It’s hard for most small business owners to imagine the importance of having a live receptionist. After all, we’re all busy trying to run our businesses. Many rely on the good faith of prospective clients to leave a message or call back later if no one is available to answer an incoming call. Unfortunately, hope is not a strategy. We spend a great deal of time and effort attracting new clients but how do we treat people when they call our business? If you don’t take incoming phone traffic seriously, how can you expect the public to take your business seriously?
Let’s do a little exercise. Let’s put ourselves in our customer’s shoes. After all, we are customers ourselves. We all know what it feels like to call a business for the first time and to be greeted with a ring-ring-ring-voicemail. We’re not leaving a voicemail. Heck, we’re not even going to call back later. We’re moving on. We’re busy people and we’re not going to wait around.
Now let’s imagine the same scenario but this time someone answers the phone with a polite greeting. You instantly have the reassurance that you have reached a legitimate business and not somebody’s cell phone that they listed as their business number on Google. When that friendly receptionist transfers you to someone that can help you, what happens if it goes to voicemail? If you’re like most people, you are far more likely to leave a voicemail. You’ll assume the person is on the other line or away from their desk. You did call their office and speak to their receptionist after all.
That small adjustment of having a live receptionist can make a huge difference in the amount of leads you actually maintain. Sure, having a live receptionist service costs money. But how much money are you losing every month from missed opportunities? Keep an eye on your own behavior as a consumer to gain real insight as to what gets you to engage with a business. You’re likely to find the answer to having more prospective clients engage with your business. I’ll give you a hint: It’s a live receptionist.