I often want to phone someone I have not phoned before but its not always easy. First, I frequently have difficulty finding the persons phone number online and then even when I have, barriers still exist
- Is it a home no, an office no or a mobile no? There is often no way of telling. This is important to know when calling out of hours or when I know the person is travelling. Also knowing if its a mobile number or not allows me to text them rather than to call.
- Does the number include the international country code and are there any leading digits I need to add or drop when making an international call? I can waste a lot of time figuring this out.
- Is the phone an iPhone or more generally what sort of smart phone is it? This is becoming more and more important as being an iPhone user myself, if the person I am calling is an iPhone, Android or Blackberry user then I can use apps like WhatsApp, Tango or Viber not only to make a free call but to send text or voice messages, video clips and photos. (These sort of apps are the future of the mobile phone by the way.)
So please, when you put your phone number on your email footer, your website or blog make it clear e.g. iPhone: +44 7774 178 650 and include the spaces to make the number easy to transcribe.
I try to put my phone number everywhere. I want people to contact me. Many people keep their phone number very private as they tell me they do not want nuisance calls. Funny, in 15 years or more of making my number freely available, I can only recall one such call.