With all the scammers, spammers, and malicious callers out there, people are more hesitant than ever to pick up calls they don't recognize. Your business caller ID name may seem like a minor detail, but sometimes that tiny string of letters can determine whether or not a customer will answer your calls. That's why it's important to pick a caller ID display that will make you look presentable, professional, and legitimate.
Here are a few best practices for setting your business caller ID.
1. Present a clear name and phone number
Caller ID names are comprised of up to 15 characters. Caller ID numbers are displayed as 10 or 11 digit phone numbers. When seen together, these two pieces of information can corroborate your identity and lend your call more legitimacy.
You caller ID name should state your company's name so that it best fits within the space provided. Your caller ID phone number will ideally be 10 digits, including the local area code. This offers contextual information about where the call is coming from in case someone is unsure of your identity, or wants to confirm that your business is located where the call is coming from.
For example, if you see a call from "Stone Hill Inn", you might not know who is calling, or where this business is located. There are likely several businesses with this name across the country. By looking at the associated caller ID phone number, "802-253-6282", you can see that the 802 area code is for Vermont, which narrows down the possibilities very quickly. A quick online search for "Stone Hill Inn Vermont" will show you the official phone number for that business so you can verify the identity of the caller.
Having both a name and a phone number in your business caller ID presents a polished first impression to the person you are calling. Having only one or the other does not provide enough information for someone to try and verify that it is a legitimate call that should be answered.
2. Dial from the nearest local area code
Calling operations that use toll free 1-800 numbers or blocked numbers for outbound calling are almost always ignored by prospects. Prospects associate calls from these toll free numbers with bothersome telemarketing enterprises that traffic in unsolicited queries. That's why you should call prospects from a local phone number. Data shows you’ll get a lift of 15 to 25% more contacts by using what appear to be local phone numbers when you call prospects.
Business phone service providers allow you to purchase local, toll free, and vanity phone numbers for your organization. Call centers can configure their phone systems so that all the numbers display the same name in the caller ID. When an agent calls a customer or prospect, he/she can make the call using the phone number with the nearest area code based on where the person is located.
3. Abbreviate words and numbers
A business caller ID name should be intelligible within the limited space. If you have to shorten the title of your business, do so in a way that still conveys the identity of your company. You never want to cut a word off, because it looks unprofessional.
In order to save space, you can abbreviate words and numbers when possible. The shorter your name is, the better. Abbreviations can also save space so you can insert more of your name for clarity. However, don't use an abbreviation if it will make the text look strange, or disrupt the meaning of the caller ID name. Here are some examples of when to use abbreviations:
- Hely, James, and Davenport LLP -> "Hely & Partners" or "H, J, D LLP"
- Fourteenth Street Tavern -> "14th St. Tavern"
- Take Two Film Studio -> "Take 2 Films"