What if I told you that my sales increased on one of my website by almost 50% by doing one thing? Would I have your attention? Well now that I have your attention lets talk about that one thing. The anticipation is killing you isn’t it? It is nothing ground breaking or earth shattering, but its a simple thing you can do that will change things in a big way. Add a toll-free number, and even one better, add an answering service toll-free number if you are not able to man the phones 24 hours a day.
The web is open for business 24-7
Remember your business is online, and the web never sleeps so why should your website? Your website is essentially sleeping if your customers can’t get a hold of you whenever its easiest for them. I have an answering service that has been fully trained to answer and take any questions, even orders when I can’t be the one answering the phones. You would be amazed at how many people call the phone number and say something like “Oh, I was just wondering if this was a real business, or if someone would really pick up the phone?” They then proceed to purchase something from us because they were testing us, and know that we are legit and feel comfortable giving their information now. I have also had many cases where some people were afraid to give their credit card info online, so they wanted to call in the order and place it right there without having to put their credit card info in the computer them self.
There are many answering service places out there, and most of them have similar plans and pricing to the way cell phones work. For example, if you are brand new and not expecting a ton of calls you can get a 50 min plan for 30 bucks a month. If you are going to do heavy volume, then you can get unlimited plans for hundreds a month. The answering service I use also have text messaging and will notify you via email and any other way you want to be notified when you get a call. If you are in the office, you can even get the 800 number routed to one of your phones or cell phones if you are wanting to take calls personally.
Avoid being irritating
I can’t begin to tell you how irritating it is when I am not able to get a hold of the person, or can’t find a number on a website that I am potentially going to buy from. 9 times out of 10, unless I really know the site I will just move on to the next one. If that happens to you, that is money lost and a small business can’t afford to lose money – especially in this economy. Most people that would debate having an answering service only debate it because of cost, but I am here to promise you that there will be a ROI, and it will save your life more times then you realize!
The main reason (besides the 50% sales increase) I will continue to use answer service, and an 800 number is because of the credibility that it gives my businesses. If people want to talk to me, even if I am not there, they get a hold of someone which gives the person on the other end the warm fuzzies. That is always good for business! I do not do paid posts, (and no, not because of the iron fist of Google) or am recommending any one service in particular but if you would like to know who I use I would be happy to let you know via email. Just email me matsiltala (at) gmail (dot) com and I will hook you up.
Obviously I can’t promise you a 50% sales increase, but I am just sharing with you what we saw in our industry. No matter what the percentage is, I know your sales will increase if you implement some kind of an answering service plan with an 800 number. Even if that plan is you manning the phones until you can afford to pay someone! Either way it will be a great ROI and your business will grow because of it!