Every day we update out Twitter feed, enter our status on Facebook, blog, e-mail and text message to our clients in the hope that our on-line presence will attract their attention. It is important to do this, without question, but is that the only way in which you are communicating with your client base? More and more lately I find that people are only communicating via electronic media. I too find myself often falling into this same habit of sending a quick e-mail rather than picking up the phone sometimes and I resolve to stop relying upon electronic media to connect with friends, family, and clients
How PRESENT are you when they reach out to you? When was the last time you picked up the PHONE to call a client just to say HI! and to reconnect? What happens if the client calls you? Do they actually reach you, or do they hit the ever present voice mail loop? Are you really PRESENT at all?
I, like many, rely upon my web-site to attract new business into my office or to maintain contact with past clients. My web-site clearly cites all of my contact information including my office phone number as well as my cell phone number. I am often taken aback by people's reaction when they call either the office or my cell and are surprised that the phone is actually being answered! I have had many people tell me that they were prepared only to leave a message relating to the matter at hand and that were prepared to wait on a call back and ask that I give them a minute to regroup so that they can immediately discuss whatever is on their mind.
One thing I will never have in my office as standard practice is VOICE MAIL. For the last 15 years I have vowed never to make anyone who reaches out to me sit through the endless loop of "push 1 for English, 2 for Spanish, 3 to leave a message, etc. When you call into my office a strange phenomenum occurs!! Someone answers the phone. Your call is then routed to the person you need to speak to you. Will you be put on hold for a moment? Perhaps, but that hold time will be minimal, and on the off chance that it looks like you will be on hold for more than a minute, you will be given an opportunity to give your message to the PERSON who answered the phone. Old School? YUP! And that's the way I like it.
Lately I have found that lenders, Realtors and even title agents have not been putting their PHONE NUMBERS on their contact sheets. The only contact information being given is an e-mail address. I find this new trend disturbing and can only hope that if enough people complain about it the trend will be reversed.
My hope is that we as an industry will come to realize that we need to have our on-line PRESENCE in place to enable our potential clients to reach out to us but when the reach out we must also be PRESENT.
Do you need to revise your contact information? Do you need to make changes as it relates to you being PRESENT for your clients? Perhaps it's time to give that some thought.