I'm always trying to learn about what works in my own industry. Because I have connections to this industry, I try to combine my research so I have something to write about here.
Response time. How quickly do you get back to potential customers/clients? Do you have a published target? e.g,. When someone calls/emails someone will respond in x minutes.
Some think quick follow-up is pestering. I don't agree. My feeling is that there are few things more important.
Quick follow-up is a sincere form of "what you want matters to me"
How all of this came to me... I'm currently looking for some new office space, so I visited local real estate websites who pay Google for clicks. (I chose those because anyone paying for traffic clearly understands internet marketing) I compared these agent websites to others in remote locations like India, China and Romania. The difference was noticeable.
A common theme:
It seems we US folks are often slow on the draw when responding to website generated inquiries. In my search for local office space, most of the agents/brokers made it challenging to find a quick way to make contact. Many had multiple phone numbers buried on a contact page along with a link to an email address. (One mega agent had four phone numbers on their contact page. Good intention, but wouldn't one primary "hotline" be better? Would you ever publish four email addresses for the same person?)
In contrast: I came across an IT consulting firm website that caught my eye.
On *every* page I was invited to REGISTER TO LEARN MORE. It made it clear there was no obligation and that it would only take a minute. I did it. About 20 minutes later, my mobile phone rang. It was Jimmy calling from China to introduce himself. I asked him what timezone he was in and he assured me, that whatever timezone I was in was all that mattered. We have a meeting at 10AM tomorrow. (he really was named Jimmy)
On the half dozen emails I sent to the local agents: So far, no response. That was four hours ago. And within each email, I included my phone number.
I'm not bashing real estate folks. I would never do that. Hey, I'm just as guilty. Contact forms on my website point to a generic email inbox where they are processed with the Viagra ads and offers from wealthy princes in Africa. No sense of urgency, not even an option for a new potential client to express urgency when making the first contact.
There's no reason we don't use our available technology to improve how we respond to leads. It's trivial AND costs almost nothing to create email filters that gets important email delivered via a text message. We all get too much spam, so you would never want everything going to a phone, but when a fresh lead hits the Contact Me! button, don't we want a near realtime connection?
I think we should.
As I like to make these instructional, I documented the three steps of how to get urgent email to arrive as a text message explaining how easy this really is. We would all be guilty of sales/marketing negligence to not implement something like this into our standard business practices.
If you think I'm all wet on the topic, let me know. Just seems to me, early birds do gets more worms.
PS. The above form was intended to be as simplistic as possible. In the real world, we might want to include a simple CAPTCHA or something to keep spam robots away.