make your phone number easy to read

Making Sure Potential Clients Can’t Phone You

…. say what?

I hope that title caught your attention. You’re thinking, “Woops! She didn’t check her title for errors!”

But yes, I did check. I created a title that would catch your attention because chances are you are guilty of the very point I’m going to raise today.

For the third time in the past month, I received a phone call from someone who was desperate to find an advocate.  As I always do, I patiently explained to her that we have no advocates in our office (we run a directory and an education site, but we are not advocates ourselves) – and that she would need to search in the AdvoConnection Directory.

“I already looked there!” she exclaimed.

So I asked her where she is located, and she told me San Francisco.  Knowing we have many advocates located in and near San Francisco, I knew she was missing something.  So, I offered to walk her through the search.

desperate woman on the phoneLet me step back for a moment and explain to you that she was everything we talk about when it comes to the mindset of patients who are seeking help. I could tell that she is an intelligent woman, but she was flustered and she was scared. She even told me she was “desperate to find someone.” As a result, her cognition and ability to find what she was looking for was impaired.

So we walked through finding the services she needed, and inputting her zip code. Sure enough, when I asked her what she saw when she pushed the SEARCH button, she said, “I saw this before! But there is no phone number!”

I explained to her that she would need to click on the title of each of the listings and would find phone numbers, or the ability to send an email, to each of those listed advocates.

“No! I can’t do that! There aren’t any phone numbers!”  Her voice went up half-an-octave with each denial.

So I asked her to click on the first name, and then to look for the word “Phone,” and that I would do it along with her.

“Yes – I see phone! But there is no phone number! There’s just a bunch of numbers there!” (up another half-octave)…  So I asked her to read the numbers to me, and sure enough – they were the phone number of the listed advocate.

When I explained that to her, she was perplexed. “Then why doesn’t it look like a phone number?”

That I could not answer. Which is why I’m writing this tip for you.

The problem here is so simple, and yet, for someone who is desperate, is just enough of a barrier to not just upset them, but make them either move on, or in this case, she was going to give up.

That barrier is that the listed advocate just typed out the entire phone number with no punctuation to make it look like a phone number (see above from our dummy listing – not the actual advocate whose phone listing was un-punctuated.)

Why make it difficult for someone who is fearful and uncertain – scared! – to phone you? That number in the image above should be written with punctuation, such as either

406-742-7365  — or —  (406)742-7365

Realizing this means we have to put our feet in the shoes of potential clients – patients and caregivers – to understand their mindsets and to make it as easy as possible for them to contact us.

As you can see, it’s not just big, broad, marketing concepts we need to attend to. Sometimes it’s just the smallest and simplest detail.

What does YOUR phone number look like?

Here’s another tip like this one:  Does Your Phone Number Match Your Location?


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