7 Biggest Phone Fails You Don’t Think You’re Making But You Are

Did you know that the telephone can be used to actually have a conversation with real people? Even customers who really want your services?

Apparently, one of our clients forgot.

Via our paid search campaigns, we had been driving a lot of calls to this client’s business.

Unfortunately, very few were answered. And the ones that were returned, had some problems. We use special call tracking software that not only tracks how many calls we delivered but also how many calls were answered, and how long the calls were. We can even listen to the calls (“this call may be recorded for quality assurance”).

And after reviewing the call logs, we can definitely say: Mistakes Were Made.

Although we are only technically responsible for delivering qualified calls and online leads, when a client doesn’t convert them to customers, the agency often gets a big chunk of the blame. So we had a secular Come to Jesus meeting with the client. Although painful to hear, they were glad we told them.

You are losing customers with every call if you do any of the following:

You are losing customers with every call if you do any of the following:

  1. You never call your own business. When was the last time you called up your business phone number and literally put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer? How long does it take for someone to answer the phone? Does an actual person answer? How hard is it to get to an actual person?
  2. You have a recording geared much more toward non-customers. “If you know your party’s extension, dial it now.” If you’re a potential customer who is looking for more information– as one does when spending thousands of dollars for a service- this is not what you want to hear. Invest in a separate phone number and a person answering it, specifically for customers. If you have a recording, tailor it to your most important callers: your customers.
  3. You have the Phone Tree from Hell. If you are going to have a phone tree at least make it as clear and understandable as possible. Listening to some of our client’s calls, we could hear that the poor callers would cycle through the entire tree and have no way of actually getting the help they needed. Why torture your current and potential customers like this?
  4. You put in a temporary Covid duct tape solution and haven’t changed it. Business was down for a while. And after that, it was hard to find help so maybe you relied too much on recordings (still referencing old Covid procedures)  Or you had the calls routed directly to someone, whose job was not to answer calls, to temporarily answer the calls. Forgetting that this kludgy fix was not meant to be permanent.
  5. You have an unlimited amount of time for a customer to leave a message. Bots are everywhere. Including calling up your business phone and ****ing with you by either rambling on forever or not hanging up. Not only is this a pain for the persons returning calls, if you have call tracking software, it charges BY THE MINUTE. Limit your recording time.
  6. You assume your receptionist (or whoever is answering your phones) is professional. They’re tired, they’re frustrated, and they’re overworked. How do we know? Because we heard them on the recorded calls telling potential clients that.  When was the last time you listened to how the calls are being handled?
  7. You assume someone is taking care of the training and monitoring the calls. We get it, you’re a CEO or VP of Marketing, so you shouldn’t be in the weeds doing this. True, true–as long as it’s uber clear who is responsible for this and you have confirmed they are doing their job.

Now you may be thinking, “Oh, that would never happen at my company.” Before you get too smug, though, remember, that’s what all businesses think. Including our client before we showed them the receipts. You can’t expect, what you don’t inspect and if you don’t have time to inspect it yourself – we can help you out.