How many times have you been frustrated by the switchboard or voicemail that tells you it is 5.30pm and to leave a message? Worst still, you’re blandly asked to call back again during ‘business’ hours. Here Roger Taylor, Creative Director explains that there are ways to remove barriers to doing business with your organisation, help retain customers and capture new sales.

No, don’t worry; I’m not suggesting bringing the camp bed to work and manning the scramble phone for any eventuality.

What I do recommend is a sensible strategy to profiling your business in the marketplace and ensuring that your business is accessible, and responses are timely. We all like to feel wanted, and that surely holds true for customers.

Let’s take a snapshot of a typical business. You have a product or service, workforce, switchboard, a voicemail, a workmanlike website, printed material to send to enquiries and a price list. You also have competitors! Take a look at what they are doing, if there’s something they are doing better address that issue. If they are behind, maintain your competitive lead.

For important clients, out of hours messages can be monitored, or at the very least messages followed up the very next day. If you have a website, make sure your contact details are prominent. Web strategies could also include SMS message alerts, for those of you who are on the road, and need to be contacted. These can be easily configured into websites.

Thinking electronically, use your email sign-offs to ensure contact details are front of mind, and incorporate new messages, such as awards, special offers, when you circulate email sign-offs, newsletters and other correspondence – through to a sensible ‘on-hold’ phone recording (but ensure that waiting time is limited, or you will lose that potential sale!).

For service-oriented businesses, you should consider RSS (Really Simple Syndication) news feeds to help your customers quickly gain access to what’s new in your world. You will also want to look at co-ordinated email campaigns that feed back to your website and enable you to immediately track uptake on your offer. Remember the web works for you round-the-clock.

We have helped a spectrum of sole operators to international organisations get in touch with their customers and potential customers, but as importantly help them to become more accessible to people who want to do business with them!

Call us for more information.