Hello? Hello? Is Anyone There?

Hello? Hello? Is Anyone There?
Aaron O'Hanlon
Aaron O'Hanlon July 5, 2012

The past few days I have noticed a very disconcerting pattern when calling clients as well as my personal experience with contractors. The first example would be from personal use. Recently my wife has gotten on a home improvement kick. Since I am an admitted moron when it comes to anything that deals with home improvement, I suggest finding a local electrician. Considering that was the first project she wanted to work on.

My wife went through the usual channels to find an electrician. First, searching Google, and then posting a link to Facebook asking for suggestions. After getting a list of three electricians that were referred to her, she called them on a Monday morning. All three electricians phones went to voicemail. For a homeowner who has a lot of work to be completed, do you think it may be too much to ask to be able to speak to an individual?

After 24 hours, the second electrician called back and scheduled a date to come by on Friday, stating that they would call back on Thursday to confirm the meeting and time. By Wednesday, my wife had all the new fixtures and ceiling fans that needed to be installed. On Thursday, she did not receive a call... Guess what happened when she called on Friday? She went to voicemail.

Now, this may be a singular occurrence, but when we reach out to clients to and go straight to voicemail, that seems to indicate a problem. We're not calling our client's cell phones. We're calling the number that is advertised on their website; the same number you want your customers to reach out to.

If you are spending money trying to generate leads for your company, through online marketing, postcards, etc, why would you not answer your phone? The people that call contractors are people in need of services who want to give you their money. They do not want to leave a voicemail or wait for a call back. They will skip you and move on to the next contractor, who will hopefully pick up the phone. Here are some tips you can do to limit the amount of unanswered phone calls:

  • Use an answering service - Though I am not typically a fan of hiring an answering service over having the company themselves answer the phone, using an answering service is always better than not answering.
  • Forward your phone - There are great automated forwarding services out there like www.grasshopper.com/ that allow you to use a phone number and bounce it to any amount of numbers. This way you know someone will answer the phone.
  • Hire someone to answer - If you have no one answer the phone, then hire someone to do it. Each time they answer the phone is a potential client for you. Each phone call you miss is a potential client you lose.

All-in-all, what we hope you take from this article is that whatever you decide to do, please make sure you answer your phone!

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