In a recent article published by Forbes magazine entitled “Are Phone Call Leads an Untapped Resource for Marketers”, the author, A.J. Agwal draws attention to the fact that Smartphone users make phone calls to companies when they want more information:
A recent report from xAd showed that smartphone users prefer calling a business to filling out an online form, due to the small size of their screen and the difficulty of filling the form out on their mobile device. And, surprisingly enough, the same report found that up to 80% of customers still call a company after they’ve clicked on a PPC ad and have been directed to the company’s landing page.
Having a smartphone draws customers to our businesses and even makes it easier for them to call us which is great…if you can handle the increased number of calls that will come to you. It is more important now than ever to have an effective call handling strategy in place in order to capture the leads that come to you from your marketing efforts. Here are some things we consider when helping our clients create an effective call handling strategy to bring them great results:
- I’m sure that your goal in business is not to be an amazing receptionist but to be great at running your business. Thus, it is important to recognize foremost that this is a task that should be delegated to someone, such as a receptionist or an answering service, who will specifically focus on handling your calls. This will give you the freedom to grow your business, get adequate sleep at night, and spend more time with your family while giving your clients the attention they deserve.
- Address what you are advertising in your call handling strategy. If you advertise, “please call to make an appointment”, it is a good idea to have a system set up so that the person taking the calls can make an appointments for you on the spot. We recommend an online calendar that syncs with your phone calendar so you can keep track of appointments as they come in. Also make sure that the person answering your telephone knows what you’re advertising so they can explain details to the caller if they have questions.
- Have the person answering your telephones ask how the caller found you. This is a great way to track where your new business is coming from.
- If your business offers 24 hour emergency services, this a great time to delegate the task of answering your telephones. You can have an entire customized dispatch strategy in place so the work gets done without hampering your personal life.
- Last, but not least, do not use voicemail. Voicemail is one of the costliest tools for new business. First, it actually costs money to have a voicemail box and, secondly, it doesn’t help you make money. Think about it: will your voicemail schedule appointments for you on your behalf? Probably not. JP Morgan Chase got rid of voicemail for most of its employees last year because they felt it was an ineffective means of communication for them and their clients. In short, let humans do the work for you and you will make more money!