It is easy to think that in a world full of AI and chatbots, the humble telephone would be rendered almost useless for businesses. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Customers may choose to explore various communication options, such as social media, email and more increasingly, via chatbots but, there are still many reasons why having an active phone number on a company website is important. Not just for the customer but also in optimising your marketing campaigns.
The main benefit is that a dedicated phone number increases web conversions. Here are few ways as to how:
Increases credibility & trust
When a customer hands over money in exchange for a product or service they are putting their trust in the business that is receiving the payment. This concept is fine in person as they can physically touch their purchase. Online, however, there must be an element of faith involved. As people cannot physically see what they are purchasing and parting with their money to a faceless machine is bound to cause some anxiety. Until the item arrives, people need to believe the business is legitimate and that they will receive what they paid for.
A way to increase trust with customers is by having a phone number on your website and behind it a dedicated customer team. People may not even choose to call the number but seeing it there instills the feeling of security. For the consumer knows they can talk to a real person should they have any questions or issues with their order. Making conversions more likely.
According to The Role of Click to Call, a study by Google which consists of over 3000 mobile searchers, 47% said they would be frustrated, annoyed and more likely to explore other brands if they weren’t able to directly call the company. The study also found that people are more likely to call a business when making a high-value purchase in sectors such as auto, finance, or travel.
Inspires instant communication
These days, people often opt for making their purchases/enquiring about services online, due to ease and convenience. They can browse different brands from one place, and on the go. With this comes the expectation of simplicity when it comes to communication.
With more searches being made on mobile than desktop, it is important to consider your “calls to action” and how they will work for the person using their smartphones to consume information.
Your phone number should be visible on your desktop and mobile website to allow the customer to automatically open it up on their call pad or save it in their address book at the click of a button. This eliminates the need to copy and paste the number or type it in manually.
Quick Sprout ran an A/B test where they placed a tailored offer above the fold against a click-to-call above the fold, with the offer resulting in an uplift in conversions by 91%. However, the click-to-call resulted in an uplift in conversions by 200%. Google also found that 70% of mobile searchers actively use click-to-call.
The most important thing to remember, with any marketing activity, is to track the phone number so you can attribute conversions. Our call tracking software at Mediahawk does exactly this. When your customer has called to inquire about a service or product and has later purchased something online, that conversion is attributed to their phone call; highlighting the importance of that call, and the customer.
Encourages & provides better customer service
More and more chatbots are being rolled out as customer service handlers, enabling them to answer consumer questions through using natural-language processing. Although these have been revolutionary for businesses by offering 24/7 help when consumers need it, they are not able to offer the same level of customer service and satisfaction as a real person.
Talking to a human is in fact, faster, easier and generally more effective than typing out messages in a chat box. Google found that 57% of mobile searchers asked in a survey cited that ‘to talk to a real person’ was their primary reason for calling a business.
Invoca also found that 65% of people prefer to contact a business by phone, meaning although having a chatbot to monitor social accounts or quick reply to emails may benefit some, the majority still prefer to speak to a person directly when dealing with businesses.
Improves local listings
As well as offering a helpful customer experience, having a phone number on your website can positively affect local search listings.
Local listings appear in the “organic section” of a Google page when users enter a specific type of query which prompts local establishments to appear.
Having a local number on your ‘Google My Business’ listing encourages users to click on your listing and be greeted by a call button. Let’s say you run a local café and a user needs to find out if you cater to their dietary needs or you run a dry-cleaning service and the user wants to find out whether you offer a one-day cleaning service, a dedicated phone number is your saving grace. Even as a bigger retail brand, your customers will want to call about a specific item without jumping from page to page of a website trying to find contact details.
Having your number on local listings will help to verify your listing with Google. This also applies to other instances where the business’ contact details appear, such as industry-specific directories.
About the author:
Natalia Selby heads up marketing at call tracking software company, Mediahawk. With more than 10 years of experience in analytics, content management and eCommerce, Natalia knows how to help businesses get the most from their online marketing by effectively integrating offline marketing to give bigger-picture insight.