Whichever way you answer this question, you’re clearly concerned about your customer’s experience when calling your business, which is great. It is possible to know where your calls are coming from and know who’s calling you, but for the many startups that join us who are using their personal mobiles for business calls too, there sometimes has to be a compromise.
Knowing who's calling you
For most startups, the reason they want to make sure they're seeing the callers number coming through is just in case they miss the call. Jumping on any opportunity to acquire a new customer is essential to a fledgling business. Obviously you'd rather be taking every call as it comes in, that's the best kind of customer experience, but sometimes that's not possible. Following up a missed call within a very short space of time has got to be the next best thing.
The down side to this is how you answer the call. When you're using your personal mobile, except for those numbers in your address book, you don't know whether it’s a personal or business call. So, what do you do? Do you answer every call as if it's a business call? Could be embarrassing when it's your friends calling. Or do you answer in a more generic way? This could be embarrassing for your business and you're missing opportunities to strengthen your brand in every call.
Knowing where your calls are coming from
This is basically the reverse. You can strengthen your brand in every call by answering with a professional welcome and from the off instill confidence in your callers that you're ready to do business. No embarrassing situations giving your friends your best business welcome only for it to be wasted on them.
It also means you can prioritise your calls. During your "office hours" (we all know that's a flexible concept), you can see exactly when a business call is coming in, so you can create some rules between answering your personal calls and business calls. Even as a one man start up, setting yourself some boundaries to your behaviour when you're working can help you get in the zone and hopefully make you more effective.
What are the solutions?
We have a number of call management solutions that can actually meet all the requirements. I don't want to talk too much about how they work, so I've linked to their specific pages. I just wanted to highlight some pros and cons from a couple of them:
Pros - you can still see the callers number and identify when it's a business call.
Cons - a customer once said to me that this was hurting his customer experience. Even the briefest message to alert you that the call is a business call was delaying him answering; which he felt was causing callers to give up.
Pros - you can instantly identify your business calls just from looking at your phones display. This is the direction the customer took, instead of Call Whisper.
Cons - You can't see the callers number. You'd have to go off and use the online Call Statistics or use Missed Call Alert as well to resolve this.
As I've said previously, the exciting thing about all this is that the goal is to better serve the caller. There are ways to achieve this which can ultimately benefit new businesses - and that's what we're here for. As always, send us your questions if you're not sure which services might help, we're always up for some problem solving.