Oh wait, the phone IS ringing…
For years businesses have invested in marketing techniques to ‘make the phone ring’. So why doesn’t it get answered?
In today’s ever evolving technology driven world with email, chatbots, web and social media platforms like Facebook and messenger, it can be easy to ignore the phone.
After a recent project which involved a good deal of phone call making, we were surprised to see the number of firms that just let the phone ring, didn’t answer or didn’t have a voicemail, receptionist or even an automated messaging system.
According to a recent article by Legal Futures which analysed mystery shopping research compromising of 400 contacts in person, by telephone and online to test how law firms dealt with enquiries (research undertaken by Shopper Anonymous).
The research identified:
- Only 10% of telephone enquiries were followed up.
- 79% of the 200 phone calls undertaken the enquirer could speak to a fee-earner and only 47% had their contact details taken.
- Where the caller left a message (5% of firms did not have an answer phone), 76% of firms called back, half of them within three hours and 14% took more than two days.
With this in mind, we’ve outlined our top tips on why it is so important to answer the phone.
- Demonstrates good customer service from the start – just like meeting face to face, some people prefer to speak to a human as opposed to email or live chat.
- People who are calling usually want something – they may have a problem or urgent issue that needs dealing with. Whether this is a new or existing client, it is important to help quickly leading to more and future sales.
- Don’t let competitors get one over you – your competition may not be answering their phones either so make sure you do it first. Alternatively, if you don’t answer the phone, people will research your competitors and call them instead.
- Maintaining brand reputation – as well as a good website, smart offices, staff, excellent service etc, being available by phone is all part of the package you are offering.
- Not everyone uses the internet to make contact. Although over 80% of people do online research before they make an actual purchase, it doesn’t mean they buy online so it’s important to have the phone there ready as another buying channel.
If you’re in the professional services sector, it is vitally important to answer the phone. With technological advances, there are simple and cost-effective solutions such as voicemail, phone divert, outsourced call answering services to make sure you provide great customer service and don’t lose out on business.