If you have a home-based web business, especially one that sells products and/or services with a shopping cart arrangement, you will want to consider providing your customers with a toll-free number to call. Many web shoppers prefer to do their business by calling and speaking with someone. This is particularly true if you offer a product line that can potentially generate a lot of questions before purchase.
Don’t expect that because you are doing business on the web, you can forget the voice phone number and rely entirely on email. There are businesses that can get away with this – Amazon.Com, Wal-Mart, eBay to name a few. You’ll be hard pressed to find a phone number on those business sites. The rest of us do not have that kind of branding recognition and we need ways to authenticate ourselves to our potential web customers. Providing a live voice on the phone is one of the best ways to establish this.
I have had customers tell me something like “Oh well I was really calling just to make sure this was a legitimate business”. They don’t say it exactly that way, but I can read it between the lines.