You’re starting or growing a small business. You have a great idea, and need traction in the market. Your website needs to look legit. You need product pictures, videos, and descriptions. And SEO — you probably should start a content marketing program to generate traffic and leads. Email campaigns, AdWords, banners, ads, and events would be useful too. You need a presence on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, maybe even TikTok (yikes!). And should you be looking to penetrate voice assistant technology too, like Siri, Alexa, and Google? How about augmented reality? It’s enough to make your head spin. But before you get too far ahead of yourself, start with the fundamentals.

In this article, we cover:

After finding a local business online, consumers prefer getting in touch by phone. In fact, 60 percent of consumers choose to call, which dwarfs email, an in-person visit, contact forms, and social media combined.

The preference to call grew 19 percent between 2016 and 2019.

How do you use this information? Get your business phone service dialed in (pun intended) before tying yourself up promoting your wares with the latest TikTok dance.

Consider these five tips to improve your business phone services.

  1. Ensure your phone numbers are correct and consistent throughout your website.
    While Google My Business (GMB) listings are popular and may include your most fundamental contact information, consumers trust your website more than online business directories by far, and with good reason. If you have a change of contact information, directory services may lag behind until you let them know. If you’re running a legitimate business, the contact information on your website will always be accurate. Consumers find it incredibly frustrating to hit a dead end when calling the phone number listed on a company’s own website. At that point, they assume you must have gone out of business and will move on to the next listing that has it together enough to list a working number.

    Please make sure every mention of your number on your website is updated. Don’t leave any ambiguity about how to reach you. Calling on the phone should be the easiest next step a customer can take. Major corporations make this mistake all the time. “I have an issue, but which of these 12 numbers do I call?”

    Your greatest advantage as a small business is your accessibility. Use it.
  2. Empower your staff to prioritize customer service. The late Tony Hsieh knew customer service was vitally important in making Zappos a dominant online shoe retailer that would eventually sell to Amazon for $1.2 billion. In addition to being early to the free shipping, free returns revolution, Hsieh encouraged employees to spend hours on the phone with a customer if that’s what it took to ensure satisfaction.
  3. Implement security measures. Like any other platform where personal information is exchanged, security is crucial. Your business phone system can be hacked if you’re not careful. And you’re only as safe as you and your staff are vigilant. Train them to practice good security habits such as protecting their passwords. With a YouMail professional plan, you can protect yourself from malicious robocall scams, which can lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars lost to fraud. 
  4. Answer every call. Urges to buy are fleeting. Consumers will move on to the next listing in a heartbeat. If you don’t have the manpower to answer every single call, create a highly responsive business phone system complete with professional voicemail greetings, auto attendant, call forwarding, call routing, a unified inbox, auto replies, and conference calls. With one of YouMail’s professional plans, you can route and answer calls among a small staff in an efficient, highly relevant way. It’s easy to set up your whole staff (or just yourself) with second lines to separate business calls from personal. Whatever your situation, remove as much friction from the calling experience as possible. YouMail makes it possible on a tight budget.
  5. Transcribe your voicemail. Ok, you’re not going to be able to answer every call. When those inevitable moments occur, be ready to turn that message around as fast and effectively as possible. Therefore, it is tremendously helpful to have voicemails transcribed to text. Not only are transcribed messages easy to visually scan, precious minutes can be saved by cutting the tedium of inbox navigation. Copy-and-paste valuable information from those transcriptions to your notes, texts, and emails in an instant. You’ve probably already enjoyed visual voicemail for years on your personal line. Why wouldn’t you do the same with your business line?
Stop Robocalls

YouMail has helped small businesses navigate phone services for years. No matter if you’re a solo operation, in early growth, or a well-established small business, we have a plan for you.

As for mastering that latest TikTok dance, you’re on your own.

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