One of the best ways to strengthen the power of your vanity toll free number is to use it in all your marketing materials. That includes putting it in your telephone greetings. Think about it: Clients dial “1-888-PET-CARE” and the greeting they get is “Hi, this is Johnson’s Pet Supplies.” But they could be hearing “Hi, you’ve reached 1-888-PET-CARE, Johnson’s Pet Supplies.”
This is a no-cost way of helping customers recognize and remember your custom toll free number, increasing the likelihood that they’ll call your business again in the future. Here are five ways to use phone greetings to turn those vanity number calls into sales — and increase customer satisfaction.
- As often as possible, have a live person answer the phone and present your message during business hours. Studies show that customers expect and prefer it, and it’s the ideal during a sales campaign when you want a sales person to have immediate access to a prospect. After all, studies show that customers who make purchases over the phone order more merchandise, and 95 percent of the time they order more expensive merchandise than customers who are ordering from print or online catalogs. If you are using your toll-free number for non-sales purposes, it’s not as critical that the live person greeting the customer be on your team. A good answering service can handle the caller and then send you a convenient email message.
- If you need to use recorded messages, be sure to record separate ones for business hours and for after-hours. Why? See tips 3 and 4.
- When your callers do get a recorded message during business hours, it should mention your 1-800 number and your company identity. Then tell the caller, quickly, how to get to the department they’re calling or the information they want. Example: “Thank you for calling 1-888-PET-CARE, Johnson’s Pet Supplies. A representative will be with you in one minute. If you need to reschedule a delivery for tomorrow, please press 3 for the shipment desk. For all other business, please stay on the line.”
- The message callers get after hours should (again) reinforce your business identity by mentioning your toll-free number and business name. Then let people know when you’ll be back in the office and what they can do to get a message to you in the meantime. “You’ve reached the after-hours line for 1-888-PET-CARE, Johnson’s Pet Supplies. We’ll be back in the office at 8 a.m. Please call back then, or press 2 to leave a message with our answering service.”
- If you have a website that allows people to view products or schedules, place orders, or send email, be sure to mention that website in your phone greeting. For some callers, this is a plus. But keep in mind that many callers to your toll-free number prefer to talk directly to a live person.