Your Phone System is Killing Your Marketing

As a small business, if you have an automated phone system, it’s killing your marketing. From your customer’s perspective, everything you do is marketing. And the upbeat, chipper voice on your phone system drowns out all other marketing attempts.

When customers hear this:

“Please listen carefully, as our menu options have changed.”

They already know you don’t care about them, and the feeling becomes mutual.

Maybe they are calling after receiving a flyer in the mail about your latest special offer. Or maybe a friend recommended they try you out. It doesn’t really matter why they are calling. It just matters that now they want to hang up instead of dealing with a phone system maze.

Brand Harmony by Steve YastrowWhen you spend marketing money to get phone calls, make sure a real person picks up the phone. A customer’s impression of your business extends beyond the marketing campaign. As Steve Yastrow writes about his book Brand Harmony:

“When each experience you create for your customers blends with every other experience they have with your organization to tell one compelling, integrated story: that’s brand harmony.”

Consider the story you are telling your customer– does every interaction blend together to tell the best story of your brand?

Marketing Podcast: How to Get Customers to Call

In this marketing podcast, I delve deeper into the subject of Getting Customers to Call. For many businesses, getting customers to call is a crucial step in the sales process. However, they don’t distinguish between a motivation to buy and a motivation to call. Listen to the podcast to learn more about how to motivate customers, along with tactical tips and strategies.

Listen or download below:

How to Get Customers to Call

Download the Getting Customers to Call MP3 file here. (5.4 MB)

This segment first aired during “Getting Down to Business” on Alaska’s Fox News Talk 1020.

Getting Customers to Call: Small Business Marketing Matters

Getting customers to call is a primary step in many small businesses’ sales processes. Telling them, “Call for information,” “Call Now!” or “Call to order!” are not enough. You need to give customers a reason to call you.

Offering a coupon or a free quote isn’t that reason. Those incentives may offer motivation to buy, but you need to provide a motivation to call. Whether you are selling all-inclusive vacations or car insurance, if you have high success rates on the phone, your best bet of making a sale is getting a customer to call you.

How do you motivate customers to call you?

Customers must perceive some benefit to calling. This benefit could be monetary, entertainment or satisfying curiosity. Here are some ideas for how to motivate customers to call:

  • Offer a gift card or other “free gift” to the first hundred callers.
  • Ask a compelling question to which they can only learn the answer if they call.
  • Make the call fun by promoting a trivia game for callers. Ensure the trivia is relevant to your customer base, such as asking local sports questions.
  • Make the need to call more urgent. Have a deadline for receiving a special offer, or let customers know when you plan on raising your prices.
  • Spread the word. Use your other forms of marketing and advertising to sell the benefits of calling- not necessarily the benefits of buying.

Malcolm Gladwell provides a great example of the last tip in The Tipping Point. He tells of a cheesy ad campaign for the Columbia Record Club that was successful beyond anyone’s dreams, because it made a game out of the most profitable action customers could take. TV ads encouraged customers to find the “gold box” in their TV Guides to win a free record of their choice. Customers felt like they were solving a puzzle, but really, Gladwell writes, “It created a connection between the Columbia message viewers saw on television and the message they read in a magazine.” And this message was a call to action, showing remarkable results: “Every magazine on the schedule made a profit, an unprecedented turnaround.”

(You’ve read The Tipping Point, right? If not, go buy it!)

Today’s article about getting customers to call is fairly general, but every business is unique. Call me at 513.833.4203 with the questions you have about getting your customers to call your business. I’d be glad to brainstorm some ideas with you. It will be fun… and free!