Home > NewsRelease > Save MORE $$ by Toll-Free Phone? Why to Offer a Phone Number in Marketing.
Save MORE $$ by Toll-Free Phone? Why to Offer a Phone Number in Marketing.
Loren Stocker  -- 800 Number Expert Loren Stocker -- 800 Number Expert
Del Mar, CA
Friday, March 2, 2012

No, I'd rather NOT do it myself!
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Save MORE $$ by Phone?
This morning was met with rejection.  
I had proposed an ideal, 7-digit vanity program to a prospect in manufacturing. Together with their product line and formidable reputation, this program would have created an actionable, Magnetic Brand.  
Let's call it 1-800-Build-It, since the actual program was every bit as powerful. By inviting customers and -- more importantly -- prospects to call them directly, on-impulse and with flawless recall, callers would never be exposured to the dozens of competitors equally qualified to "built it" as they searched for them on line.  
Yet, the program was rejected. Their reasoning:
"We really don't get that many phone calls to warrant the cost."
Taking a quick look at their marketing brochures, it became obvious why they "don't get that many calls" -- they don't list any phone numbers! Not one. Rather, they list only their corporate web site. Translation: "We don't have time for you. Go talk to our computer!" 
The "Use Blender for Help" commercial by Ally nicely illustrates this point:
In this commercial, a dry cleaner replaced people with a machine. The voice-over says: "Customer didn't like it, so why do banks do it?"
Click to see here
Savvy businesses use human interaction as a competitive advantage. An ATM is no substitute for a real teller nor is a website a substitute for a business professional. It's Self-Service vs. Customer Service. And even the most stellar reputation is no substitute for a human connection -- especially when things go wrong or a frustrating question goes unanswered.
Yet, it's not just nice to have customer service, it's good business. Closure rates are higher -- much higher -- and you might even get a premium price for your product or service.
Former CEO of Hotels.com David Litman stated that experience showed that booking rates were 26 times higher by phone; not 26% higher, but 2,600% higher! His new venture, Getaroom.com, offers their best deals by phone to capitalize on that fact. 
Network solutions, a premium priced domain registrar, also offers phone-only specials. The goal here is to get customers to connect with live operators and commit.
In addition, call-in customers may willingly pay a premium out of convenience, especially when they are on-the-go and have limited access to information. Southwest airlines uses this fact to their advantage.  
Rather than annoy customers with $20 service fee like other airlines, Southwest simply omits their lowest fares. Call 1-800-Southwest (800-768-8493) and you'll hear, "Lower fares my be found on Southwest.com.
On the day we checked, on-line fares were $36 lower per ticket, so a flight for two would earn a cool $72 premium! 
So for real customer service, use toll free. Customer like it, closure rates are higher, and you might even earn a premium price.
Don't like the analysis? Go talk to my computer:)  
Toll Free Market.Com  
Believe. You can!
Why you still need "The Domain"
Smart Maketers will go with what's well understood by the masses. Magnetic Brands like 1-800-Progressive and Progressive.com need no further explanation....
Do you know why Marketers will continue to use an 800 number and a .com address? Read More..
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Give them a try and please let us know what you think! Loren@800.net  (The link works this time!)
News Media Interview Contact
Name: Loren C. Stocker
Group: Vanity International
Dateline: Del Mar, CA United States
Direct Phone: 858-792-5000
Main Phone: 800-438-8264 *
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