When it comes to gaining new customers for your business, is your staff trained to handle incoming leads?
While you might think the answer is yes, it’s likely there are some common mistakes being made, which can ultimately cost your business a lot of money in the long run.
So, what can you do to make sure your staff is properly trained? We have several tips that you can incorporate into your next training session!
Understand Your Customers
One of the most important things you need to do as a business owner is understand your customers and where they’re in the customer journey.
To do this, we suggest utilizing call tracking for your advertising and local search efforts. Call tracking is a way to listen to customer calls to learn more about their needs.
Overall, call tracking can help you measure your marketing efforts, similar to how Google Analytics tracks your website’s data.
Tip #1 – Immediately create a relationship
Call tracking can be a great way to learn about customer needs, but you still need to create a relationship with your customer from the very beginning.
When a customer calls in, be sure to ask for their name and phone number first. This allows you to make a connection with them. Be sure to use their name in the conversation!
The next thing you need to do is determine their pain point or concern. Find out why they’re calling you and explain how you can help them.
If you can’t set an appointment immediately or formally address their concern, be sure to let them know when you will be reaching back out to them. Also, don’t forget to thank them for calling your business!
Advertising Tactics for Your Business
Paid advertising can have a big impact on the flow of leads coming into your business.
If you’re running competitor ads, it’s crucial that your staff knows the correct way to answer the phone so you can gain the caller as a customer.
For example, if a customer needs a pest control company and clicks on your competitor ad instead of a well-known company, your staff may accidentally lose a sale if they say the wrong thing.
Or, if you're running ads for your business promoting a sale or special, make sure your staff is aware of what the ads are promoting.
Tip #2 – Never turn a customer away
If a customer accidentally calls your business but intends to call someone else, never say “Sorry, this isn’t [insert company name]. You have the wrong number.”
By doing this, you are instantly losing a sale! As more and more companies are starting to run competitor ads, you must teach your staff the proper verbiage for answering these types of calls.
Your staff should be dedicated to convincing the caller to choose your company instead. Here’s a template you can adjust for your specific business:
“This isn’t [insert company name], but we might be able to help you! What service are you looking for?”
Bonus Advertising Tip – Answer the phone quickly
If you’re running Local Services Ads (LSAs), one of the big factors for ranking well in online listings is by how quickly you answer the phone.
This means that it’s vital to have someone in your office answering the phone and being able to answer any questions confidently.
Regardless of if you are running LSAs or not, having someone answering your phone instead of using a phone tree adds a humanized touch to your business.
Automation can be helpful, but it’s worth the investment of having a real person answering your business’s phone. Most consumers would rather talk to a person than listen to a recorded message.
Be sure to look back at the first tip for suggestions on answering the phone!
Is a Call Center Right for Your Business?
Having an in-house staff is wonderful, but it isn’t always an option for some businesses.
If you decide to hire a call center to help handle your leads, make sure they are capable of answering most questions your potential customers may have.
The worst thing you can do for your business is utilize a call center that doesn’t at least understand your services or what you offer.
Tip #3 – Do your research
If you have to use a call center, you must do your research ahead of time. We suggest making a list of pros and cons of each call center.
Be sure to look at their online reviews on a variety of different platforms to see what others are saying, too!
The same goes for finding a digital marketing agency to partner with. If there are any red flags, proceed with caution!
Procuring Leads Online
Similar to responding to leads via the phone, online leads are just as important for businesses.
Most websites have an online form for consumers to submit a question, request a demo or service, or sign up for an appointment. When responding or following up with online leads, be sure to do it within 24 hours or less.
Consumers expect a quick response and will look elsewhere if your response isn’t timely.
Tip #4 – Ask consumers where they found you
An important part of the customer journey is knowing where a consumer found you.
If they found your business online, ask what site or platform they found you on, like Google or Facebook. While some consumers may not know the difference between an ad or a local listing, having them narrow it down a little bit can help you determine what marketing campaign they came from.
If you work with a digital marketing agency, they will be able to guide you with best practices when responding to leads and nurturing them to the bottom of the marketing funnel.
Handling leads in-house isn’t difficult, but it does take some proper training to make sure each lead has a positive experience throughout the customer journey.
By following our advice and tips, your staff will be closing leads in no time! Ongoing training is also necessary as your industry or business goes through changes and growth.
When you work with our team at RevLocal, we make it even easier for you by providing helpful tools to gather and track your leads.
Our RevSites are locally optimized websites that encourage consumers to take a specific action, such as calling your business, booking an appointment or requesting more information.
We pair our RevSites with Reveal, our marketing analytics dashboard, to collect data and help you understand more about your online leads.
If you need help coming up with a digital marketing strategy or gaining leads for your business, our team is ready to help! Request a demo today to start increasing your customer base.