Managing the Different Types of Calls to Your Business

Managing the Different Types of Calls to Your Business

Not all calls you receive from prospective customers to your business may be of equal value. But, it’s still important that you treat each caller as though they may turn into a customer in the future, or will spread the word about your business to others.

At Goodzer, we listen to and analyze thousands of calls every week and we’ve heard some of the best and some of the worst ways to handle incoming calls. Here’s our advice on how to do it right.

The Price Shopper

Shoppers can either be looking for the best price, or trying to get a feel for what a project will entail before they decide to go forward with it. These callers may feel like a waste of your time, but they do have a lot of future potential. Our analysis shows that up to 30% of these callers ultimately turn into paying customers when a business handles them properly.

If the caller wants to know about a project and what it entails, it pays to be helpful and courteous. The more information you provide that helps them make a decision, the more likely they are to remember your business should they choose to go forward with the project at a later time. You also have the opportunity to present yourself as someone who is knowledgeable and trustworthy, so that they will feel comfortable in eventually hiring you.

If the caller is simply shopping around for the best price, provide them with an estimated range and explain any potential anomalies in your quote. Is it higher than competitors because you guarantee your work? Or because you have more experience? If you are willing to provide a free estimate, then be sure to explain all this in person as well. These callers may seem like they just want the cheapest price, but most often they are really looking for the best value – the perfect balance between quality and price.

The Advice Seeker

Some callers are not sure if they can do a project themselves and are calling for advice on how to do it, or to determine whether or not it is feasible for them to do the project. For these calls, our analysis shows that up to 40% of properly handled callers ultimately hire the business they contacted.

It may seem like a waste of your time to give out free advice, however, it is extremely important to not only be cheerful and polite, but also show your knowledge and explain any complexity in the project they are inquiring about. They may still choose to try it themselves, but very often, they will be calling you back once they realize a professional can do it properly.

The Buyer

This is the type of caller who has already done their research and is ready to book an appointment. These callers usually have a good idea what they should pay for the service they need, and simply want confirmation that your rates are reasonable and you will be reliable and knowledgeable. Be careful not to turn these high potential customers off! Answer their questions thoroughly, but don’t try to upsell them at this point. Callers will want to know that you will address their specific needs and won’t try to simply make the most money you can from them.

Regardless of the reason a caller is contacting you, always think long-term and make every call count to help your business thrive.

Making the Most of Your Incoming Calls

Making the Most of Your Incoming Calls

The only thing better for your service-based small business than receiving calls from interested prospective customers is selling them your service. How you handle these incoming calls can make or break your business, so it’s very important to make a great first impression.

Answer with a Live Person

Whenever possible, have a live person answer the phone — preferably one who can answer detailed questions or, if not, at least take a message. Not only do customers want to feel that you are available and they can speak with someone if they have a problem, but you also don’t want to risk that prospective customer calling and hiring a competitor while they are waiting for a call back from you.

Kill Them with Kindness

Whoever is answering your business lines should do so in a manner that introduces your business in a friendly and cheerful way. Answering the phone by stating your company name, a brief tagline if you have one, and “how can I help you?” sounds professional and welcoming. Throughout the conversation, be sure to answer the caller’s questions and make them feel comfortable talking to you — if they are comfortable in speaking with your business, they will be much more comfortable in hiring you.

Sell Your Business

When speaking with prospective customers, be sure to convey what is unique about your company and why they should purchase your services. State what makes you different from your competitors. Have you been in business for a long time? Do you service more customers in your area than competitors? Do you have special knowledge or skill that other companies do not? Are you licensed and insured? Whatever it is, it is important that your prospective customers know why they should hire you.

Think Long Term

Sometimes, you will get phone calls from people who are not yet ready to buy, who are just shopping around, or who are looking for something you don’t offer. No matter how unlikely it may seem that they will purchase your services, always remember that they could need your services at a later date or may have friends and family they send your way. If you impress them with your thoroughness and friendliness regardless of their likelihood to buy, you are much more likely to make an impression that will be remembered.

Voicemail That Sells

For the times when your business is closed or it is impossible for someone to answer the phone, be sure that your voicemail greeting is set up to be brief, professional and friendly. A great example that Goodzer has seen work well for many customers is “Thank you for calling XXXX Company! We are currently assisting another customer. Please leave your name, phone number and a brief description of the work you need done and we will call you right back.”

A phone call conversation is usually the very first impression that a potential customer has of your company and is what determines whether they will ultimately hire you or someone else. Make sure you give it your best shot so your business can flourish.