“Great news,” I told my friend. “I’ve been in my first L.A. car accident.”
About a month ago, I was rear-ended on my way to work. Fortunately, no one was hurt and no damage was done, so we exchanged information and parted ways. When I received a voicemail from the other party’s auto insurance company asking me to call them back and confirm that I wouldn’t be filing a claim, I was more than happy to oblige – until I heard the last part of the message:
“Please call me back and reference the incident number: #2312465132132154913454134213…”
No, that’s not the actual incident number. I don’t know the real number because it was roughly twenty digits long and spat out at a rapid-fire pace. But it reminded me of experiences I’ve had with businesses that inadvertently constructed obstacles to communication with potential customers.
That being said, below are three tips to tear down common communication barriers between you and potential clients:
- Have a “Contact Us” section prominently displayed on your website.
According to a recent Nielsen report, the average U.S. Internet user views 2,803 web pages a month, and spends just one minute looking at each of them. If a potential client isn’t able to find something useful in under a minute, he or she is very likely to leave your website and visit your competitors instead. To combat this, give your visitors an easy way to contact you in case they have questions, whether you display a link to your information or just simply incorporate it into your page design.
- Be accessible over the phone.
How many times have you hung up the phone in frustration after your call was transferred for the fifth time? How many times have you left a message for a person who never called you back? The reality is that the people in need of your services may not always have the time to play phone tag with you. Unless they have a strong reason to pursue your services, potential clients may be inclined to choose a more responsive firm, especially if they are under pressure to secure an offer. From day one, show a client that you are reliable and accessible.
- Keep track of important information so that potential clients don’t have to.
If you do need to transfer a lead to another person in your firm, be sure to summarize the situation for your colleague and pass along any notes you may have taken during your initial conversation. Make a copy of this information and keep it on file. Don’t expect the potential client to be able to reference case numbers or recall industry-specific terms. Tracking this information streamlines communication. The potential client begins to view you as their trusted advisor, increasing the chances that they will engage your services.
I still haven’t returned the auto insurance company’s call because they made it difficult for me to communicate with them. Avoid this situation with potential clients by taking time to think about the communication barriers you may have inadvertently constructed.
-By Berbay Assistant Account Manager Matt Aguirre