Sound Amazing!

There are a number of ways in which companies try to impress customers.

A gaudy, illuminated sign over a shop window, for instance, lets everyone in the street know where they are.

Or an expensive reception desk, in a polished wood carved from the heart of an endangered tree somewhere.

But there is an option a lot of companies miss. It is simple, and probably applies to more companies than an expensive sign or over-priced teak desk. Certainly to more office-based companies, without much footfall from the public, which is far more likely to interact with customers on the phone, rather than those who walk in. This option is within your phone system itself. Or should be.

First Impressions

The question is – how to impress your customers when they phone your company?

To answer this, let’s take a step back for a moment. Think about two different scenarios.

In the first, you have called a major national chain. You phone a nice, easy to remember number. Your call goes through, and you first hear some music. This is followed by a nice message telling you of all the services they provide, and any awards they have won. An educated voice tells you nice things about the company in calm, reassuring tones. You then go through to the company’s IVR menu, asking which department you wish to speak to and giving the appropriate button to push on your keypad. You push button one for sales, or two for accounts, and your call is directed to the appropriate person.

Now let’s look at the second scenario. In this one, you have called a local tradesman. You dial on the only number you can find for him, which is his mobile. You either get through, in which case he will answer in his standard phone answering voice (bearing in mind he won’t know who is calling, and he could be expecting a call from his Mum). If he doesn’t answer, you hear a standard voicemail message provided by his mobile phone Provider.

From a Customer Point of View

Placing yourself in the shoes of a customer in these two scenarios, it is immediately obvious that one creates a significantly better impression than the other. One sounds professional, well produced and reassuring. You have the image of a large company in mind, one which can help, which is well organised. A company which is established and trustworthy.

The other scenario doesn’t give quite the same impression. You called a generic mobile number, which could belong to anyone. The number wasn’t a local or national code, and wasn’t memorable. Some guy answered with ‘Hello’, but could equally have said ‘Hi Mum’ if he had been expecting her to call. Or if he didn’t answer, then you heard a generic voicemail message that you’ve probably heard a hundred times before. It certainly didn’t encourage you to leave a message or talk to the company in question.

It doesn’t matter if you wish to discuss an invoice, place an order or discuss Christmas presents (if you actually are his Mum).

Using First Impressions to Your Advantage

Now we get to the surprising bit. With a VoIP service, you can place your customer calls in the ‘Scenario One’ bracket. Even if you are a local tradesman with no departments (sales, accounts or otherwise). You might not have any other staff, but you can at least have a nice, memorable number, with an area code local to your customers. You can have a professionally recorded message, read by a voice artist, giving interesting and relevant facts about your company. You can emphasise what makes you special, and highlight any achievements or awards. Or you can include a relevant message based on season, or holidays, or national events.

Even if you have no staff, the customer doesn’t necessarily need to know. They don’t need to know that all the button pushes go to one person working from home. As far as their first impression is concerned, they have heard your company message, a nice voice giving some interesting messages, and have now selected the appropriate department to talk to.

So which do you think makes the better impression?

Contact us to find out how we can help you sound amazing.

Forget-Me-Not – A Guide To Being Memorable

The holy grail of most companies is to be THE company to call within their market place.


You want customers to pick up the phone without even thinking about it. They dial, they speak to one of your representatives, they ask a question or present their problem. Your company is half-way to making the sale, and more than half-way if the customer has dealt with you previously and been happy with your product or service.


You can cover the first stage of this with some advertising and marketing. Your website is out there, you are being found from Google or other search engines. Your adverts are placed strategically, and your sales people are feverishly working to build relationships and open doors.


The second stage in the process is trickier to manage. Getting the customer to actually contact you.


If your product or service is complicated and involves discussions, then email isn't ideal. Conversations become drawn-out, lengthy affairs. People lose track of the thread. Other things creep in, and before you know it the enquiry has been going on for 2 months and has covered a variety of topics. You know the customer has an issue with your website, or wants another staff member to contact him, or has a vague idea about another product you offer. What you don't have is a clear sign of the enquiry progressing to a sale. Your hot sales lead is cooling by the minute and you haven't moved forward at all.


This is why a simple phone conversation can be so beneficial.


However – apart from hiring clairvoyants, and tasking them with phoning all the people who might phone you before they actually do, or mind readers to phone all those currently thinking about phoning you, how do you address this?


Simple – by making it easy for customers to phone you.


A simple, easy to remember phone number could be all that is standing between your company and a barrage of sales calls.


Numbers which can be associated together stick in the mind much more easily than others. It sounds so simple we take it for granted. If I asked you to remember '1,2,3,4,5,6' you would manage without too much trouble! But if I asked you to remember '5,3,7,9,4,1' you would probably struggle. If I asked you to recite each sequence after a ten minute interval, one sequence is going to come to mind much more easily than the other. Again, it sounds easy, but there is psychology behind it.


In the first sequence, because the numbers can be associated, your brain doesn't actually remember the numbers at all – it remembers the association. And one association is much easier to remember than six numbers. The random sequence requires more space in your memory, because your brain cannot create a short-cut, and so has to remember the six individual components. The random sequence is more likely to be forgotten or recalled incorrectly.


So, the answer to being memorable is to employ a little bit of psychology. Ensure your phone number is easy to remember, and customers will find it much easier to get in touch. Simple!


Get in touch to discuss how we can help you be Memorable

Read more interesting articles on VoIP and telephony