Learn Small Business

Small Business Customer Service Tip-Respond To All Inquiries

I apologize for my long absence. This pollen has been kicking my butt lately. I hate going more than one week without a blog post. So here’s today’s post…

Businesspeople on phones
Image Courtesy Of: Freedigitalphotos.net/Ambro

One thing I keep seeing people complain about is people not responding to inquiries. Whether it is via email, social media, or phone, you should always respond when someone sends a message about your products or services. If you see the message days after they left it, apologize profusely for the delay in response and address the issue. It makes you look really unprofessional when you don’t reply to an inquiry. It makes it look like you really don’t want to work. Think about all of the effort you spend to get people to do business with you. Do you want that effort to go to waste? Make it a point to respond to people quickly. If phones aren’t your forte, make sure you give people an alternate method of contacting you in your voice mail message. Think about it. How do you feel when you contact a business and they never respond to your inquiry? What do you normally do? You call their competitor. That’s what your prospects will do if you don’t return their inquiries. I know what you’re thinking. I am busy! There’s no way I can respond to ALL of the inquiries I get on a daily basis. Here are some ways you can make sure you respond to your potential customers without spending all day answering emails and returning phone calls.

Hire A Virtual Assistant
You knew I was going to say it. If you don’t feel like you have time to respond to all of the email messages and phone calls you get about your business, hire a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant will help free you from the endless game of phone tag or email tag you may be playing. You can actually spend more time with clients that have already paid to use your services.

Use An Autoresponder
Autoresponders aren’t just for newsletters. You can use an autoresponder to let people know that you have received their email message and give them some basic information about your company. Most email programs have a vacation or out of office setting. Potential clients just want to know that you have heard from them and that you plan to get back to them.

Specify How Long It Will Take For Someone To Respond
It is pretty annoying when you email or call someone and you don’t know when you are going to get a response. Even if you can’t respond right away, let your clients know how many days they can expect to wait to get a response. Make sure you let them know whether it is business days or calendar days. It makes a big difference.

You only get one chance to make a first impression. Potential clients judge the way you are going to do your work after they give you money based on how you interact with them BEFORE you have their money. So if you are distant and unavailable when they are trying to get more information about you, they will assume that you will act the same way after you have gotten their money. It may not seem like much, but little things make a big difference when it comes to building relationships that turn into paying clients.