Why Have a Machine Answer Your Phone?


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If someone takes the time to call your business, there is a reason why they dialed your number. They may want to find out about your current sale, your normal or holiday hours or need directions. If you have a business of any type, whether it is a hair salon, restaurant, law firm, dental office or any place with a physical location, I highly recommend having a person, not a machine, answer the phone, as this is an excellent opportunity to turn that caller into a customer.

I don’t understand it. Many companies spend 12 to 18 percent of their budget attracting new customers. Some of those fees include social media and print advertising, radio ads, purchasing postal and email lists, etc. Then, when they have someone who expresses interest in the form of a phone call, they fail to take the most important first step of creating a relationship with that prospective customer.

I recommend putting your most welcoming associates on the phone. Associates who love to engage, who like to help others and who are eager to help that prospect on the phone become a customer. There is an enormous amount of information that is available online for so many businesses. If a person does initiate a telephone inquiry, it most likely means that they are looking to have a conversation about their question or issue. Successful businesses try to educate their customers, not just respond with simple responses like “we are open from 9 am to 5 pm on Monday thru Fridays” or “our address is 500 Morris Avenue in ABC, New Jersey”.

When someone calls your business, try to find out how they found out about your store, restaurant or dental office. Provide detailed directions tailored to their trip. If your business is located in a large mall, tell them where it is in relation to one of the other stores and which parking lot is most convenient. Try to create a relationship with the caller so they actually want to meet the person who they just spoke to on the phone.

Yes, it costs more to have a real Welcomer answer your company’s phone, but do you think a machine will be able to persuade a caller to become a customer? I doubt it!

Interested in learning more about Welcomers? Click here to download a chapter of The Welcomer Edge: Unlocking the Secrets to Repeat Business.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Richard Shapiro
Richard R. Shapiro is Founder and President of The Center For Client Retention (TCFCR) and a leading authority in the area of customer satisfaction and loyalty. For 28 years, Richard has spearheaded the research conducted with thousands of customers from Fortune 100 and 500 companies compiling the ingredients of customer loyalty and what drives repeat business. His first book was The Welcomer Edge: Unlocking the Secrets to Repeat Business and The Endangered Customer: 8 Steps to Guarantee Repeat Business was released February, 2016.


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