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How can an Answering Service help you with Lead Capture?

Telephone answering services will help you capture sales you may not have even known you were missing so all you have to do is focus on converting customers.

Image of an answering service agent helping a business capture more leadsThe lifeblood of any business is SALES. Yes, SALES! You have to make money to survive and you need to run profitably to stay in business. So you spend a ton of money on marketing, web development, brochures, business cards, and all kinds of advertising all with the intent of driving the masses to your business. That’s great. But what good is it all if YOU AREN’T THERE TO ANSWER THE PHONE WHEN IT RINGS?

Ah, yes, the phone. We spend money on marketing and advertising methods that we hope will drive business our way. We spend money on traditional forms of advertising AND a lot dough on relatively newer tactics like Search Engine Optimization and that Social Media stuff. We want clicks to result in conversions and we want the phone to ring.

You may just have the world’s best, most highly optimized website on the face of the planet that is guaranteed to bring you high click-to-conversion rates. But is it worth a thing if you don’t answer the phone? According to HubSpot, 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales due to lack of lead nurturing. That means that if you DO get a get a call after putting in all that time, effort and money, don’t you think it is in your best interest to make sure you capitalize on that lead? Of course it is!

How Answering Services Assist with Lead Capture: Example 1 — The Plumbing Company

Ok, let’s look at an example. Let’s say you are a plumber that provides after-hours emergency support.  One night, a guy named Tony goes to use the toilet around 2 am. He flushes, but it doesn’t go down, it comes up! Water starts flowing into Tony’s bathroom. Tony is panicked so he reaches for the phone and quickly searches for local plumbers. He calls and the phone rings. And it rings again. Then, the call goes to voicemail and Tony hears a greeting that goes something like this:

Thanks for calling A-Plus Emergency Plumbing. We are here to serve you quickly and courteously. Please leave your name, number and the reason for your call. Our after-hours technicians are monitoring this voice mailbox and as soon as they hear your message, they will call you within 15-minutes. Thanks for calling!

So what does Tony do? He hangs up, of course, and calls the NEXT guy in his search results.

Image of a plumber who uses an after hours answering service fixing a toiletWell sure he hangs up. Wouldn’t you? Tony needs to talk to someone immediately. So he goes down the list and the very next number in the phone book is for A-Number 1 Plumbing. Tony calls them and their live answering service quickly picks up the call on the second ring. Tony tells the service he needs a plumber immediately, the service collects his information and tells him that he will be contacted within 5 minutes. SUCCESS!!! (For business #2)

Most folks are not going to leave a voicemail message for you in a situation like this. According to the New York Times, voicemail is a “fill the gap” technology which provides a poor image and response. Only about 20% of voicemail will even be listened to. So why send your important callers to “voicemail jail”?

A plumber can bill about $250 for an after-hours service call like this. If there is a toilet that needs to be replaced, the bill can be upwards of $800 or a $1000. Had A-Plus Emergency Plumbing been using a telephone answering service, they would not have missed this sales opportunity.  A-Plus could have had a service in place costing approximately $120/month designed to handle about 150 calls monthly. So do the math:

  • Cost of answering service monthly = $120
  • Captured sales opportunity = $250
  • Net = $130 in your pocket!

But wait, there’s more! We’re doing the math based on just one saved opportunity. In a month’s time, A-Plus Emergency Plumbing might get about 100 after hours calls. Out of those calls, we can assume that 50% of them are prospects looking for emergency service. NOW let’s do the math:

  • Cost of service monthly = $120
  • Captured sales opportunities = 50 X $250 each, total $12,500
  • Net = $12,380 in your pocket!

The telephone answering service in this case represents about .001% of total after-hours sales revenue. So is it really worth relegating these important calls to a clunky voicemail system? No way!

Not only are you capturing sales opportunities, but you are building brand loyalty and trust in the community because of your professional image and speedy service. Now you are starting to develop a whole new variety of sales opportunities that will come your way through word of mouth. Customer service is a powerful thing, indeed.

How Answering Services Assist with Lead Capture: Example 2 — The Chiropractor

You are a chiropractor and you run a small business. You are the sole proprietor and you work very hard to build your business. You don’t get a lot of calls after-hours but you want to be available should someone need you in a pinch – as in a “pinched nerve,” get it? (Insert laughter here).

You bill about $75 for an initial consultation. When do you think most folks shop for a chiropractor? At 2pm in the afternoon while they are at work? No, guess again. More than likely, the patients that you want to see are doing their research while they are sitting at home comfortably on their couches. They have time to sit, think and review. So they come across your website on a Google search and decide to call because they have a few questions and they’d really like to set up an appointment for the weekend.

Image of a chiropractor who uses an after hours answering service giving a consultationThey call you and… VOICEMAIL. So they leave a brief message, which they assume will never be responded to, and they continue their search. Two clicks later, they call your competitor down the street and she has an answering service. Your “could have been” patient schedules a consultation with your competitor. By the time you listen to your voicemail tomorrow afternoon and call back, it is too late. You just lost what could have been a long-term patient opportunity. So how much would it have “cost” you to have a live answering service in place? Once again, let’s do the math:

  • Low-volume monthly answering service = $45
  • Professionally handle 15 after-hours calls during the month = PRICELESS!
  • 4 out of 15 calls converts into a schedule appointment = AWESOME!
  • 4 new patients X $75/consultation = $300
  • Net = $255

Not only are you MAKING money in this example, you are quickly becoming known as “Johnny on the Spot” in the local chiropractic community. You can’t lose!

The math doesn’t like (and neither do our customers). Using an answering service can help you capture more leads, earn more money, and build your business. Contact us today to learn about our after hours answering services that we can customize to fit your unique requirements so you can start capturing more leads right away!

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About Brian Gabriel

As the Call Center Manager for Sound Telecom, Brian is responsible for overseeing the daily operations and long term success of the company while managing a variety of inbound customer support programs. He also has a hand in taking care of the Solaxis services division. Prior to joining Sound Telecom, Mr. Gabriel held management positions with several prominent Internet Services companies including XpenseWise.com and Greatfood.com. Brian started his career in advertising and sales before moving to Washington State. He joined AEI Music in 1995 and supervised their international customer service department and technical support call centers. Brian received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish languages from San Diego State University. Brian teaches adult education at his church and actively supports Christian ministries.