With all the ways we have to connect with one another today, it may surprise you to learn the phone is still the preferred method for customers to interact with businesses. In fact, a recent study by Invoca shows companies big and small are seeing an explosion of inbound calls. Why? One big reason is the tremendous growth of click-to-call, the ability to dial a business directly from a mobile search.
Click-to-call is booming, and the already staggering number of calls to businesses from mobile devices is expected to skyrocket in coming years: a predicted 162 billion calls will be made to businesses from smartphones by 2020.
So how do you get a piece of this click-to-call action as a small business owner? By making it easy to call your company, understanding what mobile callers want, and creating a consistently positive phone experience. In this article, we’ll explore ways to do all three.
Driving Mobile Traffic to Your Business Number
In mere seconds, smartphone users can search for and connect with companies that meet their needs — great news for businesses that are ready to pick up the phone and to deliver. Calls initiated by smartphone users are especially valuable to growing companies, because they allow for personal connection other channels can’t provide. A one-on-one conversation with a prospective customer is a unique opportunity to clearly communicate the value of your service, and a chance to build rapport and trust.
There are lots of ways to make your telephone number stand out to mobile customers:
- Start by making your number clickable and prominent on your website. Be sure to include your number in your website’s header, footer, contact page, and any calls to action.
- Consider adding a “Click to Call” button on your homepage.
- Limit the need for scrolling by making sure your number appears near the top of your homepage.
- Ensure your Google business information is up-to-date and a phone number is visible. For more information on claiming your business and managing your listing, check out Google’s support page.
- In addition to having your phone number listed, a simple line of code is all it takes to make your number clickable from a mobile phone: <a href=“tel:1-847-555-5555”>1-847-555-5555</a>
Understanding the Mobile Audience
According to Invoca, smartphone users typically reach out for three reasons:
- To get a quick answer. Scrolling through your website or FAQ page doesn’t appeal to mobile users. They’re looking to click, call and get to the bottom of things quickly (e.g. service, pricing, hours, etc.)
- To express a concern. When mobile users are concerned about something, they’re not interested in sending an email or submitting a form online — they want to speak with a live person who can help.
- To get expert advice. What better way to learn a topic than to chat with someone who knows that topic through and through? Mobile users look to the pros when seeking guidance. That’s you!
In other words, the click-to-call crowd needs help, and they want it right away.
Creating a Standout Experience for Mobile Callers
Winning over the mobile crowd takes more than a clickable number. In fact, without a friendly, helpful person to answer, an influx of calls could harm your business. Mobile users value excellent service, and don’t want to waste time waiting around for it. One in five calls from mobile phones are abandoned — likely due to common offenders like long hold times or reaching an automated system instead of a live person — and callers are more likely to hang up on a local business than a call center. Furthermore, dissatisfied callers aren’t afraid to share their feedback. Not only did 74 percent of those polled by Invoca say they are likely to choose another business after a negative phone experience, 70 percent said they are likely to complain to friends or family, 30 percent are likely to leave a bad review, and 24 percent are likely to complain on social media. Yikes!
In order to reap the substantial rewards click-to-call has to offer, small businesses need the customer experience infrastructure to support it. Before overhauling your website or your marketing plan to better feature click-to-call, it can be helpful to take a look at your phone service strategy. Maximizing on these three elements can help ensure a positive caller experience:
- An inviting introduction. Responsiveness inspires trust. Live answering during business hours is key — if callers reach voicemail or an automated system, they’re likely to move on to the next company in their mobile search. Aim to answer with your custom greeting within the first few rings, and be sure your tone of voice says “I’m excited you called!” Pro tip: smiling is a surefire way to achieve a warm, friendly tone.
- A game plan. Mobile callers may do little or no research on your business before calling, so be sure anyone who is answering your phone is prepared with helpful answers to common questions. It’s not uncommon for callers to ask to speak with a particular department — like sales, support, or billing — so it’s best to equip your phone answering team with a game plan outlining how to handle or route certain types of calls. Above all, show your dedication to providing great service, and train your phone team to avoid dead-end phrases like “I don’t know.” First impressions are critical!
- Reliably superior service. It’s not easy to consistently impress new and returning customers over the phone — especially for small businesses — but it’s possible with the right team. And if you haven’t found your phone dream team yet, a virtual receptionist service like Ruby® Receptionists can help ensure every caller gets the royal treatment, even when you’re too swamped to pick up the phone — giving you the peace of mind to focus on other things.
Lifelong customers are built on meaningful connections, and the click-to-call boom presents a profound opportunity for small businesses to create those connections. Mobile callers are looking for the same thing all callers are seeking: a live, friendly voice ready to help — and if your company is ready to answer the call, you’re in luck.
Image: Ruby Receptionists
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