Merchants and Online stores, adding phone numbers to your website homepages and in really visible places is a seriously good idea; especially if you want to raise your costs, agitate your Affiliates and reduce your online sales, not to mention distract the person from shopping online.
Now I understand you don’t want to miss a sale or prevent someone who has a question from calling in, but the reality of having an online store is to not only be able reduce your costs by not having to have a call center or have to spend time on the phone taking orders, but also to not miss out on an order when your competitors are already taking online orders.
-So, for those of you who are scared to remove your phone numbers and 1-800 numbers from your headers and websites, here are some things to think about and some alternatives that work great to not only make it so you can save some money by not having as many people call in orders instead of shopping online, but also save on having to pay in house staff to take those calls.
Now, not having a phone number on your site is unaccpetable. You will definitely miss out on some sales, it is more about knowing where to place it, then plastering it everywhere. The thing is knowing where to place it so people are still encouraged to shop online, your Affiliates don’t get mad and you don’t have to pay an employee as well as PPC ad clicks, etc… for the sale and spend even more money on paying a staff member too for taking the order. My suggesstion is placeing it on the contact us page right after someone clicks on contact us.
Not only does that simple one click make your Affiliates happier with you, and help you keep your sales online which can be much more cost effective; but it also allows you to show a number or give the option to submit a form to contact you instead of calling in which also helps in saving you time and money on a support and service staff since one person can answer more emails than one person can take phone calls at a time and during an entire day. The one click probably will not discourge many sales and in all honesty, to gain the respect of your Affiliates and to be able to spend less while also make more money online without paying staff completely makes it worth it and the Customers that need to talk to someone can still have the number to call in, they just need to click one button to find it. It really isn’t that big of a deal.
If you are still set on having a number on the homepage or in your header, you may also want to think about a LiveChat service button or logo instead on the homepage, just make sure they are not paid on commission or cookie tracked (trust me on this one, they’ll rip ou off like no tomorrow, especially if they get commissioned on saved sales through cookies, but that is for another post and should be classified as parasitic to Merchants and Affiliates in my opinion). Not only will the LiveChat work as a phone number to awnser most of your customers questions, but one person can handle multiple chat windows and questions at once while they can only handle one call at once again saving you money on having to pay staff to answer phones.
Anyways, don’t be scared to pull of your phone numbers from your sites, just take some precautions so you don’t eliminate customers or sales and you can still provide it, just make it one click away instead of everywhere so you can not only save money on paying staff, but also by processing more orders around the clock instead of only during normal business hours.