I was doing some research into some extra functionality a site we were building a few weeks ago. I found a few plugins that seemed to fit the bill but wanted to check they could do what we needed before whipping out the credit card.

So I contacted a pretty well know / big player in the e-commerce world. I won’t name names but. It Sounds like moo and ends with commerce. I sent a pre-sales question about one of their plugins.

I did this on a Tuesday afternoon, and it took them 12 days to come back to me with an answer.

12 days! Wow. That’s a quick way to lose a sale. I brought one of the other competitors plugins ten days earlier because they had got back to me.

Even if they had it would have massively put me off using them because it would give me doubts about their customer service for a delay in 12 days.

I remember During my time at the Entrepreneurs Circle. We needed a  complex Magento website to sell customised shirts. As head of Web, it was my job to find a company to work with.

I wrote the brief, spent a few hours on google to find a few companies I liked the look of and contacted them through their contact forms. Three out of the five I never heard from. One I heard back from them after three days by email asking for the brief and the one that won the job called me within ten mins of me submitting the web form on their site.

The sheer fact that they got back to me so fast massively impressed me. All they had to do was show me they could do the job and meet our budget, and the job was theirs.

The fact they contacted me so fast won them 22k in business. It’s that simple.

I’ve told that story ever since and I drum it into any of our customer service team members and my team. If someone contacts us through the website – we need to get back to them super fast!

The cooling off period

The time it takes to respond will determine the heat of your lead. Someone that contacts you is a hot lead. But that hot lead cools down over time.

0-2 hours SMOKING

2-4 hours HOT

4-7 hours WARM

1-3 days TEPID

3 + days + ICE ICE BABY

How much are you leaving on the table

I know it’s not always easy to get back to people straight away, especially if you are a team of one.

You need to think of how much money you could be leaving on the table by reacting so slowly. I did this last week after someone stated they we’re disappointed we never called them. I knew I’d lost that sale.

Now the plugin I mentioned at the start of the story was only $79 so losing that sale is not going to cripple a business of their size. But what if they failed to respond to 100 people.  = $7,900

That’s enough me to motivate myself or my team to react quicker.

For every lead you fail to react to, you are losing money in two ways.

  • Potential sales
  • Your marketing costs to acquire that lead.

Ways to get back to someone quicker.

Train your team to respond instantly. It shouldn’t just be your job to have that conversation

If you’re out and about. Try a portable headset.

Use a call answering service if you’re out the office or away and you don’t have a team.

This doesn’t just apply to sales

Speed is key in all aspects of business – The same applies to dealing with your current customers as well as your marketing and promotions.

Customer service

The quicker you can get back to one of your clients to solve their problems the happier they will be. We’ve had cases as we have grown where people we’re not happy with how quickly we responded or how long before we could book the work in due to how busy we are – they went elsewhere and as a business owner watching a client you’ve built a good relationship with go elsewhere hurts. It also hurts your profits.

It’s not always possible to do exactly what your client wants as quickly as they want but by simply getting back to them and giving them a date for their work to be done will keep them happy 99% of the time

Due to this happening we looked at every part of what we do and looked to see what we could improve regarding client expectations, delivery speed and have implemented changes to keep clients happier.

Marketing

Most businesses never set deadlines or rush putting new things out. We’ve had a couple of clients websites sat on the board for over 12 months now. – All that money invested and they continue to hold their business back by not finalising a few pages of content realising things or over thinking tiny details that only matter to them. The clients we work with that have success just get stuff done.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt in marketing our business. The quicker I release and get our marketing pieces out there the more sales opportunities we generate.

Ways to market your name quicker

Set realistic deadlines and set to them.

Prioritise the key things that you can launch

Outsource elements that you are struggling with or have no clue how to do. Trying to teach yourself how to do everything will only slow you down, and there is a good chance you’ll do it badly

Conclusion

No matter what you’re doing in your business, I can guarantee you that the quicker you respond and produce for yourself and your clients. The more sales you will generate, you’ll have happier customers and a wider reach to attract more new customers.

Speed is a constant thing you need to be mindful of and work on, it’s very easy to become lazy and let these things slip especially if you’ve had a good month or year.

The reality is time flys and if you don’t pick up speed, your business won’t fly with you.

Thanks for reading

Matt

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