Missing calls

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by kels, Mar 23, 2003.

  1. kels

    kels LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 280

    I run ads in the local classifieds for new customers, here is the problem if I do not answer the phone most of the time they will not leave a message and call the next ad, when I am finished with the job I call the "missed call" and they have found somebody else.

    I am thinking of buying the bluetooth headset made by jabra so that I can hear the phone while on the equipment and will not have cords in my way while working. If anybody has the jabra headset or any other bluetooth headset I would appreciate any comments/feedback before I make the purchase.
     
  2. Shuter

    Shuter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,171

    My ad has my cell number on it. It seems that most customers will call my cell before the office. Have the office number forwarded to your cell so that you can talk to the customer and not miss the calls. If you have alot of customers that call all day, then you may want to have someone working in the office full -time.
     
  3. kels

    kels LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 280

    I did not make myself clear, I am referring to my cell phone, not a land line, I cannot hear the ringer over the equipment.
     
  4. wojo23323

    wojo23323 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 608

    Put your phone on vibe then put it in your pocket. You will feel it ring.
     
  5. Popsicle

    Popsicle LawnSite Member
    Posts: 189

    Ditto. Sometimes it startles the heck out of me but very efficient.

    :eek:
     
  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Make sure it's like in your shirt pocket, though, because even on vibrate, if it's on your belt, you won't feel it if your on the mower.;)
     
  7. Shuter

    Shuter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,171

    Vibrating phone.
     
  8. PR0 TURF

    PR0 TURF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,089

    Invest in a phone with a louder ringer. I have a Nextel i1000. I can always hear the ring over my Diesel Walker with hearing protection...its an awfully loud ring...you can hear it faintly enough if you have good hearing.

    I've never had luck with leaving it on vibrate. Too much vibration & movement already from mowing.

    :blob4:
     
  9. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    You've hit upon an important point. For LCOs who are wanting to grow rapidly and get as much new business as possible, it's absolutely crucial to answer the phone LIVE IN PERSON as often as possible. As you've experienced, people don't often leave messages and if you snooze, you loose. So it's important to find ways to avoid this kind of situation as much as possible.

    First thing is that if your advertisements use your business land line (which, I recommend) then you should always forward that line to a cell phone when you are out of the office. Further, if you are still working in the field on a regular basis, you should have a cell phone with a vibrate feature or a really loud ringer that will allow you to hear or feel it ringing while you work. I always have painter pants on with a small pocket on the right side which I use to carry my cell phone. This is a great spot to keep a phone if you're working. You can stop what you're doing instantly, turn off the machinery, and answer the phone. Or if that isn't possible, at least you can call them back in a minute when you can get free.

    Of course, voice mail is essential. And a gain, if you are working in the field still then it's a good idea to leave a message like, "Hi, You've reached Davis Lawn Care and I'm probably mowing right now. But I'll be done in a few minutes and will return your call immediately. Your business is important to us. Please leave a message." This will encourage those calls that you DO miss to leave a message.

    Finally, if the above isn't an option for some reason, the next best alternative is to get an answering service. For the first several years in my business I used an answering service provided by Pagenet. They'd answer my calls, "Hello. Lewis Landscape Services. How may I help you." And the client would say something like, "Yes, I'd like to speak to someone about getting an estimate." The operator would say, "Ok. Can I get your name....phone number..... ok. Well, Mr. Lewis is out of the office briefly. I will page him and he should return your call shortly." Then, I'd get a page and stop what I was doing and call the person back. Worked pretty well.

    Still, even now that our company is well established and we have 160 regular clients, I still have ambitions of growing bigger and I like all the business I can get. So I still answer my phone in person almost any time of day. I forward my business line to my cell phone. My cell phone has free incoming minutes so I never have to worry about time. And I'll answer it even if we are out at dinner at 7:30 p.m. I don't like to miss opportunity. That's just me.

    But I will say that all of this really depends on what kind of marketing you're doing too. When you advertise in places where there are more companies like you, then you're going to experience a lot of people hanging up and just moving on to the next business. But when you advertise with In-Your-Face kinds of marketing (e.g. Flyers, Truck Lettering, Referrals, Mailers, Yard Signs, etc.) you'll find that people DON'T go on to the next business. They are only interested in YOUR business, because that's all they are seeing right then. So these kinds of people are a LOT more apt to leave a message.

    These days, even when I can't answer my phone for some reason, I very rarely have someone NOT leave a message. But this is because we are not advertising in the classifieds, yellow pages, etc. and instead we advertise with more In-Your-Face kinds of marketing.
     
  10. SWR11

    SWR11 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 49

    Hey Jim what did it cost for the answering service?

    Thanks
     

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