View Full Version : answering machine or real person

10-30-2003, 09:30 PM
i know we have discussed this before, but since then there are many new members, and id like thier opinions also. when advertising, and u expect alot of calls, do u prefer a person answering the phones, or let the machine do it? i get alot of hangups, and im wondering if these are potential clients who dont care to speak to the machine. im looking to really expand , late this season, and more next season, and i need to make sure the people calling my adds are not hanging up on the machine. so, do u think the answering machine is a turn off?

10-30-2003, 09:38 PM
If you are available answer it, If not let the machine get it.
I absolutely prefer real people on the other end of the line ,But....
unless you have employees,with one that runs the phone....It will be the machine at times I suppose.
Yep some will hang up,but they probably were not great prospects anyway.JMO.

10-30-2003, 09:46 PM
I do not believe this to pose a problem. People are not afraid to leave messages. Afterall, they probably think your out servicing your accounts. If they want a quote they will leave a message. I've had very few that did not leave messages. Are you afraid to leave messages on a machine?

Ryan Lightning
10-30-2003, 09:52 PM
I have caller ID and half my calls wont leave a message. People deside they want a estimate on something and are to busy to wait for a phone call back, So they try the next guy, to see if he will answer the phone.

10-30-2003, 09:57 PM
I think its best for someone to awnser the phone, it is true, some will move on to the next guy. It also makes you look more big time to have someone there, maybe they are thinking, what if i have a problem down the road wil someone be there to hear my complaint.

10-30-2003, 10:01 PM
Well, as an alternative, you can use call forwarding to a cell phone, or leave a message the explains you will call them back within the hour or perhaps your on the phone at the moment. At least that may tempt them to leave a message if you provide a quick turn around time.

10-30-2003, 10:07 PM
I have a friend that uses call forwarding with his exterminater service and he answers the phone every time, I do not even know his cell number I just call the business number. I personaly do not leave messages very often and feel they would call the next LCO.

10-30-2003, 10:39 PM
It's not that people are afraid to leave a message, they just move on to the next ad. Heck, I do it myself.

This is why I forward my business phone to my cell phone. I still occasionally miss one if I'm running equipment and don't hear the phone, but I sure get more of them then if i didn't have them forwarded.

I had a customer say "geez, do you ever NOT answer your phone? I'm so impressed!". She assured me that THIS was the reason she was hiring me and plans on keeping me. She then called me back about 10 minutes later with a referral to her neighbor.

So YES, answering the phone is important!

10-31-2003, 01:43 AM
We say we are on or away from the phone but will return your call by the end of the day!

10-31-2003, 02:07 AM
NO machine!!! Hire an answering service If you really want to expand give the impression that you all ready have. And you miss a lot of oppertunity for work becouse ""older folks" just don't like talking to machines and its these folks that have the $$$ and stick with one co. yr. after yr.

10-31-2003, 09:39 PM
I have a 24 hour voicemail that never rings anywhere. People get the voicemail whenever they call, and I get plenty of calls and estimate requests. I'm not handing out my home number, or my cell number. I called a client once from home and she got my number via caller ID. She'd call all the time at all hours. I finally had to tell her to stop. Whenever I call anyone, I block my number.

maple city
11-01-2003, 12:23 AM
Old people hate answering machines. My Dad and Mom refuse to leave me a message (unless it's life & death emergency).

I can't really afford to hire an answering service, so I let the machine get the calls. I have a lot of #'s on my caller ID with no messages on the machine.

11-01-2003, 12:34 AM
Originally posted by maple city
I let the machine get the calls. I have a lot of #'s on my caller ID with no messages on the machine.

Maple city, those aren't #'s on your caller ID, those are possible dollar signs $$$! payup

Do you have a cell phone that you can forward to? It's so easy to do and costs so little for this option on your phone bill (I think $2 or $3 per month), that I don't understand why someone wouldn't do it this way.

the scaper
11-01-2003, 12:34 AM
when i advertise i give the machine number and also my cell number which i always answer , that way they have their choice, now if they cant figure that out ..... bye bye!:waving:

11-01-2003, 08:01 AM
well, like i said, i got about 8 messeges left yesterday, and about 10 hangups. if those hangups were potential clients, i dont know. but, ill be manning the phone saturday, from 2 pm till 7. then again all day monday. ill let u know if i get less hangups. and u guys dont be callin me and hangin up just for fun

11-01-2003, 09:29 AM
When i was young, my dad would have the machine answer, he took care of feet and when people needed an appointment scheduled they didnt wnt to talk to a machine, everyday the office phone would ring ten times and 2 or 3 messagges would be left, now he carries a cell phone

11-01-2003, 06:29 PM
I wouldnt worry about the hang ups. Just make sure your answering machine is nice and clear.

11-01-2003, 06:42 PM
I just started forwarding my business line to my cell phone, and my cell has caller ID so I have the choice as to answer the phone or not if i dont know the number. I think my current and potential customers appreciate being able to get ahold of wnen needed. And of course because of caller ID i know when my PITA customers are calling and I let them get the voice mail.

Rich's Lawn Care
11-01-2003, 06:59 PM
I have a business line at my house and i had the same problem with hangups. so now when i run ads i put my cell phone in the ad

Tommy D
11-01-2003, 10:18 PM
I am very lucky that my wife is a stay at home homemaker. She used to be a receptionist and the best one in the city of St. Louis I might add! I believe that the best results are from someone being there to answer the phone????????? :waving:

11-01-2003, 10:50 PM
I will have to agree with Gogetter. I have my business line in the house hooked up to an answering machine, but I have call forwarding to my cell when I am not around. I have had messages left on the machine only to call them back when I get home and find out they hired someone else.

the scaper
11-02-2003, 12:30 PM
Originally posted by the scaper
when i advertise i give the machine number and also my cell number which i always answer , that way they have their choice, now if they cant figure that out ..... bye bye!:waving: actually, i was just looking at one of my new flyers and it says : ph# ----- office (leave message) or ph# ----- (cell) . *note: i put the real numbers though instead of those dash's ;)

11-02-2003, 12:38 PM
im striking out big time here. got about 20 calls. no takers yet. the closest ive come, is one lady who i quoted an hourly rate, she moaned about it, then i talked with her concerning overhead etc, she said ok schedule me. then an hour later, she calls and says to cancel, my prices are "outrageous!" o well. competition is fierce, guys are workin for peanuts

11-02-2003, 05:30 PM
My phone number listed on ads is my cell #. I check it often and if I missed a call I call it back with caller id. I just make sure I'm checking my phone about every half hout to an hour.