When people are ready to buy, they want to talk.
Customers do most of their research on purchases before they ever talk to you. Once your customer has the information they need, that’s when they reach out to you: to buy.
You need to be ready to take that call. You need an inbound communications strategy.
In this article we’ll see that, yes, the phone is still important. We’ll also look at your customers’ expectations of calls and how these calls can be the difference in making the sale.
You aren’t the only option for your customers
Around half of business goes to the company who responds to customers first. To quickly boost your sales, become the company that always picks up the phone.
A lead response study by Prof. Oldroyd showed that when you take longer than 5 minutes to respond to leads, the conversion rate plummets. When a customer calls you, they’re interested in buying. Don’t make them wait.
Businesses spend a lot of time generating demand via marketing campaigns. What if customers happen to phone when you’re busy or out-of-hours? That marketing spend is wasted and the customer is frustrated. They’ll most likely go somewhere else.
When your customers are ready to buy, be ready to sell. Don’t let poor lead response times hold back your business.
Stand out by getting personal
A Consumer Reports survey shows that 75% of people say the biggest gripe when contacting a business is not getting a human on the line. Don’t offer an automated experience to people who are ready to buy from you.
In practical terms, personalization means caring about each individual who’s interested in your services. And caring means picking up the phone, ready to help and answer questions.
To overcome any final hesitations before committing to buying, your customers want to talk to someone. That call might come out of hours and if you pick up the phone and are ready to help, it shows you care, and you’ll be in the best position to make the sale.
What this means for small businesses
Call volume is going up.
Google research shows that people searching for businesses on their phones are increasingly using the ‘the click to call’ feature; it’s easy to use. Put simply, more smartphones mean more phone calls.
People are searching for your business around the clock. Don’t waste potentially good leads that you’ve spent time and money to nurture by diverting to voicemail. Be ready to handle their calls.
An exceptional receptionist team can be the difference. Whether you choose an in-house team or use a telephone answering service, you need to extend your hours and lower your lead response time so you can be there for your customers and make more sales.
The essentials of an inbound strategy
Implementing an inbound communication strategy can boost your sales by preventing good leads from becoming lost leads. Here are the essential components of an effective strategy:
- Don’t use voicemail
- Offer 24 hour coverage
- Ensure a sub 5 minute response
- Provide friendly, supportive help
It’s a big ask for small businesses to provide this kind of coverage, which is why many turn to call answering services. These services can be used for overflow and out-of-hours calls, so that you can always be ready to take the call and make the sale.
Even for small businesses, customers expect always-on, instant contact. If you don’t have an effective inbound communications strategy, your customers will gravitate to a competitor who does.