Every time a marketing guru looks at our website, he or she tells us to put our phone number up top in a big font. “Make it easy to call you” and “encourage callers,” they say. They drone on and on about having a clear “call to action.”
You’re probably not surprised to find that we’ve tested the big phone number to see what happens. We wanted to find out whether the gurus were right.
And yes, they were right about the calls.
We put the phone number up in big numbers, and I’ll bet you know what happened.
People called. Lots of people called. Tons of people called. Dozens and dozens of them per day.
Not really. Let me tell you why.
The phones were ringing off the hook, and we were busy all day screening calls. We felt productive…until we looked at the numbers.
We had spent hours and hours working hard and scheduled fewer consultations than we had scheduled when the phone number was hard to find.
Why? Because we were dealing with price shoppers, “just one quick question” askers, and “I can’t afford that” callers. We were making it easy for people to call, and the callers were largely not our ideal clients.
Within a month, we returned to our small phone number and a much reduced volume of calls. The callers were people who had spent time on the site, looked at our fee information, and took the time to determine that we might be a good fit for them. Our expense for call screening dropped like a rock, and the quality of our call handling surged because we weren’t busy with more calls than we could handle.
Our consultation count returned to normal, and life went on.
The marketing gurus are right that blowing up your phone number will blow up your call volume. The question you need to ask them, however, is whether blowing up the phone number will positively affect your bottom line. If it works for you to follow their advice, that’s great. For us, however, it wasn’t advice that made a positive difference.