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How Available is Your Small Business to Your Customers?

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By Ralph Gregory   |    August 27, 2014   |    11:41 AM

The 80/20 Rule For New Businesses

80% of new business leads go the 20% of companies that provide connectivity at the point of first contact. When responding to your prospects’ needs the 80/20 rule means responding immediately to their inquiries with relevant information, or risk them taking their business elsewhere.

In today’s digital age, consumers let their “fingers do the walking”. They perform online searches and sort down to the 2 or 3 companies that are likely to provide the product or service for which they are searching. Looking for quick answers to their main point, they likely want to engage in an online chat with someone immediately or to pick up the phone and speak directly with a representative.

So what happens when customers get your company’s generic voicemail requiring them to leave a message? They move on. “Please call back during normal business hours”? They want information now and will move on. The company that follows the 80/20 rule and answers customer queries through a live platform with a knowledgeable, capable and friendly person is the company that is most likely going to get the business. Look at companies like Zappos; whether looking for product availability, information regarding their services, or general customer service, their customers have numerous options to receive immediate attention.

What if my Small Business Doesn’t Have the Resources to Provide 24/7 Live Support?

Consumers don’t have the expectation of 24/7 live support for all businesses. Your prospective customers aren’t put-off by reaching a voicemail message late in the night or on a weekend. They do, however, expect that voicemail to immediately provide relevant information. Voicemail greetings that provide specifics as to when their query will be resolved, such as, “please leave your name and contact number and we’ll call you back in the morning of the next business day,” instill the confidence your customer is looking for to ensure they’ve chosen the right company for their needs. Statements such as, “your call is important to us,” or, “our normal business hours are…,” only irritate the consumer and push him or her toward the next company in their search queue.

Simply letting your customer or potential customer know that you value their business and are committed to resolving their pain point can be the difference between gaining - or losing their business.

How does your business adhere to the 80/20 rule? Let us know in the comments! 

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