Successful businesses spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year on marketing and advertising strategies. The majority of these strategies are designed to generate calls and online inquiries that will generate interest and sales.
Prepared during non office hours
You’re probably prepared for calls and online inquiries during your normal office hours. But have you ever considered the calls and emails you may receive outside those hours or from clients and prospects in other time zones? If you’re a national company the typical availability between 8am-5pm doesn’t give your clients in other time zones the availability they need and desire. Questions, issues, desires and anything in-between can come at any time. Are you available for potential calls and emails that come in at night, or on weekends and holidays?
It’s time to ask yourself, “will my clients or prospects only need me during my normal office hours?”
If the answer is no, you should consider how you could be winning over clients if you were.
How about your competitors?
Your leading competitors are surely jumping at each chance to steal market share by being available outside of regular business hours. This strategy allows them to generate new business and service current clients. The strongest competitors understand the importance of flexible availability, which is why they make sure they have someone answering their calls. In this age of information being so readily available, people aren’t looking to wait for answers or solutions anymore. They want a response or answer right now!
Answering email inquiries
The most competitive companies also understand the importance of providing answers to email inquiries 24/7/365. There’s no other reason to have a form on your website if you aren’t going to have someone monitor the submissions closely. The only way you can get away with untimely responses is if you’re the only option around. But competitors are always arising so even if you can get away with it now, it won’t be for long!
Issues with voice mail
One of the biggest problems companies have is their continued reliance on voice mail. We’ve said it before, more than 60% of callers won’t leave a voice mail anymore, and that number is constantly rising. Another issue is how often companies and individuals check their voice mail, it’s just never often enough. The bottom line is that if you continue to rely on voice mail you’ll miss out on new business and most likely deter current business.
I’m sure you’re wondering how you can be so accessible with limited resources and a rather small budget. An in-house 24/7 staff would break the bank, it’s just not possible. And you’re right!! In-house staff isn’t always the best solution for smaller businesses with less predictable call volumes. Instead, many successful businesses seek answering services and inbound call centers. These services provide much more than just taking messages, they are able to act as an extension of your business, when your staff can’t. They are able to answer your calls in your company name and reply to email inquiries from your company email, using custom protocols designed by you and your business.
Questions about how your business can be more accessible to your prospects and clients? Download this informative answering service packet!