So what’s the big deal with all this talk about Phone.com’s After Hours Greetings?
Isn’t one main greeting enough? Why complicate things!
No, it’s not enough. And I’ll tell you why…. Any sole business owner of any small office takes advantage of the ability to keep both current customers and prospective clients in the loop with different messages for different schedules – for several reasons.
The most critical reason is the serious issue concerning disappointed expectations. Prospective clients as well as existing clients generally expect a call returned quickly… not in 6 hours or “sometime” the next day.
Clients – and in some cases we’re talking presidents or Senior Vice Presidents – generally have issues they need to resolve, and when they call during normal business hours they like to get the sense, if they do leave a voicemail, that they will be speaking with someone soon to resolve the matter they called about.
Now, this is where the After Hours Greeting feature becomes critical… when an existing client calls at 8:00 PM on a weekday, or on a weekend, and he or she hears the standard message, they are left with the sense that their call will be returned as they are accustomed – in an hour or two.
However – when the client hears our After Hours Greeting, they know that their call will not be returned until the next morning, or first thing Monday in the case of weekend messages. The same goes for prospective clients and potential customers, or prospects.
You can even personalize the greeting so that a special message is played for different people based on caller ID. So if CEO of client A calls he/she will get a personalized message, or may even be “allowed” to be routed to my cell phone 9pm on a Saturday night.
Cut and dried – outside regular business hours, unless it’s a critical emergency, your call won’t be returned until the next morning or Monday. No more disappointed expectations.
And as every sales person knows, disappointed expectations lead to cancellations. In the case of new prospects, a disappointed expectation simply leads to a botched deal or a killed sale. Satisfied expectations lead to happy customers or clients, and in the case of prospects, one step nearer to ‘a close’.
There’s another huge problem that never gets fixed without Phone.com’s After Hours Greeting feature. The age-old problem of maintaining a slick, professional image, especially outside of business hours, without a giant budget to work with.
Simple. If I have 6 employees in my little office, when folks call in after hours during the week, or on a Saturday or Sunday, they will hear an individual, personalized message for every single person in the office – NOT that obnoxious general message and general voicemail that fills callers with dread and loathing.
Ever call a business and hear a general mailbox message? Does it fill you with confidence that (A) your call will ever he heard; or that (B) it will ever get heard by the person that is supposed to hear it; or (C) that it will ever get listened to at all?! Be honest – hang up from a general mailbox after 6 PM and you feel like your message just dropped down a dark, bottomless pit – right?
Outside of normal business hours, a general mailbox, compared to leaving a message with a specific person, also does not generate the most professional image in the world, does it? It sounds like the company either can’t get a real phone system organized, or can’t afford one, and what does that say about them?
It all comes back to image, doesn’t it? Image – and convenience. Your image and convenience for the customer, and potential customer. And the After Hours Greeting feature is one more way Phone.com helps small businesses build a professional image, helps us close more sales; and helps us build that base of confident, happy customers who feel attended to, and communicated clearly with.
And believe me… that counts for a lot.