In this week’s blog, I’d like to tell you a story which I hope will demonstrate the importance of answering your phones. You work very hard on your Marketing strategies and campaigns so we don’t want you to fall at one of the most basic of communication points… answering the call to a potential new student.
Here’s my number, so call me maybe…
After months of air punches, pillow kicks and endless episodes of Power Rangers, my sister decided it was time to find a Martial Arts School for my nephew. You can only imagine his sheer elation when she told him he would start karate lessons (because to a novice, only karate exists!). So she immediately pulled out her phone and fired up Google. She entered her search criteria and pulled up the School that was closest to her home. The website looked professional, the images were friendly, sporty and inviting and the contents had all the benefits she was looking for.
There was no online booking form, just a mobile phone number which she punched into the phone while Silvano eagerly watched and waited to be told he was on the path to Ultimate Combat Fighter-ville. The phone rang and then…
It went through to answer phone.
A little disappointed, she left a message with her phone number and a request for someone to call her back. She understood that not everyone sits on their phone waiting for it to ring and that as soon as they got the message they would eagerly call her back to invite Silvano for a trial lesson.
That was 3 days ago. Each morning since the infamous attempted phone call, Silvano asks her when he can start his “fighting” lessons and she tells him “as soon as they answer I’ll book you in”. Of course in reality she has now decided that the club couldn’t care a less whether her son wants to train there and wouldn’t send him even if the Instructor did call back.
Why didn’t she try to call again?
Because we now live in a fast commercial era where a high level of Customer Service isn’t just appreciated, it’s damn well expected. Consumers expect companies to fight over them, they expect top level treatment and they expect queries to be dealt with immediately. We live in a “Right Now” society. So when a call is not answered, or an answer phone message is not replied to, it becomes an insult.
Is the Instructor an arrogant idiot?
I’m sure he absolutely isn’t. He probably has a full time job where he can’t answer his mobile. He sees the missed call and answer phone message but by the time he gets home, he has to quickly eat and then get to classes to teach. By the time he’s finished it’s too late to call the prospect. And tomorrow morning it’s time for work again and he’s forgotten all about the prospect call.
Don’t let the same thing happen to you. If you can’t answer your phone during certain hours, ask prospects to text or email you and always make sure you find time to answer. The prospect is at peak excitement (purchase potential!) level at the point they contact you. The longer you leave the response, the less excited they become and the more work you will have to do to get them to the trial lesson.