You have your website, email marketing up and running and customers are contacting via online web form or email, so do you need a business phone? The answer is YES, YES, YES! If you are not using your company’s phone as a marketing tool, you are selling your business short. Your company phone with an associated phone number (meaning caller ID, recognizes your business as a business) is a perfect way to promote your business and get you talking to prospective customers. Here are a couple of tips that were provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Have a Local and a Toll Free number – even if you currently only deal with local customers a toll free number may invite out of area customers. The toll free number also gives the impression that your business is professional and successful.
Spell Something – up until the 1960’s telephone numbers in the U.S. started with letters or exchange names, seriously ask an older person. For example if you called someone in Elmwood Park, Illinois you would dial GLadstone-XXXX; the Avondale neighborhood in Chicago was Avondale-XXXX or AVX-XXXX, I know you get the picture. So why spell out a word, simple answer is to make it easy for your customers and potential customers to find you. Depending on your industry and brand you can make it playful or fun. Examples 1-800-GOT-JUNK or XXX-TGC-HELPs (the TGC number is not real).
Answer Professionally – every time you or your employees pick up the phone, the call could be your next client. Make sure everyone knows how to answer the phone, what the message is going to be and how to convey that message in a seamless manner. If you are smiling when you answer the phone, that will make you sound cheerful and the same goes for the grumpy face answer. Always include key information such as company name, your name, the department and a motto. Example: Good Morning and thank you for calling T.G. Consultants, where we help you Stop Screaming at your Technology, This is Trish, how may I help you? Keep the greeting short so you won’t feel rushed when answering the phone.
On-Hold Messaging – putting a client on hold is not unavoidable you will have to do it; but do it with flair. If you have control of your phone system, go beyond the music, place a message that educates your clients or potential clients about your products and services. Give out tips, speak about specials, interesting facts or provide a call to action. The key is not to overplay your messages, try one at a time within in the music. Speaking of music, try to compliment your business.
Implementing these tips can help keep your company pipeline full of customers.