A fox in the snow

Hywel Thomas /

April 30, 2018

Finding customers - don't forget the basics

Like answering your phone!

Everybody wants lots of customers. We scurry round advertising here, networking there and creating beautiful websites that rant on about how wonderful we are. And yet sometimes we forget the really important stuff.

Three months ago, I decided to get a plumber in to add a radiator to my house so I used a local magazine to find one. There were four listed, so I called them all. Every single call went to voicemail. I left messages, but a week later I heard nothing. I went through the same process again, same result. Six contacts this time; nothing.

I finally managed to speak to one! He was a nearby neighbour and popped in to my house, gave me a quote, to which I agreed, and he said he'd pop in in the next few days.

That was two months ago...

A short time later, I needed the services of an accountant. I won't bore you, but the same thing happened.

OK, so what have I learned from this?

  • People forget how important the phone is. We all have our favourite method of communication - text, email, Facebook, Whatsapp - but the phone is important in a number of ways: - Everyone has one. - Phone calls are usually more important than a text or email.  - It is more personal.
    For goodness sake, advertise a number that you can answer!
  • Don't advertise your landline number if you are never there! It is better to advertise a mobile number and answer it than have an office number that nobody picks up.
  • So many people just ignore their voicemail. Don't! We can't always take every call but check them regularly and call people back after listening to their message. You will understand their comments and can answer them without them having to explain everything again. Your voicemail is your friend and it could be hiding the greatest customer you will ever have!
  • Just because you prefer text, it doesn't mean other people do. In an office environment, email is much easier and effective, in an emergency a phone is better. Try to respond to your contacts in the way they prefer, not you.
  • Manage yourself better. Every time you agree to do something, write it down. Somewhere, anywhere you'll remember. We can't all remember everything, so deal with that promise or you could lose that customer through laziness.
  • If you have space to advertise, such as on a website, allow people to contact you any way they prefer - phone, email, form, Skype, SMS - make it easy for them to get in touch.
  • If you have space to advertise, such as on a website, allow people to contact you any way they prefer - phone, email, form, Skype, SMS - make it easy for them to get in touch.

I am constantly astounded at the lengths some people will go to advertise their business and then forget about the most important bit - talking to the customer.

Hywel Thomas web designer

Author: Hywel Thomas
Web Design and Google Ads person
Email: hi@zigger.co.uk
Tel: 07875 096483