It’s 4:50 on Friday afternoon. A customer calls your business to get an estimate. Does anyone answer the phone? If not, you’ve failed the “Friday Afternoon Test.”
We need a new fence for our backyard and I made some calls to get estimates. I called five companies this last Friday afternoon. The variety of responses offers us some insights.
Real Person, Real Answers
Austex answered their phone. The person with whom I spoke was able to answer my questions and set up an appointment to come give me a written estimate. Very efficient and professional.
Have knowledgeable employees working when customers call your business.
Viking Fence answered the phone, put me on hold, and never came back. After several minutes on hold without any indication of life, I hung up. Sorry Viking, no business for you!
Always let your callers know how long they may be on hold. Your hold recording should indicate some type of information that will let the customer know they are still connected: music, company news, estimated time remaining, etc.
Pro Fence greeted me with an automated voice mail system. I left my message with the details of my project and hoped for the best. They called me back Monday before lunch.
Customers probably won’t expect a call back on the weekend unless you’ve set the expectation that you work weekends. Nevertheless, be sure to catch up with customers as soon as possible when you return to work Monday.
Real Person, No Answers
ABC Fence had someone answer the phone but she couldn’t give me any information. Could she answer any of my questions? No.
Educate your employees to answer basic questions about your product.
No Longer In Service
One company I had spoken with six months ago now had both numbers disconnected. A fly-by-night operation? Maybe.
Where will you be in six months? Will your customers still be able to find you?
When it’s Friday afternoon, or any other time your business is understaffed, you need to have a plan in place so you can continue to serve your customers effectively. Don’t be an absentee business.