Missing Potential Customer Calls

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by LoneStarLawn, Jan 11, 2002.

  1. carlriv

    carlriv LawnSite Member
    from Mass
    Posts: 99

    Dont miss the call in the first place (easier said than done)

    Have your business line forwarded to the cell phone. When it rings answer it. If you do happen to miss it call them back and apologize for missing their call and ask what you can do for them.

    Lots of people complain to me about not getting call backs, so why not surprise them and call them back without a message. I think the people that do not leave messages are the ones that have left messages at 20 places in the past week and if anyone and I mean anyone would call them back they would have the job.
     
  2. Atlantic Lawn

    Atlantic Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Outer Banks NC
    Posts: 938

    Well I always call my local numbers back and like Kris pointed out what do you have to lose? Call em'.
     
  3. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,851

    I will call them back most of the time if they are in a area I am interested in. I will say(if it is over 5 minutes past the time they called) "Hi this is(my company name) did you find anyone to help you yet? I am sorry i was on a job and couldnt get to the phone". Most likely they are going down the list in the paper or in the phone book and the first person who answers.... So a card wouldnt do any good.
     
  4. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,415

    Hard to answer phone while working. We are a small business and our cell number at this time is our business number so it is in the truck when we are out in the field.
     
  5. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    Although I know i miss some, I've called back from time to time. Usually a wrong number, seldom "I've gotten someone already".
     
  6. carlriv

    carlriv LawnSite Member
    from Mass
    Posts: 99


    It may be hard to answer the phone. Like I said "easier said than done"

    However get a small phone with a vibrate mode and stop what your doing and answer it. It wont be long before you wont be so small (if there is lots of work in your market). Then you can hire someone else and spend more time aswering the phone.

    I frequently push the send button to answer before I shut down the machine I am operating. The customers dont care, they just love that I care enough to answer the phone.
     
  7. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,415

    I care enough about the quality of our service that I do not answer the phone while working on a clients lawn (And I believe it is big mistake because they could just be other calls beside clients). I believe in customer retention (current customers come first)...current customers understand our work ethnic and know that we will contact them right away if they leave a message..new clients who really want our services will leave a message. I just don't like missing oppurtunities.
     
  8. carlriv

    carlriv LawnSite Member
    from Mass
    Posts: 99

    Thats good if it works for you Lonestar. I hope other people around here have the same opinion as you. I will continue to get as much work as I want, at my prices.
     
  9. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    I'd like to think this conversation is much ado about nothing. It is the norm in most small business operations of any kind to have your call answered by a machine. It is universally accepted. I think a prompt return call same day or in 24 hours works just fine.

    Take your messages off the machine remotely at lunch time and spend a few minutes calling those that are necessary and hold the others till later.

    It gets so busy in my office early in the irigation season when we have a hot spell and all are freaking out that we don't answer calls at all. Our message says to give us an appropriate amount of time to call back because we are swamped. We return calls in the order recieved, leaving a message when we must. Then we take off the new calls and start on them. The ones not reached are put in the recycle clip to call again. People thing we're great. We pick up a lot of work for being hjonest about the situation and then returning the call, usually sooner than they expect.

    Time after time I've tried to get a hold of customers or other business people and get dumped to voice mail. I know that even in Fortune 500 companies you can't get connected live. Why should we worry?

    I also tell people to leave a phone number where they can routinely be reached 8-5 Mon - Fri AND there home phone too. I want top train'em right from the start. None of this BS about call after 8pm or Sun am or Sat.

    Office is office and field is field and the two should have their own time.
     
  10. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,361

    I really can't grieve too much about missing calls of people who wait until mid-day on Friday to call for a one-time service that just must be done immediately 'cuz they are having a party over the weekend. These really don't qualifiy as potential customers in my book.
     

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