How Memorable Phone Numbers Create More Concrete Brand Loyalty
Jeff Bezos takes customer service seriously. A recent article by Business Insider claims he humiliated his senior staff some years ago over his dedication to customer service. According to their source, Bezos asked the VP of customer service, Jeff Price, how long wait times were on Amazon’s customer service line. Price replied, “less than a minute.” Bezos fact-checked his employee and called Amazon’s toll-free number. For 4.5 grueling minutes, Amazon’s senior staff sat silently waiting for a representative to answer the phone. The story highlights one of Amazon’s core beliefs that in today’s competitive environment, companies need to earn brand loyalty, and brand loyalty is earned through customer service. Building concrete brand loyalty can be a difficult task, thanks to the fast-pace of life online and the seemingly endless potential for competition. It takes effective branding, and a unique product or offering. Above all else, it takes outstanding customer service.
Memorable Numbers Create Concrete Brand LoyaltyMemorable phone numbers are a powerful marketing tool. They help customers remember your brand and drive more phone call leads to your business. What most companies fail to realize, however, is the additional benefit that memorable numbers bring to the table. An unforgettable phone number will also help current customers reach your business more quickly, which translates to better satisfaction in your customer service. In turn, that improved experience leads to greater brand loyalty. Let's take a look at a case study that demonstrates just how powerful this customer service asset can be.
Case Study: 1-800-HOSPICE™ as a customer service toolOne of the best examples ever documented about how a memorable phone number can help improve customer (or in this case, patient) satisfaction is the case of 1-800-HOSPICE. Two unrelated studies conducted over the course of several years showed that telephonic communication is still a primary driver of patient (or customer) satisfaction and that a memorable phone number, such as 1-800-HOSPICE, is an essential tool to achieve ease of communication and improve patient satisfaction. Researchers from MJHS Institute for Innovation in Palliative Care in New York looked at electronic health record data for 299 patients in 2014. They conducted a retrospective analysis of the data and specifically looked at patients enrolled in hospice. Their goal was to compare how many patients enrolled in hospice through telephonic communication alone, and how many patients enrolled after being referred to a community-based specialist palliative care program. The study found that 60% of hospice enrollments occurred over the phone alone, compared with around 40% who enrolled after being referred to a community-based specialist palliative care program. Interestingly, hospice enrollments conducted over the phone alone was commonly associated with an additional referral to home health agencies and nursing homes. The next study, published in the National Institutes of Health, looked at the effectiveness of using a tool such as 1-800-HOSPICE to improve after-hours communications outcomes. Specifically, researchers put in place a 24-hour call center to handle calls from hospice and palliative care patients where there had not been such a service previously in place. Researchers concluded in the study, “1800HOSPICE--offering 24-hour support, seven days a week for palliative patients, caregivers, and the public…was found to be a valuable tool for all individuals involved in the care of end-of-life patients.” 1-800-HOSPICE has benefited from being a tool used in a field of medicine. Its effectiveness as a tool for medical practitioners has been studied, tested, and published. Those studies have revealed that memorable phone numbers do, in fact, improve satisfaction in customer service. [search-tag]
How other companies use memorable phone numbers to improve customer service.Many, if not most, of the country’s largest companies, use memorable phone numbers for their customer service lines. Here are just a few examples:
- Ancestry.com exclusively uses the number 1-800-ANCESTRY for customer service inquiries.
- 1-800-Contacts uses their phone number for both advertising and customer service.
- 1-800-VERIZON is frequently used by the carrier to route customer calls to a local office.
The TakeawayMemorable phone numbers are a proven method of increasing customer service satisfaction. They help customers (or patients) remember your brand, what you do, and contact you more easily. Making your business more accessible is an invaluable method to improve your customer service responses, and earn more concrete brand loyalty from your customers. In a world where companies need to create brand loyalty to survive, the first place to start is with how you expect customers to contact you: through a memorable phone number.
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