Why a Phone Call Beats All Other Ways to Connect with Customers
Let's face it, phone calls are no longer the only game in town when you need to connect with customers. It's a digital world and younger demographics certainly skew more towards texting than answering the phone.
Nonetheless, one aspect of the humble phone call remains indisputably true: a call is by far the most effective way to engage and inform your customer. No other channel comes close. In this article, we'll look at why this is the case and what you can do to put phone calls at the heart of your sales and marketing efforts, even if your target audience is stereotypically stuck in a world of text messages!
Why Phone Calls Win Every Time
First, let's clarify that we're not recommending you abandon all other forms of communication. Your business still needs to connect with customers online, offer easy ways to start a live chat or submit a contact form and be there when they need you on social media. Don't focus on a phone call at the expense of other channels, just make sure that you and your team understand the advantages of talking directly to customers in key situations. For example, say you need to explain the benefits of a relatively complicated product or service to a customer with some reservations. Email and text messages obviously won't cut it. We've all been stuck in convoluted email threads that become impossible to follow, let alone the fact that the recipient can disengage at any time, for any reason, and you won't know why. Live chat is better because the communication occurs in real-time, but it still lacks the immediacy and emotion of a spoken conversation. Face-to-face is inevitably the preferred choice of a salesperson, but it's impractical to make an in-person visit to every prospect. All of which leaves the phone as the perfect tool to bridge the gap. While it lacks the eye contact and personal interaction of a physical visit, it adds everything else: a dynamic conversation; the opportunity to sense and overcome objections or uncertainty; the ability to build personal trust and directly connect with customers. A phone call is the most effective way to connect precisely because it takes more effort, not in spite of it. When you go to the trouble of speaking with someone in real-time, it translates to a more prepared interaction, into which both parties are uniquely invested. It might not be as comfortable as a live-chat or as convenient as an on-off email exchange, but the very fact that you've invested in this deeper form of communication is what makes the difference. [search-tag]
Better Ways to Connect with Customers Over the Phone
Having established that you want to attract more calls to your business, it pays to start thinking about how you drive that increase and where you want to put your phone number. The routes you choose to get your number in front of people can make a big difference to your inbound call volume. Place it in forgettable locations like the small print of your ads or among several other contact options and it should come as no surprise that you won't get many calls. Even as a secondary call-to-action in your ads, your lines will see less activity than if you'd put that number front and center. To start your quest for more calls, take your two or three top advertising channels and review how you encourage customers to get in touch. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is our phone number the primary call-to-action (CTA) on this ad?
- Are other contact channels necessary in this ad? If so, do they appear secondary?
- If using click-to-call functionality, is the number also written as text to reinforce the CTA?
- Does our phone number stand out? Is it easy to remember?
- What kind of tracking do we have in place to monitor calls from this ad? Do we need unique numbers for each channel?
If you find your promotions lacking in any of these areas, make revisions that accentuate your contact number. It's also worth taking the time to confirm all of you important business listings include your phone number in several places. Beyond the normal text fields, think about creative places you can insert your contact digits to drive greater awareness. Banner images, taglines, and video captions are all smart places to start inserting your number. To achieve all of this, it obviously helps to have a memorable phone number. If you've already taken this important step to improve your marketing, congratulations! You're probably already seeing a substantial increase in calls, though you might want to consider adding a toll-free line to get the best of both worlds. If you haven't looked for a phone number that translates to a word, phrase, or uses a digit sequence that's easy to remember, now is the time to do so. It's a simple and cost-effective way to encourage more calls. When you're satisfied that encouraging calls is the primary CTA in your core marketing and that your phone number is easy to recall, resume your promotions and watch more calls come in. As you start to connect with customers over the phone, be sure to measure the results and monitor calls to improve your team's performance.
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