Lydia Nugent-Thomas has been a business owner for several years and changed her work pattern when she had her first child, so had to re-think how customers could contact her.
So Lydia, tell us about your business…
I run Salon 103, a busy, independent, friendly salon in my home town of Malvern in Worcestershire. I have worked at the salon for 9 years and took it over myself in 2012 so I have lots of regular, long term clients.
What hours do you work?
I used to work full-time but since having my little boy I now work Tuesdays and Wednesdays from noon until late and Friday and Saturday all day, so that my husband and I can manage childcare easily between us.
How do you communicate with your customers?
When I’m at the salon my clients can reach me on the landline to make appointments and when I’m out of the salon they call me on my work mobile number, which I provide to them on my business cards, flyers and on my website.
This means that I don’t miss anyone as I have my appointment book with me at all times. A lot of my my customers have known me for a long time so they just text me when they want to make an appointment, so I use my mobile a lot for work.
So why did you decide to give Another Number a try?
I started using my mobile for work a couple of years ago as it was really handy when I was out of the salon and didn’t want to miss out on any bookings – when you work for yourself every customer is so important to you. Using my mobile was very useful and fine with people I knew well but I wasn’t comfortable with giving out personal information to everyone, or advertising it on my website for new enquiries, so I loved the idea of having a separate number for work.
What do you like most about Another Number?
I now have more contact with my clients as I have a dedicated mobile number that I’m happy to give to everyone. It’s helping my business because I now never miss any potential bookings, so I feel more confident and relaxed when I’m out of the salon.
Also as I am now part-time it’s great that I can answer calls at all times as people still feel like the salon is always open, as I’m always available and approachable to take bookings. If I didn’t have Another Number and clients couldn’t get hold of me easily then they might not want to bother me when I’m not at work and I’d lose out on business.
Because I live close to the salon, even if I’m at home doing paperwork, if somebody calls my mobile and wants to pop in for a trim then I can be there in less than 5 minutes.
Which features of the app do you like best?
I really like the fact that I know when a call is for business so I know to answer it professionally, whereas before if an unknown number called on my personal mobile I was never sure whether to answer as it may be an unwanted call. I could have been losing out on new business then.
I also like that there is a Do Not Disturb setting so if I have back to back appointments then anyone who calls or texts receives a reply or voice message automatically telling them when I’ll be free to get back in touch. There’s no harm in people knowing that you’re busy and also it’s nice for the client I’m with at the time to have my full attention without interruption.
Would you recommend Another Number and who to?
Yes I recommend it constantly as I am always seeing people with two phones when they come in for a haircut! I’d recommend it to anyone who is self-employed or running a small business and don’t have anyone else to take their calls for them.
What would you like to see in Another Number in future?
I’d like to have my work contacts separated from my personal contacts, so that I just have my clients accessible in the app to avoid confusion. (We’re working on that currently so Lydia will be happy!).
If you are carrying two phones, or like Lydia just want to be able to provide a separate number for your customers then sign up for your free trial of Another Number today! Find out more here.