One of the biggest complaints for small town customers is local businesses that do not return phone calls. I know that I’ve been a victim of this scenario, and it inevitably results in me calling a different business and buying there. One of the repercussions of not having received a phone call is that we have never referred anyone to the business, but we have told many people not to bother calling them.
Most of these businesses are one or two person proprietorships, and I’m guessing that they were very busy; however, the end result was that some other business got our money. It is incredibly important as a small business owner that customer phone calls and/or emails are always answered – even if you are unable to take on the job. Potential customers would prefer to have a phone call stating that you are unable to take on their job than no phone call at all.
People buy your goods or services for one of two reasons – either to solve a problem or to make them feel good. Customers that do not receive a return phone call feel that they are not important enough to the business owner to warrant a simple short phone call. It is likely that the business owner was feeling that they barely had enough time to eat – let alone spend time with their family, pay the bills, and complete their current jobs. Carrie Wilkerson, the Barefoot Executive, says “The longer you’re not taking action the more money you’re losing.” If you don’t take action to return a client’s call, you are guaranteed that you will not be receiving their money.
Why is this important?
- Think of you how feel when your calls go unreturned.
- Manners still matter. If you think I’m wrong, ask you mother.
- Making money is the reason you are in business, so even if you get 240 plus calls per day return them quickly. It’s part of how a business makes money!
- You cannot see into the future. You will be glad you returned the call when the person becomes a paying customer rather than a disgruntled client.
- People who live in small towns like businesses that treat them with consideration, so slow down long enough to call them and make them feel that they are valuable to your business.
Make it happen, and if you don’t have time – figure out how to make it happen. Hire a local office administration business to make the calls for you. Paying a business $35/hour to make phone calls once a week could be worth more to your business than you think. If it ensures that future clients will at least consider calling your business, then paying to have someone make the phone calls is priceless.
Just because your business is currently too busy for you to make phone calls, doesn’t mean that it will always be that way! Make it happen. If you don’t, when things finally slow down, your business may not have any phone calls to return. In the end it could cost you more than just one client – it could ultimately cost you your business.
Rhiannon Daloise is the owner of Office Work Made Easy providing professional administrative assistance to clients in the West Kootenay. Giving you the ability to provide your clients with professional and efficient customer service.