Your customers see your Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn pages. They read all about you, they like what they see, your pages are well presented, your testimonials are good. They note your contact details and then have a choice of ways to contact you ...
There are many ways for your customers to contact you, but most still like to call!
Facebook Messenger, Instagram messaging and LinkedIn's inbox are all very good to send you a first contact message and to get the dialogue started. However, at some stage (or even at first contact), the vast majority of people still want to call you. Oh wait, that's done usually with a SmartPhone, and all the messaging services I just mentioned are simply apps.
"My point is, you advertise a phone number for a reason!"
What you have to be aware of, is that when a call comes into your business, that it is handled in the correct way. "Why is that?" I hear you say. Because it is the first human contact, albeit just a voice contact, but the way a call is routed and answered is the first impression of your business.
I have personally called other businesses and all I got, when the call was answered, was just a very dull "Hello". There were several occasions that I doubted myself and thought I had dialled the wrong number. I was forced to ask if I was through to the right business.
On other occasions, I have called a company and the ringing tone in my ear just went on for what seemed like forever, before someone eventually answering the call or going to a non-descript, generic voicemail message.
"That first human contact is often a deal-breaker!"
You may be self-employed and are too busy to answer the call. You may be a more established business with more than one person, but still can’t always handle the calls. This may be due to not having anything resembling a £5K plus phone system to route the calls, place callers on hold with comfort messages or land the caller into voicemail with a bespoke message.
There are a variety of ways to tackle this. One is a virtual assistant, but a VA who specialises in taking calls on your behalf, in your company name. Alternatively, modern-day, cloud and subscription-based hosted phone systems are very good value for money and offer quality features that you only used to find in very expensive PBX/PABX Phone systems.
The latter allows calls to be routed and diverted to multiple numbers and has options of day and night messages and voicemail options which you can customise (to at least give a good impression) in the event that you can't physically take the call at that moment.
These days, like most business applications, this is called 'telephony as a service'. You are not physically buying a phone system, rather you are renting a licence with a variety of features included. The price?
"Anything from £4 to £20 per month depending on features!"
The problem is, in one respect, there is too much choice and the telephony market can seem saturated and even the IT/Software giants like Microsoft offer some telephony features as part of their packages. My advice, as always, is to speak to a telephony expert.
Preferably someone who has been an engineer like me.
Until next time ...
Would you like to know more?
If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more about efficient business telephony and different ways for customers to contact you, click here to get in touch or call me on 01604 926100 and let's see how I can help.
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Where do we start? Simple terms like 'IT' and 'Telecoms'? or terms that appear NOT to have an actual meaning at all!, e.g. 'Internet of Things (IoT).
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