Author: Philip O’Hara

CEO, Directory One

I always wonder how many of my customers are successfully responding to sales leads.

Good SEO and internet marketing campaigns may successfully send potential clients their way, but because of the way their offices handle the calls, the lead is dropped. Do they even answer the call at all? Is their receptionist starting with the information gathering process, and is this information then relayed to someone who can close that lead as soon as possible? It may be hard to believe, but a few simple steps at the beginning of the sales process can be the fastest way to increase your sales.

If you answer the phone every time it rings, you can identify and handle the problem accounts more quickly; you also stand a better chance of earning new customers more quickly, as well. When a potential customer calls an SEO company, they want easy access to technical support. They really don’t want to leave a number and wait for a callback. Turning on the answering service should be the absolute last resort for a successful company that uses SEO.

How can you improve your telephone customer service?

  1. Hire a competent, courteous receptionist. No matter how large or small your company, it is imperative to make the investment in a quality receptionist. Make sure this staff member is knowledgeable about how to take down lead information, and is also clear about how to refer leads to the appropriate sales professional.
  2. Establish a clear process for following up on leads. Whether you use professional salesforce software or prefer to see a clear paper trail, make sure everyone who has contact with customers knows the process for dealing with leads. This means that companies need to understand the importance of quality employee training and continuing professional education.
  3. Provide exemplary customer service from day one. You want leads to turn into sales, and sales into longstanding customer relationships, which means your customers need to know your company values them–from the initial phone call and throughout the life of the SEO customer account. Providing a clear path for customer and and technical support, and encourage your clients to contact you with any questions or suggestions they have.