When we onboard our new clients who hire our marketing agency, one of the things that we note is their office hours. Do they take calls after closing time. Do they respond to emails or even text messages? How long does it take to respond? Did you know that the average response time is 42 hours? That is how you lose customers and potential clients. This is very important to us as leads can come in at any time. Those who respond quickly, win!
We all want that work/life balance and after all, that is why many of us started our own business to begin with. We wanted more freedom and flexibility. However as a marketing agency, we cannot control when your leads will call. We can provide your leads your office hours however people want answers now. They want them yesterday. They want them at 10pm.
If a customer decides to call you on a Friday night, do you think they will wait until Monday to get an answer? Probably not. There are too many means to get a quote right away and 35% to 50% of sales goes to those who respond first (InsideSales.com). We live in an era where people want instant satisfaction. Some demand it. If your business can afford to wait, that is great. As a marketing agency, our measure of success is based on the eventual sales with your business. If the leads we bring you are not being responded to in a timely manner, we are also the ones who lose. Hard work and effort to gain those leads is lost.
Have you ever bought ads in a newspaper or a website? Did you know that you can get a special tracking phone number so that you can see how many calls came from that ad. That phone number is much more special as it also comes with software. You can record your calls (legally). You can ban spammers. You can have multiple phones ring when it is called. You can create a myriad of call flows so that if one does not answer, it is routed to the next available employee or yourself. Those who publish newspapers will never show you how this works. Why? Many don't even know about it. Some don't want you to know that you can track them. Those that advertise in newspapers believe in magic. Magically, their ads will create phone calls and sales. For some it may work out. For many, they get no leads from the print publication but you will never know it as you get calls from all over the place. So how can you determine if that advertising is worth it? You add a tracking number to determine just how many calls that you got from that ad.
Why is the tracking number important? With some of our clients, when they close shop, we activate a text messaging system so that when potential customers call, they receive a text message that says, "Sorry as we are unavailable, can you select a time for us to call you back here" and we provide a link to the scheduler. Analytics has shown that those that set up an appointment, tend to wait until that appointment versus searching elsewhere. The psychology behind creating that appointment has caused them to suspend their search. Maybe they feel an obligation to wait since they created the appointment. Through this system, you are actually responding to them within seconds!
This is just one means to respond quickly. There are bots that you can use for your social media and your websites to respond fast as well and you want a complete system now.