All that seems to matter in the business world of today is “Who is the Fastest?” Everything moves faster. Drive-thru restaurants now have timers displayed in order to get the customer their food in under 1-2 minutes. We now expect that.
Recently, my neighbor needed major roofing work done on his house. His shopping process was simple - First he searched online, found 5-6 contractors who were rated high, and then start dialing.
If someone didn’t answer and return his call within 30 minutes, he was on to the next one. What he found was that many of them would take 24-48 hours to return the call! It’s ironic that he grew up before the internet when all you had was a phonebook, no voicemail and you would hear “busy signals”.
Consumers are now more impatient than ever. It is so simple to use mobile search to find a business and reach out. To succeed, you must engage with your customers as fast and efficiently as possible.
I’m just as bad. If someone is not quick enough to return my call when I have money burning a hole in my pocket, I will find someone who does want it!
Customers Just Want to Feel Wanted
Your customers want to feel “wanted”. Why do you think customer service is such a critical benchmark?
You need to enchant and delight them. The best way to start? Consistently engage with them and be available when they are ready.
Your competitors are passing you when you aren’t “on your game”.
This isn’t applicable only to small businesses - Many of the largest companies in the world built their foundation on this. Google and Facebook both grew and overtook their competitors because they listened and responded FAST!
Responding to Customers is Critical
The users of existing products were grumbling about shortcomings (think AOL and MySpace). The existing companies rested at being #1 and were too slow to respond.
In a matter of years, they were gone.
Now, look at Google and Facebook. Billion dollar companies.
Your customers behave the same way. They want things to be done faster and more efficiently. You can’t rest as technology and consumer habits are changing daily.
What can you do to stay ahead of your competitors?
It’s simple. Start with these steps:
1. Review your processes and find the “holes in your bucket”. Are clients leaving because of X? Are prospects not coming back because of Y?
2. Ask your team where they see inefficiencies. If you lead your company, you might not see the day-to-day inefficiencies your employees do.
3. Decide who should be in charge of fixing the holes and correcting the inefficiencies. With many small companies, a problem exists because no one is accountable for it.
Look back at the example of my neighbor. My neighbor is not the first roofing prospect lost by a contractor simply because they didn’t return phone call fast enough. Many companies lose out on excellent customers because they are not efficient with managing their phones.
What About Your Phone Service?
Think about yourself right now: Have you lost a potential customer this way? Have clients been upset by slow response times or not being able to reach you?
Guess what? Your competitors are eating it up! Even when you have the better product, you have to connect with prospects quicker.
Upgrade your phones to Cloud Phone service and your customers will be able to reach you everywhere. No more backlog of messages, missed calls and opportunities.
The flexibility of Cloud Phone service is critical in today’s economy. Traditional phone lines will charge you extra for things like: Follow Me Call Forwarding or Conference Calling. Keep your employees connected to put out any fires or close up a deal.
Use tools such as Fax to email and Call recording to organize and document conversations with prospects so you can respond faster and close more deals.
Don't allow your competitors to pass you!
First Step: Look for the inefficiencies and the “holes”. Look at problems with your handling of telephone calls. What problems keep recurring?
Start a discussion with an expert so you can improve this month!