If you’re a home-based entrepreneur and run an online business you may not have considered adding a phone number to your website.
However, there are many good reasons to do this, even if you don’t actually want to take calls at this point in time. It’s also not a good idea to use your personal numbers so instead it makes sense to set up a virtual phone number solely for use on your website.
Here are four reasons why this is a good idea:
Adding a phone number to your site will make you look more professional and add credibility to your online enterprise. A regional or national landline number is by far preferable to using a cell phone number for this reason. Having a number on your site is reassuring for your prospects as people like to know they could contact you if they ever needed to, even though most will never call.
Protect Your Privacy
It’s always a good idea to protect your privacy online by not sharing your personal phone numbers with everybody on the web. A virtual phone number adds a layer of protection and allows you separate your home life from your work life. You have full control over how calls are handled, including when callers are permitted to contact you, so there’s no need to worry about getting a midnight call from an overseas customer etc.
It Gives You Options
If you are just starting your online business, you may not wish to take phone calls right now. However, as your business grows, this may change as you discover you need to offer your customers a way to get in touch. With a virtual phone number in place you’re well-placed to do this.
For a start, you have full control over how all your calls are handled. When you first get going you may just want to send all calls direct to voicemail service you check regularly, or else to recorded message which directs people to contact you by email instead. As you grow and your needs change, you can direct calls to staff members. You can even set up call menus so callers can speak to the right person directly.
As a virtual phone number is hosted in the cloud it doesn’t matter where you or your co-workers are based-you can connect everybody under one system, even if you all work from different locations. You can divert calls anywhere, to a landline or cellphone, or even to an international number.
What’s more, it easy to add extra users and functionality to keep pace as your business grows. This will be very difficult if not impossible if you are using your home number or a cell number.
You Can Use Call Data to Make Business Decisions
With a virtual phone number you can easily track how many phone calls you’re getting and when they arrive to identify peak times. As your business grows, you can also use advanced features to identify how calls are being distributed amongst your staff members, so you can see at a glance who is busy and who is not pulling their weight etc.
As you can see, there are many good reasons to add a virtual phone number to your website. What’s more, this needn’t cost you a lot of money and you can even do this for free with some providers. Having a virtual number in place in the early stages of your business growth gives you great flexibility and options as your business expands.
About the Author:
Simon Hopes is a digital marketing expert for Callagenix , a UK-based telephony services provider that specialises in business grade hosted phone solutions.