We all spend time, money and other resources making sure we put forth the right professional imagine. Many people limit their definition of image to how we look, dress and speak and for the most part that would have been acceptable once upon a time. But not anymore.
In our connected digital world, the tools we use to do business number in the many. What was once a Yellow Pages ad has been replaced by a website and a variety of social media business pages. Where a human being answered the phone, auto attendants and voicemail now do the job. All in all, these are wonderful tools that have increased awareness and productivity and reduced operating costs in the average business.
We need to check
Unfortunately, because they do their jobs so efficiently and require little maintenance we often forget to check in on them to see how they’re doing. Because of this neglect, these tools may not be projecting your company, staff or yourself in the best light.
How often have you called someone and got their voicemail that states that they are away from the office between two specific dates? A common experience that we’ve all come across. Sadly, though the dates of their absence are months old. Similarly, you receive an email out of office notice, generated by an auto responder, that is weeks old! Lastly, you go to a website that clearly has not been updated in years. What message do these oversights send to their customers or business partners? That details aren’t important?
We already know
Why does this happen? There’s a pretty simple explanation. We don’t phone or email ourselves. Nor do we ever go to our own website. Why would we? We already know what we do. We already know which products or service we sell. We know where we are located and our phone number. So, we have no reason to check any of these things. But that’s exactly why they need to be checked regularly, because no one is.
So, here’s 7 things that need to be checked regularly:
- Call your office main line and listen to the message. Does the message project the company imagine? Remember it was probably recorded a long time ago and possibly by an employee that is no longer there. This is one of your first point of contact with potential customers. Does it convey a welcoming and professional tone? If you cringe a little or think it can be better, then fix it now.
- Next call each person’s extension. What does their personal message sound like? Is it clear? Is it what you’d like your customers to hear? Remember not everyone is comfortable recording a voicemail message. If it’s not to your liking, help them change it by writing a script for them and getting them to relax and smile while recording it.
- Call everyone’s cell phone and listen to their messages. If you’re paying for the phones and include these numbers on business cards, then you have a right to check and enhance.
- Send everyone in your company an email, including yourself. Don’t forget to include your company’s generic address such as info@ and sales@. Do you get an auto-attendant response? If not should you? If so, is it valid? Is it current?
- Visit your website. First check to see if the contact information is current and accurate. Then move on to content. Is the information still current? Does it look cluttered? A very high percentage of prospective customers, will check your website prior to initiating contact so it behooves you to make sure the information isn’t dated. Does the site have to be an award winner? No, but it must at least contain current information.
- Have you got a Google Business page? Is the information valid or current? Have you moved locations? Is your business hours and contact information accurate?
- Are your social media pages such as Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ and so on contain the right data? Also consider that if you haven’t posted anything in months on these pages you may want to reengage or otherwise suspend them. Customers want to see timely information on these sites. That’s why they’re called Social Media not Static Media.
So, take a moment right now and put your customer hat on check your own voicemails, emails and the website. Do they sound, look and feel right? If not, fix it now because it’s probably costing you money.
I’m Greg Weatherdon and this has been your Small Business Minute.
Copyright © Greg Weatherdon 2017
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