While LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are excellent at connecting you with potential businesses, there’s still nothing better than an old-fashioned phone call. Offering a phone number on your website shows that your company is not only legitimate, but is there to help whenever your potential clients may need to reach you. Although listing a phone number on your website can help your business, there are several ways that answering those phone calls can hurt your organization. If you make the wrong impression, you could end up losing business.
1. You answer your phone yourself
Answering your phone yourself can come across badly to potential clients. This is especially true if your website presence makes it seem like you have a big company and a huge staff. Answering your phone yourself doesn’t only give the wrong impression, but it’s distracting as well. With a live answering service, you can have your calls screened or opt not to receive them during certain important work times of the day.
2. You answer the phone in the middle of the grocery store
Even worse than answering your phone yourself is doing it yourself and being somewhere public. We’re all for being mobile and using our cell phone to stay connected – but when it comes to maintaining a professional image, answering your phone in a noisy public area is not helping at all. This is where a virtual office can come in handy – you’ll be able to get the calls you need when you need them.
3. Your telephone service automatically sends your callers to voicemail
While it’s somewhat unprofessional to answer your own phone, it’s frustrating for your caller to get sent directly to voicemail every time they call in. Many small businesses opt for this type of telephone answering service. The only problem is that you miss out on important calls by having everything go directly to voicemail. Some prospects call around to get quotes – but if your message is stuck in voicemail you may lose out on an important opportunity.
4. Your telephone service makes people navigate through a menu to reach a live person
No one likes those “press 1 to…” menus that are so often associated with telephone, cable and utility companies. Don’t make your potential clients and customers wade through a huge menu of options – especially if you’re a small business that doesn’t really have dozens of departments.
5. Your telephone answering service is unprofessional and hard to understand
There’s something to be said for having a friendly, clear speaking receptionist answer your business calls, route your calls, and help your clients connect to the correct destination. If you’ve taken the time to invest in a telephone answering service, you deserve to be well represented. If you want to see what your callers are experiencing, try calling your own line and review the greeting they are receiving. Would you do business with you based on that greeting?
Telephone answering services might seem like a small part in your overall business operation, but they can make a difference. Even if you have an office in New York City – be sure your phone is saying the right things about you.