"customer service" #s and addresses - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 11-03-2005, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you have a phone number just for your business? Do you have a PO Box? Do you list these things on your website? Do you put them on your business cards?

I really struggle with listing a phone number--my 3 yo has a pretty low tolerance for me being on the phone. On the other hand, I know that some people feel uncomfortable doing business with a company without a listed phone # or address. Also, I have a PO Box, but I'm afraid to give it out freely, because I don't want returns without some prior communication. How do you handle these things?
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#2 of 16 Old 11-03-2005, 07:46 PM
 
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I have a PO Box just for the business. I do not give out my #, if I need to call I will call them and do it after the kids are sleeping or napping. Sometimes I sit outside while they play to make calls.

I only put my web address and PO Box on my business cards.

As for returns, customers contact me for an authorization number so I know to expect it and what the problem is.
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#3 of 16 Old 11-03-2005, 08:29 PM
 
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I don't have a dedicated phone line or PO box. I thought about it when I first started my business, but I never felt that I needed one. I don't accept phone orders because of the possibility of typos on the printed products I sell. If I need to call a customer, I do it at a time that is convenient for me when I don't have kids screaming in the background. I do put my home telephone number on my invoices that are sent out with orders. In 5 years, I've only recieved a handful of calls from customers.

New signature, same old me: Ann- mama of 2 boys and 2 girls, partnered to a fabulous man.
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#4 of 16 Old 11-04-2005, 12:45 AM
 
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I have a message line for the business - it's like $3.00/month for a message only line. Some of my customers phone in their credit card numbers and leave them on voice mail. I do publish the phone number on my website but the number never gets answered. I only reply to people in e-mail form.

I used to use a PO Box for returns but it was a hassle collecting them at the post office! I just have the returns shipped to my house/warehouse now. I absolutely DO NOT put my address on my website. It only goes out with the invoices/return policy information. I did have my address on my website for a short period of time and people started just randomly sending me stuff they wanted to sell me! No thanks!
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#5 of 16 Old 11-04-2005, 01:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leddie
I have a message line for the business - it's like $3.00/month for a message only line.
I have never heard of this. Brilliant! I'll look into it tomorrow. Thanks so much.
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#6 of 16 Old 11-04-2005, 02:46 AM
 
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I have my phone number on the site for anyone who feels like they should talk to a real person. Not many call, but as far as I know no one ever seemed to bothered. Hey - if I sound distracted, I just am sometimes. I do post that it is also my home phone and list reasonable hours to call. I am not too worried about harassment since my husband could track and kill just about anyone. No seriously, though, I feel safe. I don't, however, list any address since it is only necessary for the rare check (I won't take credit cards over the phone yet), and I usually have quite a bit of communication with people before they send in checks, and, well, I have their addresses too.
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#7 of 16 Old 11-04-2005, 04:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by klink2
I have never heard of this. Brilliant! I'll look into it tomorrow. Thanks so much.
The quote/rate I got was from Mt. Angel Telephone (Mt. Angel, Oregon). I don't know if Qwest offers anything like it. I hope they do! (I'm assuming you're using Qwest if you're located in PDX) I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!
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#8 of 16 Old 11-04-2005, 10:06 AM
 
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I have a Ring Master Line....the business has its own phone number but it is on the same phone line as the house, it just double rings so I know its a business call.

The only problem with this is that customers in different time zones will call later in the evening for us...and I've had calls at 2 am when someone couldn't sleep and was up shopping.

I don't have a P.O. Box, I have an actual physical business location that I use for my "official" address. (Dh owns a business and I "rent" space from them....when he charges me...) If I didn't have this, I'd get a P.O. Box...I don't think I'd want to give out our home address.

Dana, mom to Avery & Natalie 7 , Cole 4 , and Baby #4 on the way!
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#9 of 16 Old 11-04-2005, 03:41 PM
 
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I did have my home # on my packing slips, so customers could call if there was a problem with their order. I think I've only had a couple of calls in 4 years. I recently changed it to my cell phone number, which I mainly use for the voice mail. Haven't had any calls to that yet.

I do plan to get a POBox very soon and will possibly put that on my site, but I haven't decided yet.

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YoungMan (6/00) & LittleBoy (6/04)
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#10 of 16 Old 11-04-2005, 09:30 PM
 
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I dont have anything on my site. Just an email addy.

On my biz cards I have a PO box and my cell number. But, my po box is my mailing addy..we dont have mail delivery to our house so I guess that doesnt count much eh?
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#11 of 16 Old 11-05-2005, 06:22 PM
 
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That message line is a great idea! I do currently post a phone umber but no address because I can't justify the cost of a PO box thus far. It is something I plan to do in the future.
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#12 of 16 Old 11-10-2005, 03:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeshaLynn
I do currently post a phone umber but no address because I can't justify the cost of a PO box thus far. It is something I plan to do in the future.
Same here, re: the cost. On my website opening in January I'm only planning to post an email address at first. I figure if they are on the website they can figure out email. I'm not ready to put my phone number on the internet just yet. On my packing lists my home address and home phone number is listed. on my business cards, URL and email only.

I like the idea of the message line, that's a really, really good idea. I'm in PDX too, so I'll look into it!
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#13 of 16 Old 11-10-2005, 03:17 PM
 
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I have a toll free line that rings into my home. I do'nt have to pay anything extra for it, and the rate is low (around 6-9 cents per minute...can't recall).

Very easy.
I don't advertise my number all over my site, but it can be found for those who are trying to reach me by phone. That has worked well for me over the years. When I did retail, I always had some sales that came totally from me talking to them and giving recommendations over the phone. Without a number, I would not have gotten any of those sales.

BUT if you don't have time to talk, then that doesn't really matter.
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#14 of 16 Old 11-10-2005, 04:40 PM
 
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I will eventually either list my cell phone # on the site, or get one of those teen lines, yk, it rings in a different tone. Or maybe not. I don't know yet
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#15 of 16 Old 11-11-2005, 12:09 AM
 
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I have a separate phone line - a cell phone. I also have a P.O. Box. We check the P.O. Box weekly, but with my line of business we don't get a ton of mail (outside of Box-Spam)

When I had a retail business I had an 800 line, much like LaLa is talking about. A reasonable rate, but I paid $2.00 extra on my home plan. No biggee.
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#16 of 16 Old 11-11-2005, 10:54 PM
 
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I have a separate business line with a toll free number. I'm not much of a phone chatter and I really don't have time to answer the phone, but 90% of the time it is a sale for a customer who doesn't feel comfortable with online ordering. So I end up answering it half the time.

It is hard with the phone ringing all hours of the day though.

I list the numbers and address on my site.

- Angela
mama homeschooling Satori, dd6 in the beautiful CO Rockies
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