Common mistakes businesses make when handling telephone leads
Business owners tend to invest significant amounts of money marketing, advertising and generally raising awareness of the business to drive leads. Once new business opportunities start to surface and the phone starts ringing, it’s critical that your prospective customer’s initial experience is positive.
Here are some common mistakes to avoid during those initial prospect calls and warm leads.
Answering the Call
Needless to say, answering the call quickly and correctly is crucial in making that first impression! Of course there are going to be times when you’re unable to answer the phone yourself. From a client’s perspective there’s nothing worse than waiting for the phone to be answered – many will give up, try someone else and likely never call back.
If you tend to be away from the phone for long periods of time it’s often a good idea to get an external service to answer the phone on your behalf – companies such as Aquarius Contact Centres offer this telephone answering option.
If you do miss the call and they leave you a message then you’re going to need to call them back. There’s nothing worse than a potential customer having to repeat themselves when they’re called back. Ensure whoever takes your messages knows what information needs to be collected so you have everything you need to take the call forward
Beware of Hold
We all know how annoying it is to be left on hold for long periods of time, whilst it can’t always be avoided, try to keep this as short as possible. Try and have an on-hold message that keeps them interested in your products or services – this can help with purchasing decisions.
Where did they hear about your business?
Knowing what type of marketing / promotional activity is generating quality leads not only helps you focus on the channels that work but can also help reduce costs. Asking callers where they heard about you will allow you to gather some intelligence and identify successful campaigns. If they heard about you from a friend or colleague then you may even want to thank the person who introduced them – it’s a good way to create a positive impression and may generate more referrals.
Making a mistake about their name, phone, address or other personal information is a cardinal sin. Always record the person’s information, double check the spelling and, if at all unsure, always ask your caller to reconfirm. It goes without saying that not having the correct contact details can reduce your chances of securing business.
Make sure to thank them for calling, even if it doesn’t create a lead now, it might in the future. Good manners cost nothing and they can be a decisive factor when it comes to people choosing to do business. Always think ahead and be polite.