Crowd of people using cell phones in street,

If you’re following our series, you know smartphone users are calling businesses more than ever before, and the number of mobile-to-business calls is expected to keep rising. How can small businesses prepare for these calls? What are mobile callers seeking?

According to Invoca, smartphone users typically reach out for three reasons:

  1. To get a quick answer. Scrolling through your website or FAQ page doesn’t appeal to mobile users. They’re looking to click, call, and get to the bottom of things quickly (e.g. service, pricing, hours, etc).
  2. To express a concern. When mobile users are concerned about something, they’re not interested in sending an email or submitting a form online—they want to speak with a live person who can help.
  3. To get expert advice. What better way to learn a topic than to chat with someone who knows that topic through and through? Mobile users look to the pros when seeking guidance. That’s you!

In other words, the click-to-call crowd needs help, and they want it right away. Including these elements in your telephone toolkit will set your business up for success with mobile callers and more:

An Inviting Introduction

Responsiveness inspires trust. If you aim to catch every call within the first few rings, you’ll begin making a great impression before you pick up. Live answering during business hours is is key, too—if callers reach voicemail or an automated system, they’re liable to hang up and click on the next search result. Craft a friendly greeting, and be sure anyone who’s answering calls is ready to say it with a smile. Make the first moments of every call count!

A Game Plan for Responding

Smartphone callers may do little or no research on your business before calling, so be prepared for basic questions. Drafting an elevator pitch can help you respond confidently to callers who are shopping around. It’s not uncommon for callers to ask to speak with a particular department, like sales, support, or billing. If you have a small staff, it can be helpful to break down who wants to handle which types of calls, so you don’t miss a beat when your caller has a specific request. Give your phone answering team guidelines for routing different kinds of calls, and a playbook of phrases so they’re ready to reply to a variety of queries. A ready-for-anything attitude is a must!

Consistency

Creating a great experience for some of your callers is a start, but to build a strong reputation, delivering solid service on every call is where it’s at. That’s can be a tough mark for a small business to hit. A virtual receptionist service ensures callers are treated to pleasant, helpful conversation when you and your team are too swamped to get to the phone. Many virtual receptionists are happy to field common questions from callers and relay general information about your business. They can typically collect caller information as well, enabling you to make an informed follow-up when time allows.

If you’re a smartphone user, chances are you’ve used your phone to connect with a business. Can you think of a time you were impressed when calling a business? How about a time when you were disappointed? Use your experiences to inform you company’s call-handling strategy, and you’ll likely be on the right track.