Have we told you lately how important it is to answer your phone? We’ve noticed many of our clients have a staggering number of missed calls. It all started with Google. In doing our day-to-day marketing tasks for clients, we discovered many clients are consistently missing important calls from Google. Not only is this a pain for us—because then we have to schedule another appointment for you to speak with Google—but it also makes us worry about your phone habits in general. Why aren’t you picking up the phone in the first place? In this newsletter, we’ll explore two major reasons to answer your phone. We’ll also offer some tips to help you stay on top of incoming calls. Let’s get started.
Why Should You Want to Answer the Phone?
- The caller might actually be Google.
- The caller might be an interested customer.
If It’s Google:
You want to answer the phone because missing this call will prevent your listing from being verified. This is especially urgent at the beginning of your campaign, when we’re setting up your listing. However, we’re constantly checking your listings and making necessary changes throughout the duration of your campaign, so Google may call to re-verify your listing at any time. Without verification from Google, your local web presence will suffer because your listing will not be visible to users. As a result, you could miss out on serious money in lost business.
If It’s a Customer:
You want to answer the phone because missing this call means your customer will be giving their money to one of your competitors instead of working with you. Consistently missing customers’ calls is another way you could be losing thousands of dollars in business. That’s a pretty strong reason to pick up your phone.
How You Can Take Action Without Much Effort
Now that you’ve discovered what’s at stake, arm yourself with the right knowledge and tools to avoid missed calls in the future. Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know:
- Legitimate customers may be calling from out-of-area phone numbers. Thanks to cell phones, area codes don’t mean anything anymore.
- Always answer any call from the (650) area code. This is Google.
- You can use call forwarding for your CallTrax number so you don’t miss calls while you’re out.
- You can also use a professional answering service if you’re bothered by constant disruptions or marketing calls.
Don’t Automatically Dismiss Out-of-Area Phone Calls
Many local business owners might see an area code from out of state or even out of their service area and assume it’s not a legitimate customer calling. However, area codes are essentially meaningless nowadays. An out-of-area phone number doesn’t necessarily mean the call isn’t coming from a local resident. Many people exclusively use cell phones, and they keep their phone number when they move from one state to another. Area codes only tell you where an individual first signed up for their phone plan. On top of that, unless your business is located in the San Francisco Bay area, Google’s calls will always register as out of area for you. Remember: Google will be calling from a (650) area code. If you see that number, answer it.
Call-Forwarding for Your CallTrax Number Is a Game Changer
Have you tried out our call-forwarding feature? When set up correctly, our call-forwarding feature will ensure you never miss a phone call. Without it, you miss any calls that come to your main CallTrax number every time you’re out on a job or leave the main office. Setting up call-forwarding is easy. Through the Client Portal, you can add the phones you would like your CallTrax number to forward to. You can have calls sent to your cell phone instead of the main office during certain times of day, like when you’re back at home for the night. You can also have calls routed to a second and even third phone number after the main phone misses a certain number of rings. However you decide to set it up, keep track of which phones calls are forwarded to at different times of day. Don’t leave your cell phone in your office all night if your calls are being forwarded to it after hours!
Professional Answering Services Are Available if the Phone Just Isn’t Your Thing
Some business owners just don’t like being on the phone, and that’s why they avoid answering it. While we totally understand how uncomfortable it can feel to talk to strangers, and how disruptive it can feel when you’re in the middle of a job, we can’t let you miss that many phone calls. It’s harming your business. If you really can’t stand being on the phone—or you’re simply too busy—hire a professional answering service to do it for you. While we don’t endorse any particular company, we have clients who successfully use AnswerConnect as their answering service. (Bonus: An answering service will screen out marketing calls so you never have to deal with them!) Explore other strategies for handling missed calls.
The Good Outweighs the Bad
Make it a policy to answer your phone as often as possible. What do you have to lose? Even if the caller turns out to be a solicitor, you’ll only be wasting a minute or two on the phone. Isn’t it worth losing just a minute of your time if it means you’ll be there to speak with Google and countless prospective customers when they call? With literally thousands of dollars on the line, we feel it’s well worth the risk.