by Gordon Pratt
Nowadays, it’s tempting to think that everything can be done online. After all, if you can tweet the pizza emoji at Domino’s and expect a piping hot pie to arrive within 30 minutes, how much more digital can things get?!
To this I say hold on! Don’t assume that all customers adopt these channels – at least not exclusively.
Take a step back to consider that even with all this technology at our fingertips, Google research reveals that 70% of mobile searchers call a business directly. The customer journey is more integrated than ever, crossing all forms of media and contact channels on the route to purchase.
No small business can afford to ignore that persistent ringing object in the corner of the office. In fact, it’s your conduit to a lot of new business and a closer connection to your existing customers!
How to Get More Customers to Call
Understanding that customers still want to call is an important first step, but it isn’t going to make anyone pick up the phone. That takes adjustments to your small business marketing strategy.
Here are seven ways small business owners can encourage more customer calls:
Spend more on click-to-call (CTC) campaigns: We touched on ads above, so why not start there to drive up your inbound call volume? Find your most successful online advertising channel and work in some compelling campaigns with a CTC focus. Not only will your business see a spike in calls, you’ll be able to quickly compare performance to your existing online campaigns.
Review existing call policy and procedures: Does your current training emphasize the importance of customer calls? Your team needs to know that picking up the phone is a crucial part of building a reputation and winning new business. Take a look at your current practices to make sure that calls are answered promptly and given the same level of service that you would offer in-person.
Use landing pages with a single call to action: When a promotional page emphasizes one course of action it increases the likelihood that potential customers will take that route. Make it clear that visitors should pick up the phone to receive a discount and they are much more likely to call.
Get a more memorable number: If customers can’t remember how to get hold of you, calls – and sales – could be slipping away Add a memorable hook to your contact details by buying or licensing a custom phone number. A number with a memorable word, sequence, or similar digits aids recall and increases your call volume over time.
Add your phone number to social networks: As with most online businesses, social networks accepted a long time ago that their users still value a contact number. That’s why you’ll see prominent space for those traditional contact details and dedicated call advertising options on their platforms. Use these spaces to display your most memorable contact number and, where possible, include language that urges customers to call.
Take another look at traditional advertising channels: In your rush to spend marketing dollars online, it’s possible that you’ve forgotten about traditional forms of advertising. Give them another look. Ad space that used to be expensive in print publications and other offline spaces tends to be much affordable these days. These channels also align well with the desire to pick up the phone, making them a promising source of increased calls.
Track your calls closely for strategy adjustments: To squeeze more from your call-focused campaigns, it’s important to know which are delivering. Use unique numbers or call tracking technology to help your marketing team separate different channels and review results from each. There are several excellent call tracking solutions out there. Pick the one that offers the best fit for your business and set about crunching the numbers from your numbers!
As you embrace new ways to get customers to call, you’ll often find that your brand reputation sees an upswing as well. Use this positive sentiment to encourage word-of-mouth marketing initiatives.
What begins with a simple commitment to talk to more customers can quickly spiral into a multi-faceted marketing strategy for your small business!
About the Author
Gordon Platt is a marketing consultant with RingBoost, a leading provider of memorable local and toll-free vanity numbers for small businesses.