As a small business owner no doubt you can’t wait for that phone to ring… with a potential customer of course. But when it does, are you ready for it? Does your voicemail message ooze friendliness and professionalism? And are you checking regularly to make sure you are responding quickly when potential customers DO telephone you?
Following are a couple of quick tips for handling telephone enquiries:
1. Respond within a few hours maximum when potential customers phone you. Because guess what? If they don’t hear from you really soon – who do you think they’ll be googling and ringing up instead? Yep, that’s right – your competition! So you need to act fast! Also, act when the potential customer’s perceived need is highest – and emotional desire strongest – which is at that moment when they acted on their intentions and called. The faster you are at returning their call, the more likely you’ll be the business who is able to end up helping them. The longer you wait – the stronger the chances they’ll be distracted by something else – or have their need met by a competing organisation.
2. Create a voicemail that sizzles – it doesn’t have to be clever or corny, but make sure it is upbeat and professional sounding. SMILE while you record your voicemail message – as most of our communication is non-verbal, our body language really does shine through in our voice – you’d be amazed at the difference it will make to the tone of the message. Also, keep it short, making it quick and easy for them to leave their details.
3. Respond to enquiries the same way every time – when you find what works. And then make small changes – and note whether it improves your results or not. Keep data on all results – how many potential clients called, how many took up your services, and what elements of your response caused the results you want. Once you know how to respond to enquiries to maximise your results, you can duplicate it – teach all staff that work for you to respond in that way.