Answer the telephone!

Why don’t businesses realise it is so important to answer the telephone or at least have someone answer it for them? This was brought to mind the other night when we tried to place an order for a meal to be delivered. The telephone rang and rang.

It is human nature if you call to enquire about a product or service from someone you have not tried before to hang up rather than talk to a machine. It doesn’t matter if the voice mail message says “your business is really important to us”. If anything it makes it worse because either it seems insulting, implying “but not so important we can take your call”. Unless you have had a really strong recommendation, you are going to move on to enquire of the next business on your list or in the local directory.

If a business is that busy or so small that the person who could take the call is engaged on a vital task, why not engage an answering service? They are relatively inexpensive especially when one considers the extra business that can be won.

That way any enquirer can leave a message with a human being. He or she then will be most likely to wait to be called back rather than go on to the next one on the list. It also helps the business owner in concentrating on a task without interruptions in the knowledge that all messages will be written down or emailed ready to be followed up.

In short, if we answer the telephone we maximize the business that comes to us that way. If we leave our prospects to a recording they will probably give up on us as we did the restaurant who didn’t pick up.

© Jon Stow 2010

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