Confession: I don’t answer my phone if I don’t recognize the phone number.
Yeah, I know. A publicist who doesn’t answer the phone. I get the irony.
But, here’s the thing: the clients and media professionals I regularly communicate with are programmed into my phone. In most instances, if someone other than a contact is calling me, it is most assuredly a sales call.
On the chance that it’s not a sales call, I always listen to the message and return phone calls, usually within a few minutes and always within a day. Doing so, I feel is basic etiquette for any business owner or entrepreneur.
Some folks apparently do not understand this concept. I learned this first-hand when I was calling around recently to have some masonry work done on my home. My husband researched a few local contractor
s, read reviews and provided me with a list of possible businesses to call.
Granted, there were only six names on the list. Of those, I was surprised to find out, two could not be bothered to answer the phone. I’m not talking about screening calls either. In one instance the phone just rang incessantly and was not answered by a machine or a human. I had the same experience on several occasions. The other was the cell phone of a business owner. I tried him three separate days and each time was unable to leave him a voice mail message because his mailbox was full.
How can someone hope to keep customers – and attract new ones – if they cannot answer a call or listen to voice mail messages clogging an inbox? It’s a simple premise, right?
I liken it to creating a Facebook page and never posting any content or using a social media platform to engage customers, but failing to respond to their inquiries.
While I admittedly don’t answer calls from numbers I don’t know, I do respond. I want to brainstorm public relations and marketing ideas with my existing clients and learn about the nonprofit organizations and businesses calling for information on my company’s services.
As for the work on my house – the masonry needs that prompted this blog – that was finished today. I had left a message for the contractor, who returned my phone call the following business day and scheduled a time to come out and provide an estimate.
Please share: How does your business or organization communicate with its customers? How do you answer the call?