Using a personal phone number might sound like a smart idea for a business startup. Let’s face it. It’s economically effective and it’s hard to miss calls that come in on the same line. However, using a personal phone number like a smartphone for a startup is unreliable after-hours. It can give potential customers the wrong impression.
Here are a few reasons why startups shouldn’t use their personal numbers.
1- It’s Hard to Track Customer Calls
Nearly 70% of adults in the U.S. would switch to a brand that offered better customer service. Using a personal phone means it’s likely going into voicemail after-hours. That means there might be several hours where calls are unanswered. And, if customers have complaints or requests after-hours, no one is there to help. While caller ID can indicate call times, because of the “Amazon Effect” customers want help 24/7/365.
A better option is to use a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) phone service. This allows the business to track all calls, keep logs of calls and record them. Phones can also be forwarded to a call center for live support or chat 24/7.
2- It’s Hard to Track Employee Calls
Letting employees use their own phones to make calls isn’t a good idea. They may have inconsistent dialogs with potential and current customers. Managers may need to record calls for compliance purposes and to improve customer service interactions.
Tracking employee calls also helps with analytics when managers want to look for ways to improve caller dialogs. They can determine which employees are performing and which may need additional training.
3- It’s Hard to Maintain Consistent Communications
Another concern is what if an employee quits or is fired. If customers only had their personal number, the customers might shop elsewhere if they can’t reach the business. It’s also inconsistent to repeatedly change a contact number as it can give the impression the business is unstable.
A better alternative is to use an inbound number instead. Virtual numbers can be accessed globally, they’re cost-effective and reliable. They can also include features like call recording, call forwarding and remote calling.
4- It’s Hard to Track Customer Complaints
About 33% of U.S. consumers would switch businesses after one negative experience. If customers have a complaint, it can be hard to retrace where a support call went wrong. Additionally, customer complaints that aren’t resolved in the first call can lead to negative reviews and churning.
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To alleviate this, managers should track and record their customer calls. They can build a rapport with customers and look for ways to optimize the customer journey. Hence, tracking complaints and finding fast resolutions can improve customer experiences.
5- It’s Expensive to Reorder Marketing Products
If a business gives a personal phone number as their main number, it can be expensive to change over to a permanent number. Older customers may still have the original number and all marketing materials will need to be replaced when the business eventually switches to a permanent number.
Using a personal phone for a startup might sound like a cost-saving initiative. However, it can lead to more inconsistencies. The business won’t be able to track caller analytics correctly and they can’t improve support call dialogs.
A better alternative is an inbound number or VoIP number that includes call recording and can be accessed globally. These are cost-effective solutions that can help the business leverage growth without affecting customer experiences.