By Kevin Chu, Analyst at the Marchex Institute and Leslie Ihnot, Product Marketing Manager, Local Leads
Small businesses are core to us at Marchex. We support hundreds of thousands of SMBs by placing ads online and on mobile that get new customers to pick up the phone and call a business directly.
We understand that running a small business is a lot of work – to say the least. You’re your own boss, which is great, but that means everything is on you. Dedicating time to marketing can often fall to the bottom of the priority list.
In honor of Small Business Saturday, we wanted to offer SMBs some practical advice on how to attract and retain new customers over the phone. Given the pervasiveness of mobile nowadays, phone calls are extremely effective at converting prospects into customers. In fact, according to a recent study by Google, 47% of mobile searchers say that if a business does NOT have a phone number associated with their results, they will likely explore other brands.
Here are 5 Tips for SMBs on How Phone Calls Can Grow New Sales:
- Technology brings customers closer. Click-to-call on mobile phones is becoming widely available and consumers love this feature. In fact, 70% of mobile searchers in the Google study reported using the “call button” from their phones. With essentially no barrier for customers to connect to you (or your competitor) on the mobile phone, make sure your business is easily found online, and specifically optimize for mobile devices.
- Remember that calls convert. Our data found calls are 10X more likely to convert compared to pay per click programs. For certain categories, calls can be up to 20X more efficient.
- Phones are emotive devices. A phone conversation is very personal, and often forms the customer’s first impression of your business. By being courteous and friendly, you can create a lasting relationship over the phone.
- Answer your phone. Consumers are searching for your business on a variety of online apps, websites and search engines. We know that up to 30% of calls placed to small businesses can go unanswered, and often callers do not leave a message, meaning many valuable prospects are hanging up and calling elsewhere before the advertiser gets a chance to make an impression. Putting adequate time and resources into answering the phone can prove extremely beneficial over the long run.
- Demand performance advertising. We know how important every dollar is for your small business. Therefore, we encourage you to seek advertising solutions that guarantee performance with demonstrable return on investment. This way, you can rest assured that your marketing dollars are working towards growing your business.