In an internet based, click on a link age, does the choice of business phone number still add value to the business offering? Very much so say Ofcom which revealed in a survey in August 2022 that 93% of mobile users and 91% of landline users who have caller display on their phones will decide whether or not to answer a call based on the number displayed.
Scamming business numbers
Moreover 74% are unlikely to pick up a call from an unknown international number, whilst 57% are unlikely to answer a number withheld call. Now whilst that may be a problem for legitimate international businesses, it is good news in the fight against potential scammers who might be based overseas. To get around the problem, scammers have increasingly been indulging in a practice known as number spoofing, faking the originating number to appear as though the call has come from a legitimate UK business.
It's a practice which Ofcom are determined to stamp out, particularly as they estimate that in the three months to August 22, some seven hundred thousand people answered number spoofed calls and followed the scammers instructions. In a bid to cut down on the practice of number spoofing, with effect from May 2023 all phone companies will have to take steps to identify and block spoof calls where technically feasible. As Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s Group Director for Networks and Communications commented: "Scam calls and texts are a major source of fraud, and they represent a clear and present danger to every phone user” adding: “Blocking fake numbers can have a significant impact.”
Choosing phone numbers for your business
Blocking spoofed calls will in fact not only help to reduce fraud levels, it will also help to restore people’s faith in the legitimate calls which come from businesses. And that is where a judicious choice of business phone numbers could help to boost calls from potential customers. Choosing a UK regional number could help to signal that here is a business which primarily works in a local area. Those businesses which operate more widely could opt for two or more local numbers or for a national or international number.
One consideration when choosing a business phone number is whether to opt for a premium rate, standard, or freephone number. Businesses looking to offer technical support, competition, or tipster services might well choose a premium rate number. Standard geographic phone numbers are generally free within a minutes package on mobiles and landlines so people might see these as ‘free’ but if you really want to encourage people to call then opting for a freephone number may send out a powerful message.
Callagenix’s offers a range of business phone numbers including regional, national, and international numbers alongside freephone, standard rate and premium rate phone numbers. If you would like to learn more about our the business phone numbers we offer take a look at our website or give us a call.