1300 numbers vs. landline vs. mobile. Which is best for business?
Every business needs a phone number. There may be a lot of other communication channels to choose from, but a phone provides a reliable backbone—one that customers, vendors and partners will rely on.
1300 numbers have become a common choice for this purpose. Just having a 1300 number attached to your business can lend it a sense of legitimacy.
That said, there are still businesses that stick to their landline or mobile numbers—and they usually seem to do fine. You might be wondering: Should you switch to a 1300 number? And why?
Let’s see how different types of business phone numbers stack up against each other.
Landlines operate on the public switched telephone network (PSTN), which is the technical term for them—but they’re sometimes called POTS, short for “plain old telephone service.”
Like the name suggests, landlines are the most basic of phone services. They can make calls and receive them. Landline numbers can be advertised without cutting much into your personal privacy—unless, of course, you work from a home office.
From a business owner’s perspective, PSTN may be attractive for its simplicity and cost. Small businesses or sole proprietorships, in particular, wouldn’t need a complex setup. A landline’s functions would cover their basic phone needs.
From a caller’s perspective, a landline number suggests a fixed office. This gives a sense of reliability or stability. It also conditions them to expect their calls to be answered consistently—which is good if you can meet that expectation, but bad if you can’t.
PSTN’s simplicity can be a downside if you need a proper business phone system or advanced call handling functions. On-premises PBXs require costly hardware and skilled technicians to run them. Landlines are also tied to specific locations, so you can’t keep them if you move premises.
Landlines also suggest a local presence. This can be good if you only target a small area, but it will discourage calls from a wider customer base, both because of the cost of non-local calls and the fact that people might assume you don’t operate outside your vicinity.
Mobile number are increasingly seen as a viable alternative to landlines. In some cases, as with tradies and solo operations, they’re a preferable option, even. Given how powerful smartphones are, mobile numbers prove an even more attractive option.
The main reason businesses use a mobile rather than a landline is to be able to take calls anywhere they go. If your job has you out of the office more often than in it, then why spend on a separate business landline you’ll barely even answer?
The versatility of mobile phones is another advantage. Even the simplest phones can send and receive SMS in addition to calls, which gives customers another option for contacting you. Smartphones provide even more options for managing contact with leads and customers.
A mobile phone lets customers reach you anytime and anywhere, which is a double-edged sword. How willing are you to be, in effect, always on the job? Similarly, people may contact you by SMS even when it’s not the most effective of channels. Contact will be more on your customers’ terms than yours.
A mobile number can also discourage some calls. It doesn’t suggest the same level of reliability as a landline number and the call rates to and from mobiles are usually higher.
1300 numbers are virtual inbound numbers. They’re not actually a phone line in and of themselves. Instead, when called, they redirect callers to an answerpoint, an existing line that you connect to the 1300 number.
Calls to a 1300 number are always at the rate of a local call, no matter where you’re calling from and where the call is answered. As virtual numbers, they aren’t tied to a specific location either, meaning you can keep them even if you move, or even use them for multiple premises simultaneously.
In addition to the flexibility they have simply as virtual phone numbers, 1300 numbers have a lot of specialised call handling features. These include:
- Call routing options: You can choose which answerpoints calls are redirected to based on location, time of day, and more.
- Call reporting: Getting data on your calls that can help you improve the quality of your responses and your marketing strategy.
- Advanced features: Recorded greetings, IVR menus, call splaying and other features can vastly improve your efficiency in handling incoming calls.
From a caller’s perspective, a 1300 number evokes the image of a professional, well-established business. This, along with the local call rate, can encourage more people to dial it versus mobile or (non-local) landline numbers.
And since a 1300 number connects to an existing number, you could potentially get the benefits of having a landline and/or mobile phone line, too. You could even take advantage of VoIP or cloud-hosted phone systems for further versatility.
Buying a 1300 number can give your marketing a boost, particularly if you choose a smartnumber or phoneword. These are numbers that are easy to remember because they have memorable patterns or spell out a word when dialled, respectively.
Having a 1300 number suggests you’re an established enterprise ready to service a wider market. And while that will entice a lot of callers, it will also discourage the few who are looking for a local touch to their services. In other words, it’s all about managing the expectations that come with having a “business phone number.”
Should you use a 1300 number?
A 1300 number builds on the strengths of your existing phone lines, whether those happen to be landline, mobile or VoIP-based. Regardless of what phone line you start out with, a 1300 number offers you more flexibility, efficiency and reach. Use it properly, and you’ll easily recoup the 1300 number costs and much more.
If your target market is in your local area, a 1300 number may not be the right choice for you. Even in such a case, however, you can benefit from upgrading to a virtual local number, which has the features of an inbound number but is designed for a local market. Alternatively, you might choose a toll-free 1800 number to take the burden of call costs off your clients.
Find the right phone number for your business
If you have questions on getting the right phone number for your business, our team would be happy to help. Reach us by phone at 1300 255 835 (1300 ALLTEL) or visit www.alltel.com.au