Pavlovian Caller ID

When the phone rings, what the first thing you do?

caller ID

You look at the caller ID (or at least most people do).  A lot of people won’t answer the phone if they don’t recognize the caller or if there’s no caller ID.

Recently, I thought about how I was using caller ID at home.

  1. In one case, I used to use a service for my dry cleaning.  They would pick it up once a week and drop it off 48 hours later at my house.  The key was making sure I put it outside for them to pick it up.  It got to a point where I never even answered the phone.  I just looked at the caller ID and saw that they were calling.  That was enough to remind me to put the clothes out.
  2. In another case, I could tell how important it was for someone to reach me based on the number of attempts that they made to contact me and the frequency of their number on the caller ID.
  3. In a third case, I realized that I often called the caller ID on the phone rather than bothering to listen to the caller ID that was left in the message.

Certainly, these lessons apply across other channels (e.g., direct mail, e-mail).  The question is how do you incorporate them into your communication strategy and understand the magnitude to which they happen and influence results.

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