Obtaining Phone Numbers Through PayPal Payments

By Adam  |  2 Jul 2015 12:00:00

If you run an eCommerce website, there are lots of reasons that you might like to have a customer's telephone number. If there is a problem with an order, it's good to be able to contact a customer over the phone as these kinds of issues are often easiest to resolve when speaking directly to somebody. It's also important to consider that an apology sounds a lot more heartfelt when you offer it directly. Furthermore, if your business makes use of telesales, then you might like to add your customers to your database and keep them familiar with you via periodical calls. There are a lot of reasons you might want a customer's telephone number and these are only a couple of them.


If you do need those phone numbers, then you might be disappointed that PayPal Express appears not to provide you with them when customers pay with that gateway. Sure, you could make them use something else, something which requires them to provide their telephone number, but this is likely to be off-putting; if they're happy paying with PayPal, customers won't like the idea of potentially having to use something else. But you need not worry about these things because there is a simple solution; PayPal doesn't give you the customer phone numbers simply because that is its default setting. You can change the settings so that customers using PayPal Express will have to provide you with their telephone number if they want to make a purchase on your site, here's how: when on PayPal click 'Account' and then click 'Profile' after this go to 'My Selling Tools' and then 'Website Preferences' where you should be able to see 'Contact Telephone Number'. As you can see, it is automatically set to 'Off', but you can change it to 'On (required field)' or 'On (optional)'.


I believe that 'On (optional)' is probably the best option you can go for, especially if you make use of telesales. If somebody doesn't give you their number, it's probably because they are worried about things like telesales, and if you used the number for that purpose, it might just sour them towards your business anyway. But if somebody did choose to write in their number, it would mean there'd be a very good chance they'd be happy with a call and interested in doing more business, so you'll only have the numbers which are worth your time. Of course, there are people who might just avoid filling in their number to save time, when really calls to them would be quite effective, so it's not perfect.


Setting it to 'On (required field)' has the potential to make customers abandon their purchases, as some people are very protective of their contact details. So, generally setting it as ‘On (optional)’ is the best choice, because it puts no obligation on the customer. Of course, in the end, it is your decision and you know what is best for your business better than I do! Whatever you chose to do, I hope this has been a useful guide.

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