Numerous studies have been conducted over the years to answer one of the most crucial questions in business: What makes people choose one company over another?
Of course, there’s a long list of factors that influence their decision. However, one curious fact was uncovered by Servcorp & Roy Morgan research. They found that about 4 in 5 prospective customers don’t choose a business that only has a mobile phone number as their main point of contact. On the other hand, potential customers are 6 times more likely to contact your business if you display both a mobile number and a fixed local landline on your calling card, compared to other alternative main contact options.
What possible reasons can there be for this? Take a look:
- It’s like the MO of a fake company. One of the earliest problems that online commerce had to overcome was the fact that any scammer can just set up a website and pretend to be a legitimate company. The same applies with fake companies and mobile phones. Anyone can get a mobile phone number and many cases it doesn’t even have to be registered to a real person or a real company. On the other hand, a landline requires various more proofs that the landline applicant is a real entity. You need to have a physical address as well, and you need real people with real ID to obtain the landline number.
- It seems cheap and unprofessional. Even if your business is legit, it still doesn’t seem right. A mobile phone as a main point of contact simply smacks of amateurism, like a business that’s run out of a teenager’s bedroom. It’s very cheap, so it gives the impression that the business doesn’t want to spend too much money even to make things more convenient for the customer. It can also indicates a one-man operation or just few partners if there’s more than one mobile number offered.
If this is the kind of contact options you offer your costumer, then you can’t blame them for suspecting that your products and services will also be cheap and low quality. You’ve allowed your main contact option to dictate the image of your brand.
- You can’t prove a local presence. Most people want to do business with local companies. They want a shop that’s in the same town or city they live in. But if you just have a mobile number as a main point of contact without a local landline, then it’s safe to assume that you don’t have any local presence at all. If you did, then it would have been a simple matter to apply for a landline for your local shop or office.
Customers obviously want to deal only with a legit business and trust is essential at the initial point of contact. They want to deal with professionals, who are located nearby so they’re able to offer support, help, or their services and products more quickly. By just offering a mobile phone number as your main point of contact, you’re telling customers that you can’t give them what they want. If you can’t bother to get a landline, don’t be surprised if potential customers go to your competitors instead. Of course this doesn’t apply to all businesses. Most local tradespeople are better off using just their mobile number. When people are looking for a tradie they want fast access to the actual person and don’t want to jump hoops to book them in.
Like anything, it depends on the business and the image you wish to portray on whether a landline number should also be integrated into your business. As a first step simply review your competitors to see what they are doing and how they choose to position themselves. This can paint a clearer picture of where you do and should ultimate stand on this one!