From click to customer: How to capitalize on the inbound call renaissance.

There’s nothing like a warm lead—a potential customer who needs a service or product you provide, and seeks you out as a solution. And for small businesses, there are more opportunities to capture these types of leads. Thanks to the convenience of click-to-call, mobile users are connecting directly with the companies that offer what they want.

If you’re ready to convert your next caller into a long-time customer, you’re in luck. Marchex reports conversion rates from mobile phone calls are on average four times higher than those from desktop PCs, with 5-25% of calls converting into a sale. Does that mean each call needs to reach by a skilled salesperson ready to close a deal? Not necessarily, but creating a great experience for every caller ensures those ready to become customers are likely to do so. Here are some ways to make that happen:

Skillful Communication

Mobile users are looking for a helpful, friendly interaction, and they’re likely in a hurry. Don’t dawdle in delivering your best service—be prepared to make a great impression from the get-go. Guiding callers is one of the best ways to get the information you need and stay in control of a conversation while providing a positive experience. If guiding is a new concept for you, this article can help you get started.

Be Prepared

Getting prospects in the right hands is key, so be sure your phone answering team knows when and where they can reach your sales staff. Ideally, your sales team should be reachable during business hours. When they aren’t, have your phone answering team collect vital information with a few intake questions. Callers are less likely to move on to the next option in their search results if they have a pleasant conversation and share some of their contact info. Giving callers a timeframe for a response is helpful, too. If your phone answering team lets callers know when they’ll hear from a salesperson, callers will be dissuaded from continuing their search.

Understand Common Pain Points

If you’ve taken the time and effort to build a business, chances are you know what your ideal customer looks like, what their pain points are, and how your business can solve their problems. If you can get a caller to express their pain, you have the opportunity to show why your solution is the best one. Got a caller who’s tight-lipped about pain points? Try teasing out their specific pain points by citing pain points common to your existing customers, or pain points your competitors focus on:

“We’ve found our customers often have trouble with _____. Is this something you struggle with?”

Even if your caller doesn’t relate to common pain points, introducing them creates a jumping-off point for a richer conversation. The more you get to know your callers, the better you can help them.

Follow-up

A follow-up routine lets customers know what to expect, and helps you stay on track. For the Customer Happiness team at Ruby®, follow-up includes an email after every call. For you, that might mean setting a reminder to check in at a designated time. The key is to create a routine you can stick to. If you say you’ll get back with an answer by the end of the day, be sure to reach out—even if you don’t have an answer yet. A friendly “I’m still researching” makes a much better impression than radio silence. Answer or no answer, your callers will appreciate the thoroughness and thoughtfulness of a follow-up.

At the end of the day, turning calls into customers is about making meaningful connections. If you have the opportunity to prove the value of your product or service, all the better. But if you only get as far as having a friendly conversation, you’ll still make a great impression. By putting a few systems in place, you can ensure interested prospects become customers, and those who aren’t yet ready to become customers can still become fans.

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