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There's a certain school of thought that the business phone number is, if not exactly dead, certainly on life support. After all, in today's highly interconnected world of largely online-oriented communications, isn't a phone number for your company becoming a luxury rather than an essential?

Here are just 10 reasons why company phone numbers still firmly belong in the latter, rather than the former category.

1. Not everyone is on the Internet

No, not everyone and his dog have Internet access - not even in the mid-2010s. According to the most recent data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 14% of British households were still without online access in 2015, which translates into a large proportion of many businesses' target audiences - particularly those made up of the older generations that didn't grow up with smartphones.

2. It's good for those more urgent queries...

If you had an especially urgent problem, why would you send an email and just hope someone happened to notice and reply to it in time, rather than call and (probably) get an answer straight away? The customer in question may be getting in touch about a billing issue, or they may require a certain product or service right now but have one or two questions to ask about its suitability first. Whatever the situation, your company phone number provides a vital outlet for immediate contact. 

3. ...and more complicated ones, too

Similarly, there may be an especially sensitive, personal or complex matter that it is difficult to talk to an organisation about without an exchange of four or five emails. As often as not, a single five-minute phone call will do the same job. Phone calls can be especially suitable for picking through the more specific details of scheduled appointments or deliveries, for example. 

4. A memorable number wins more business

This is an especially significant factor for taxi firms and similar businesses that depend on lodging their contact details into customers' heads straight away. People may be more likely to store numbers on their phone these days, but to do that, they'll still need to actually remember your number first.

5. It indicates your company's location 

Location is a big factor in how prospective customers perceive your business - a recent YouGov survey, for example, found a much higher level of trust in local business than in national business. It's why so many firms that are based in one part of the country, but wish to appeal to another, invest in a virtual phone number from a provider like Planet Numbers to create the impression that they are situated in the target customer's town or city.

6. It's easy to promote

Just imagine all of the places where you could show off your business phone number... your company website and business cards are givens, but what about your company vehicles and even branded merchandising? Consider local event sponsorship opportunities, too.

7. It's the hallmark of a professional company

Some people hesitate to contact a company if it doesn't seem to have a phone number, given the tendency for so many such firms to be less-than-reputable one-man bands or simply shorter-established businesses.

8. Some people want to talk to human beings

That 'human touch' is a bigger factor than you might think - when people have the option to call and speak to an actual human being rather than receive an impersonal email response, they are likely to look upon your company much more fondly.

9. Phone contact is still relevant in the online age

We've all been led to believe by some people that nobody even uses a telephone any more. But in truth, the rise of such video calling technologies as Skype and VoIP demonstrates that the principle of telephone contact remains popular.

Indeed, the success of the smartphone shows that online communication methods and more traditional telephone technology can work harmoniously together - as of 2015, 75% of smartphone owners still used their device to make standard phone calls in a seven-day period.

10. Some people will only contact you by phone 

Most of us with experience of running a business probably know about this type of customer - the one who insists on calling you without exception, even when email or even social media contact may have been more suitable for their query. Some people will, for whatever reason, only use the phone, and they need to be catered for just as much as those who might exclusively prefer email.

Ultimately, a successful business still depends on phone contact and a good company phone number, even if certain aspects of these have declined in importance down the years.

The immediate, close, 'human' contact that phone calls provide remains unmatched by many of the popular alternative communication methods to have sprung up in recent years.