Who’s Answering Your Phone?
We’ve had “the phone conversation” a few times with our clients: they’re getting leads, but they aren’t becoming conversions. What’s going on if the phones are ringing off the hook but there’s no new business? Is there a way that this could be the marketer’s fault?
To answer the second question, yes. It could be the marketer’s fault. If the advertising is sending the wrong kind of clients, then those phone calls are useless. But that isn’t usually what’s going on.
How to Diagnose What’s Going on
A Problem With Your Answering Service
We’ve strongly pushed the services of CallRail before on this very blog, and this is the reason why. CallRail records incoming client calls, which you can listen to and better understand where things might be going wrong. Go through the checklist:
- Did the person answering the phone give relevant information regarding your firm?
- Was the client’s problem clear and relevant to your practice area?
- Were the next steps for the client made clear?
- Was the person answering the phone politely?
If the answer to any of these was “no,” you need to fix something with your answering service. Whether it’s the office receptionist or a professional team of phone answerers, you need to make sure no clients are being lost through misunderstandings or excessive curtness.
A Problem With Your Hours
Sometimes phone calls go unnoticed. If they are coming in during your business hours, they really shouldn’t. We’ve reviewed client call logs and it can be surprising how many calls went unanswered during business hours, often around lunch. We get it, your people are working hard and need to take a break. The problem is, a lot of people are on that same schedule and are only free to call during their lunch break. By being unavailable during these times, you are forfeiting clients.
A Problem With Your Intake Capacity
Some small firms just don’t have the infrastructure in place to take in a large number of clients at once, and have a relatively low cap on the number of calls they can handle in one day. In these situations, we recommend investing in intake services. These businesses are ready with trained operators on standby, prepared to answer calls and sign up clients for you. This relieves pressure from your front desk and helps you get the best clients available.
A Problem With the Marketing
We’ll admit this happens. It’s not often, but sometimes something goes wrong and the wrong types of clients start calling. The best solution for this is to communicate with the person in charge of your marketing and doing some course correction.
3 Ways to Update Your Intake System
The first and highest recommended way is with CallRail. We’ve already touched on this, so we won’t dwell on it.
The second way is regular mystery shopping. Call your own firm and check in on the intake process. See if your intake crew is professional and productive. If they aren’t, get a new team or invest in some training.
The third way to improve your intake system is through an answering service. This will improve the bandwidth of your intake system and allow you to increase your client numbers drastically.
Calls are some of the best ways to land a client. You know they are interested in your services to the point that they picked up a phone. Don’t throw that away. Make sure you’re giving them the service they deserve.