How many leads and customers are you losing every day without installing an automated lead management system?
But, I understand, there are many places and platforms to keep tabs today.
There are countless ways for people to interact with your business – it’s no wonder you can’t keep up with it.
There; Email and forms, text and SMS, phone and voicemail, website chat, Google Business messages, Facebook messages, Instagram direct messages, reviews on third-party sites, and the list goes on…
It’s so complex, in fact, that some small business owners may find it impossible to manage all the interactions. Perhaps it demands too much effort, or there is simply no option to communicate with your audience as quickly and personalized as they expect.
But, what if you had an automated way to funnel all potential inquiries into one place that allows you to gracefully and automatically respond immediately?
If managing a million channels sounds intimidating, don’t worry. I’d like to share with you my strategy for managing all your incoming leads and lead communications with speed and personalization. Time to feel clarity, confidence and control in your customer lead management.
In this post, we’ll discuss how to communicate with your customers and how small businesses can automate and integrate those channels to manage their interactions in today’s dynamic, non-linear buyer journey—leaving you better prepared and one step ahead of your competition.
Learn how to use an automated follow-up system by booking a free online consultation with us.
To help you quickly jump to the sections that interest you most – click on the links below
How lead management is automated today
Where business owners today are missing out on many opportunities
A big part of making your customers happy is understanding them and communicating the way they want. But I get it. Today there are many places and platforms to be aware of.
People are now interacting with businesses from Google Business Pages, SMS, third-party sites, email, reviews, social media and 50 other channels. And yes, you need to create content and engage in it, or you’ll lose a lot of opportunities every day
One way to help build a lead management engine is to start using the technology available to automate your communications. The primary way to meet your customers is an automated way to funnel all those inquiries from prospects and customers into one place that allows you to respond elegantly and automatically.
The holy grail of lead communication today
I always educate our clients on the importance of making it easy to collect customer data and create a seamless communication experience with your audience. But, as a small business, it is virtually impossible to do this without using technology to automate the lead management flow. Here are some helpful tips.
How SMS is one of the drivers of change
Now that you understand why a business should start automating lead communication let’s dive into some of the drivers of change. You can use these thoughts to change how you communicate with your audience or to explore new strategies and channels to communicate with them.
One of the drivers of this change is SMS. Everyone has a phone and every one of those phones has SMS functionality
Some people don’t think SMS has a place in business, but the data shows the opposite. Surveys indicate that about 48% of people prefer to communicate with a brand via text, especially at the awareness stage of the buyer journey.
This means that if you’re not using that technology as part of your overall communications strategy, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities. In fact, I would suggest that some buyers won’t do business with you if they don’t see that functionality available. That’s where we are as consumers.
The Role Your Google Business Profile Plays
If you’re a local business, you should optimize your Google Business Profile as much as possible.
There are several huge benefits to creating a Google Business Profile. First of all, it’s free so why not? Second, real estate in Google’s SERPs is extremely valuable, especially on desktop. Having a Google Business Profile helps your business secure a good chunk of that valuable first results page real estate.
To get setup you need to make sure you have just one listing for your business, select the right business category and subcategory, and finally, take advantage of all the real estate and linking options available to you.
But that is not enough. Google wants its users to have the best possible experience when searching for answers online. That is why they are trying to capture all types of communication including text messages.
If your Google Business Profile appears at the top of search results, one of the functions they recently added is text messaging So, instead of calling you, getting directions to your business, or visiting your website, customers can send you a message
Many small business owners don’t know where those messages are going, resulting in lost business opportunities. Again, this is where a unified communications platform will become increasingly important, especially for local businesses.
Social media lead management
It doesn’t matter what you sell or how you sell it. In today’s world, you need to be accessible to your customers through your social media presence.
95% of consumers aged 18-34 can follow a brand through social media channels (Marketing Sherpa). And with 79% of American internet users on Facebook, it’s the most used of those channels (life marketing).
This means that your audience is out there, and again, you need to meet them where they are. But how to use social media in your communication strategy? Here are some of my best practical tips:
Create a great customer experience by giving your visitors an easy way to interact with you that they’re already familiar with.
Show your customers that you care by listening to their questions and concerns and responding quickly.
Receive and respond to reviews. While you can certainly get reviews from dedicated sites, don’t forget that Facebook pages provide a place for customers to rate your product or service. Caring for reviews is key to providing excellent service, so it’s important to get as many as possible. And quick response to good and bad is even more important.
Don’t make every social media interaction about the business. The brands people want to work with today are the ones that teach people something and make them feel smart and empowered, so create content to help your audience and avoid talking about yourself and your product every time.
Especially if you’ve developed unique methods internally that guarantee someone will get a great result, you need to show that process.
Find out how to communicate effectively by booking a free online consultation with us.
With a universal customer and lead communication service, you can quickly answer every customer question on Facebook or Instagram, and in one place alongside email and other channels.
How can small businesses implement unified communications?
As I mentioned before, speed is important in leadership management. But what does speed actually mean? Let’s look at two examples of this. Follow me on this one.
How many calls have you missed because you were on the phone or the person who was supposed to answer didn’t pick up? Hiya discovered that, on average, Americans miss more than half of their phone calls.
Imagine if you had functionality that every time you missed a call, that person got an instant text saying, “Hey, we missed your call. Can we help you?”
They’ll respond if they’re interested, and now you have a real conversation going on.
Imagine if people could schedule an appointment and get text reminders like, “Thanks for scheduling the appointment. Or “Hey, your appointment is in a day.”
There’s no doubt that automating that follow-up as part of a lead management strategy is becoming essential, and there are platforms and businesses that have been doing this for a long time. Your dentist, famous restaurant, and maybe your AC contractor or plumber do it consistently.
Now look at our next example. review. This is another process that I constantly encourage small businesses to automate if they want to scale and grow.
Learn why reviews are essential for local search
Imagine you finished a great project, and now you have to press a button on an app to automatically send a text asking for a review. And then, when that person reviews, you can easily respond within the app.
Lead communication is challenging but extremely rewarding if you do it right. To profit from this, make sure to meet your buyers where they are today and communicate with them efficiently. Doing so will help your local business stand out from the competition and increase your success rate.
I know it’s challenging to find all the places people are interacting, but with enough commitment and the right tools, you can follow up with your customers within five or ten minutes, making them much more likely to convert.
We have developed a solution that will allow you to have a unified communication with your clients. If you’d like to hear more about this new way of running your business, book a free online consultation with us.
For more details on how to automate your lead management – book a free online consultation with us here