Recently I received a call from a client who wanted to stop paying for their Google rankings because they said it doesn’t produce leads. “Really” I said, “that’s odd”. “You get 80 phone calls a month”. The client said most of the calls were from people they knew who were using Google like a Rolodex. When I looked at Google Analytics, I could see exactly the terms people searched and it wasn’t the companies name, so I was a bit suspicious
We had a call tracking number on their site with a recording feature which records calls and left messages. For many local businesses, phone tracking is the best metric. If the phone is ringing enough times, I know they’re getting good leads. I asked the client if they would mind if I listened to the calls.
Sure enough, the calls were leads and lots of them. Problem was, the receptionist and the client were brutalizing the callers on the phone. They were treating the potential clients like many of us treat those annoying cold call solicitors. I was blown away. They’re getting a flood of clients who need their help and they are nasty to these people who spent the time to do a search, find what appears to be a solid company, then making the effort to call only to be treated in a condescending manner.
Bad for the client, great for the competitor. The power of the internet lies in the consumer. Have a negative experience, then click and find someone else. However, there is a good chance that word gets out.
I’ve seen this with more than 1 client, in fact I’ve seen this a lot. It’s common for a client with quality skills but lacking in leads, to confuse their talent with prime Google rank. Rank on Google and clients call you rather than what most businesses are used to. Before the internet, we all had to call the client, now the clients call us. For many business owners new to the internet, this is a 180 degree paradigm shift. It’s a real boost to the ego when a cold caller calls looking to spend money for our services. The biggest mistake and a sure way to ruin a reputation is to forget about customer service.
Many local businesses are reaching markets they never had access to due to online exposure. When clients call, they are frequently sold and ready to spend money. However, they may not be ready to spend today. They may be just searching for information before they buy or not just ready to part with their money. But i have found that anyone who makes the initiative to call a complete stranger from an internet search is going to make a purchase at some time in the future.
Tip – A sure way to win is with a friendly voice and outstanding customer service. Help your prospects and tell them you appreciate their call. You’ve now started a new relationship, potential word of mouth referrals. That’s money in the bank.