There are a lot of us out there who use a central point of communication for our business, even if we have multiple physical locations. These can come under the single HQ or call centre scenarios, and are a staple for many brick and mortar businesses that have an online presence. So, when Google announced that they are changing the way call extensions work on January 19th (see SearchEngineLand’s post here), it may have caused some confusion and worry.

And you know, that’s completely understandable! Why? Because Google “may” choose to show local numbers rather than your central contact number! That’s a pretty big change in the way that call extensions work! But, what does that actually mean for you and your business?

Firstly, Don’t Panic!

Now, the key message for me to throw out first is that Google have categorically said they may show local numbers. SearchEngineLand reported that they were told this is because Google is constantly testing features. So what does that mean?

Well, it means that this new system isn’t completely ready yet, so you still have time to plan your new strategy! And let’s face it, you might as well make a new strategy! Not because this is the end of the world for your call extensions, but because it’s the perfect time to make use of this change to give your customers a great service and to push your business higher! That’s right, this can actually be beneficial for you!

How On Earth Can This Be Beneficial?

I’m sure at least one of you reading this is asking that questions right about now… So, here’s my suggestion for you all; call tracking software!

For those of you who don’t know what that is, it is basically a service that you subscribe to that puts a bit of code on your website. This code then tracks users’ journeys around your site up until they call you, and then tracks that call to see if it was missed or answered. And you know, it can do more than just that!

Most call tracking services allow you to set up a number of different phone numbers to use as well as the dynamic one that it shows on your website! And these can be set as local numbers, with the local area code included! See where this is going yet?

Basically, you can set up a load of local area code numbers for your call extensions, all of which would actually take calls to the central contact number!

So, not only do you get to have a local number to take advantage of this new change that Google has made, but you also get access to loads more information about your callers! And believe me, the first time you set eyes on the data that call tracking gives you, you mind will be blown! Mine was! So don’t panic at this new change to call extensions! Get yourself a call tracking service and make the change benefit your business instead!

As for which service to choose? Well, that’s entirely up to you! They all have they pros and cons, but my personal choice is Infinity, because of their “price based on call volume” structure, as opposed to tiered pricing levels.

Do you use call tracking software? Would you consider it after the change to call extensions takes place? Let me know in the comments below!

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