10 Tips to generate more business through better phone practices

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Kelly McGrain
Kelly McGrain

For many small businesses that are looking to grow, their first thought is to spend time and money on social media, paid advertising, or flyers. And while these might be necessarily tactics, especially for brand new businesses, business owners often overlook some of the most basic, low cost ways to secure more business. While there are a range of basic, low-to-no cost tactics, today’s article will focus on the easiest and most overlooked tool: your business phone.

Here are 10 tips for how small businesses can do more business simply through a better phone system or phone answering practices:

  1. Always answer the phone: Did you know that 80% of callers won't leave a voicemail, and 85% of people whose calls aren't answered will not call back? (Source: Salesforce) Make sure to always answer the phone, even if you're busy or your business is closed. Consider using a modern phone system like Tellhop that automates replies to make sure your customers can always reach you, even when you're not available.
  2. Respond quickly to missed calls: If you miss a call, make sure to return it as soon as possible. According to a study by InsideSales, the odds of qualifying a lead decrease by 400% if you wait more than 10 minutes to contact them. With Tellhop’s phone system, your customers will get instant replies, 24/7 so consider a phone upgrade (though Tellhop is likely cheaper than what you’re using today!)
  3. Use a professional greeting: Your phone greeting should be professional, friendly, and include your business name. This will help build trust with your customers and make a great first impression. Check out this article from HubSpot for tips on how to create a great phone greeting.
  4. Train your staff: Your staff should be trained on how to answer the phone professionally and how to handle customer inquiries. Make sure they are knowledgeable about your products and services, and have access to the information they need to answer customer questions. And make sure they’re not responding to customers from their personal cell phones! Over 42% of small businesses lose customer records when employees leave their business.
  5. Use text messaging: Text messaging is becoming increasingly popular for business communication. According to a study by Twilio, 9 out of 10 consumers want to use messaging to communicate with businesses, and 69% would switch their business to another business who did communicate via text. Consider using a modern phone system like Tellhop to allow customers to text you directly from your website or social media profiles.
  6. Use call tracking: Call tracking allows you to track which marketing campaigns are generating the most calls to your business. This can help you make better-informed decisions about where to focus your marketing efforts. With Tellhop, we can help you do this. You can also use tools like CallRail if you have a larger budget.
  7. Use call recording: Call recording allows you to review customer interactions and make improvements to your phone answering processes. This can help you identify areas for improvement and provide better customer service. Any modern phone system will have call recording as one of their features. 
  8. Use an IVR system: An IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system allows callers to interact with a menu of options before speaking with a live agent. This can help streamline your call handling processes and provide a better customer experience. 
  9. Use call forwarding: Call forwarding allows you to forward calls to your cell phone or another device when you're not in the office. This can help ensure that you never miss a call from a customer. While many phone system provide this feature today, Tellhop offers the ability to ring multiple phones which means less wait time for your caller.
  10. Use call analytics: Call analytics allows you to track important metrics like call volume, call duration, and call outcome. This can help you identify trends and make data-driven decisions about your phone answering processes. Check out this article from Google Analytics for more information on call analytics.

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