A friend asked for my opinion on this question -
and I'd like to know your opinions too, because you see,
I'm fudging my answer.
'When specifying contact details, it seems there are lots of possibilities for phone numbers, including:
Telephone, Tel, Phone, Ph, Mobile, Mob, Cell.
eg: My Organisation
123 Contented Way
Ph: 01 234567
Does the Contented one have any thoughts on which to use?'
Well, no, not really. When the context is right, I think all those options are clear to most readers. You might not need any of those words.
True, Google results point to 'mobile' being more common than 'cell', but at least 156 million pages use the phrase 'cell phone', so I wouldn't lose any sleep over that decision. Some go for the belts and braces approach, with 'mob/cell'.
Here's a (genuine) contact message that doesn't mention any of those words. The meaning is perfectly clear, don't you think? Most people recognise email addresses without being told they are email addresses. And they recognise phone numbers without the word 'Phone'. The Fax number is labelled as such, because it is the exception.
Sales and Customer Service 1 - email@example.com
Toll-free (within U.S.):
1-877-688-7678 or 1-800-856-9800
Sales/Customer Service Fax: 1-408-487-4700
However, the original question is important, because every detail of a contact page should be taken very seriously. Contact pages are more challenging for huge organisations than Mom-and-Pop stores. But in every case, top priority should be to give the reader as much control as possible over the contact process.
- Make the contact page obvious and the choices clear
- Give readers options, for example phone, toll-free, email, fax, post
- Give contact details from the readers' point of view: who they should contact depends on what they want, for example sales and customer service)
- Use generic email addresses: not firstname.lastname@example.org but email@example.com
- Follow up on emails and phone calls: tell them what will happen next.