have a listen to their podcast, it’s great! I love it and try and listen to it whenever I can, mainly in the car on the school run. I tell the kids that they will be marketing experts by the time they are 18!
Do you need help with your marketing strategy?
Deciding whether to display your phone number on your website may seem like a small decision to make, but it’s an important step in your wider marketing strategy. If you’re a health and wellbeing professional and would like some help to create a marketing strategy for your small business, get in touch. I can help!