If you want more in the door, make sure you are able to handle potential customers when they call. As a business consultant I’ve much too often seen business owners spend tons on advertising, only to have callers treated with little or no importance by the staff, or even the owners. I’ll give you an example that just happened to me.
On Labor Day I called a chiropractor who was referred by another health practitioner, to make an appointment for my father. The chiropractor answered the phone, and to make a long story short he told me he was with another patient and would call me later that day. So I gave him my phone number and he never called that day, as agreed, but not until the next morning when I was too busy to take the call. He then left a voice message telling me he was sorry but with the holiday and all he couldn’t get back to me as agreed, etc. He also left the times he’d be available that day to take another call from me. So I called within those times and got a voice mail, at which point I left a voice message, and he never returned my call.
Chances are this guy is a one man office. That’s how a lot of folks need to start out, but I’ll tell you, if you operate the way he just did you’ll never grow into more than a one man show. It will continue to go around in circles. And you know what? Whenever I’ve pointed this out to guys like this chiro, they always have excuses like this guy just did, i.e. it was the holiday. And this chiro will probably have more excuses if I ask him why he didn’t return my call after I left a voice mail, but guess what, I’ll never ask him that because I’ll never call him again.
So you see, this guy just lost a customer. If he had treated me with respect, and kept his word, and at the very least called me back in a timely manner after I left a voice message (his second chance) he could have had a patient for many visits, for years to come, which would have amounted to thousands of dollars. He also may have lost a referral source because I’m going to tell the doctor who referred me to him what occurred.
The point is if you want more in the door, don’t block the door by not making it easy for a potential customer to make an appointment or purchase your service or product. And for God’s sake keep your word! If you say you’re calling back today, than call back today, come hell or high water. The customer doesn’t care about your excuses and you can have all the excuses in the world but it’s you who will suffer from a lack of more in the door.
The bottom line is if you’re going to spend money on getting more in the door, spend some effort making sure you and your staff make it easy for potential customers to make it through your door. And keep your word! To do otherwise reflects poorly on your business and pushes potential customers, attempting to get in your door, out your door!