2008
Sep 11

Blackberry Keyboard

 

Today… a post about adjusting to the times.  For those of you business owners who are exclusively using toll-free vanity numbers on your ads, I have a message for you.  STOP doing it!

 

This is especially true if you insist on putting these phone numbers that spell something on your mobile or outdoor ads.  Yes, I am referring to the vans, trucks, billboards and etc.

 

THE REASON:  Many alphabet placements on cell phones are different than regular home or office phones.   That’s right.  The letters are not in the same place.  If I tried to dial 1-800-FLOWERS from my blackberry, I would have no idea how to do it and the call will most certainly end-up as a wrong number.  This is not counting the frustration and loss of that immediate and often emotionally-based inquiry.

 

What’s the solution?  The idea of vanity phone numbers are not completely bad because it allows us to memorize a number quickly but you cannot print the vanity phrase alone as many businesses still do.  Below is an example of how it should be publicized.  In essence, the real number should be present with the vanity phrase.

 

1-800-FLOWERS
1-800-356-9377

 
In addition, partial vanity numbers should be avoided completely in my opinion.  You’re much better off trying to get a number with consecutive same digits.  By the way, I have never met anyone that likes dialing a vanity number as you slowly focus in on each letter to translate it on your dial pad.

 

Sorry for the tirade.  I just drove by a van that was promoting a carpet cleaning service.  I am in need of such a service.  When I started to dial it, I realized that part of the toll-free number they were marketing was a vanity number.  Partial vanity phone numbers are the worst because they are harder to memorize thus BRAND.  I had to give up because I couldn’t dial the number.  They lost a prospect and a potential sale.

 

We live in a world of immediacy with instant communication tools at our disposal.  Make sure that your toll-free vanity phone number strategy is in line with the times and today’s technology.  You cannot expect a prospect to memorize your number or write it down only to wait and call you when they get home or to their office.  I know… I know… I could have taken a picture of it with my cell phone camera.  That thought escaped me at the time.

 
***By the way, the same exact problems arise when you have an automated answering system that asks the caller to spell the person’s first or last name.***

 

 

3 Responses

  1. Nancy K. Says:

    OMG! This is awesome. I had the same issue so many times on my phone. These guys should read your blog.

  2. Katherine Says:

    while you’re at it, john — what about those HORRID “directory” messages when you are sitting there with a treo or whatever and can’t possibly give the first three letters of the person’s last name????????

  3. Philmc Says:

    You may want ot rescind this after reading how easy it easy to dial vanity numbers on a blackberry, just hold down the ALT key and press the letter you want to dial.

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