Is your telephone ringing? (No, this post is not about prank calls.)
Due to the popularity of social media, email and website forms, many owners have forgotten about or have eliminated the phone from their businesses. This could be a major mistake.
Why? Because your customers want to talk to you on the phone.
According to New Voice Media, 75 percent of consumers say a phone call is the quickest way to get a response. Luma Partners found that 52 percent of people who connect with a business after a mobile search do so over the phone.
There’s no denying the importance of the phone. But how do you get your customers to call?
Here are five ways you can get those calls rolling in and have more business than you can handle.
Have a great product.
We know. Sounds obvious, but it’s true. Instead of spending massive amounts of money and time working on your marketing initiatives, take that time to perfect a product that brings value to your customers.
When you offer such an amazing product, people are going to talk to everyone about it. They’re going to tell their friends, their family and even strangers. In fact, online reviews are almost as trusted as word-of-mouth reviews from a friend; 88 percent of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts.
Taking the time to build a phenomenal product with feedback from your customers is the ultimate way to drive demand and drive phone calls.
Over deliver to your customers.
You have an amazing product. Now, consider what else you can do to make it even better. Spotify – one of my very favorite things ever made – is constantly adding features that makes the digital music service even more personalized. For example, each Spotify user has a “Discover Weekly” playlist. This playlist is refreshed every Monday using an algorithm that identifies what you’ve been listening to and then finds similar artists. For the record, I’ve liked all but one playlist. Thank you, Spotify.
When you’re tweaking your product, assess what your customers have been requesting. Take that information to make useful and valuable changes. And then look for ways you can take it one step further and offer even more value. Going above and beyond is like the concrete that keeps your customers returning.
Outsource your phone calls.
It’s breathtaking how many businesses don’t answer or return their phone calls. Just today I was trying to schedule an appointment and had to leave a voicemail message. They did call back (yay!), but the owner was flustered because she “wasn’t great at taking appointments or keeping information straight.” I gave her the benefit of the doubt, but I was unimpressed.
If you can’t manage your phone calls or simply don’t have time to do it, outsourcing is always an option. It’s far cheaper than hiring a full-time employee and it removes one time-consuming task from your plate. If you do choose to outsource your calls, here’s what you should consider:
- What sort of solutions do they offer? Appointment scheduling? Order taking? Phone messages emailed? Make sure they align with your needs.
- Are they based in my country? Outsourced calls has a bad reputation because of companies sending their calls overseas. PATLive is based in the U.S. and never sends calls abroad.
- What their typical hold times? How quickly do they answer calls?
- Do they have customizable scripts or scripts that pertain to your industry?
Perform an act of kindness.
Drumming up new business sometimes takes out-of-the-box thinking. Why not take some time away from the office to do some charity work or connect with people face-to-face? Doing good not only helps your community, but it also gets talked about.
Here’s one, super simple and low-cost way to do something nice and spread the word about your business:Get a $20 in quarters and visit a location in your city or town where there are a lot of parking meters. Look for meters where the time has lapsed and add a quarter. Then place a business card with a short note like, “Parking’s on me. Have a great day!”
The ROI might not be immediate or all that great, but you did something good while getting your business name out into the community. Good deeds are always rewarded.
Redesign or update your website. And often.
Have you ever come across a site for a local business and thought, Whoa! How do they stay in business with a site like that?
Many business owners have a one-and-done mentality, particularly when it comes to their website. In order to increase your reach to the public and drive more business, it’s essential to keep your site design fresh and all information updated.
Driving calls to your business is an important part of growing. It’s also a customer retention staple. Trying new ways to drive those calls can help revive your business and take it out of a slump. The best part: it doesn’t have to be a budget buster to make an impact.
What do you do to drive calls to your business? Share your thoughts in the comments!