This isn't a question I ever thought would be relevant in life. I'm considered a millennial, but an 'older' millennial, so I did grow up with a phone that had a cord attached to it. My parents had the first brick cell phone and I even had a few pagers in my life. Oh man, that's scary.
Back to the question, "Does my Business need a Phone Number"? For most of us, the answer is no. I, personally, do not have a business phone number for my clients to call me. I handle everything via email and with Zoom conference calls.
I was worried at first that it would become an issue, but in reality, it's amazing and keeps me productive and on-task. We all have had at least one client who needs a lot more attention and can keep you on the phone for an hour - by not having a number, you can manage your time and correspondence with the client based on your schedule. And not to mention it eliminates before or after-hours phone calls, clients texting at midnight, calls on the weekend, etc. If you haven't experienced this, consider yourself lucky. Not only have I experienced them all, but when a potential client could not reach me on a Sunday after 8 calls, they called me via FB messenger 12 times. Twelve times!
We are responsible for setting appropriate boundaries with our clients, customers, potential clients, vendors, and everyone else.
If your business can function effectively without a phone number, then I recommend not getting one. I have never had an issue by not having one. As I mentioned, I operate via email, Zoom, and Calendly.
This is my process:
If it is a current client I will send a brief emailing letting them know we need to touch base on something and provide them with a link to my Calendly. They will be able to view the days and time I am available and they can pick what works for them and it's scheduled. They will receive a confirmation, they can add the information to their calendar, set reminders, etc. I personally love it because, Hello, Time Zone differences!! I can't tell you how many time zone mistakes I've made! This also avoids double bookings.
I do my best to only schedule calls on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm. This avoids having to work around random days and times. I always know that my calls with only be on those two days. Again, it keeps me on-task by designating those days.
Come the day of our call, myself and my client sign into Zoom (your client does not need a Zoom account) and you can conduct your call one of two ways. You can enable video chat so you two can see each other, or without video. For the most part, I conduct calls without video - mainly because I work from home and who knows if I did my hair that day, if my son will barge in my office in his underwear - lol - it's happened. But, having a choice is great!
Another great feature with Zoom is that you can opt to have them record the call. This is amazing and so helpful! If you forget something they said, you don't have to send a follow-up email to ask them and you don't even need to take notes during the call. You can be 100% engaged in the conversation and come back to the recorded version when you need to.
Give it a go - test it out with your next 3 clients and see how it works for you and if it keeps you on-task and eliminates a bit of stress.
Report back and let me know how it went and if you love it or not! Or tell me if you have found a better way to conduct your calls! Share the love!
**If you do need a phone number in your business, do not use your personal number. You can get a free business number through Google Voice. The number routes directly to your phone and offers voicemail. This avoids you giving out your personal information to potential clients, clients, scammers, etc. And those that text or call you at midnight.