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Ecommerce Forum

    
Returning phone calls
What to do?
lschmidt




msg:3471912
 4:09 pm on Oct 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

My ecommerce site is very new - so new that we haven't taken any orders yet. The business phone has also not been called until today, and I happened to miss the call since I'm not full time with the ecommerce business. I have the caller ID, and would really like to turn this into a sale just to get the first order.

Can I call back even though the caller didn't leave a voicemail or anything, or is this a no-no?

 

DamonHD




msg:3471914
 4:11 pm on Oct 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

They called you: you can simply enquire why they called.

Rgds

Damon

pbradish




msg:3471941
 4:41 pm on Oct 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

You certainly can call them back - and probably should. The quicker the better, while their inquiry is still fresh in their mind.

King_Fisher




msg:3471945
 4:46 pm on Oct 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yes! It is a BUSINESS PHONE! If he/she is calling on it then you have to assume
its about business. Call back promptly!...KF

farmboy




msg:3472182
 8:38 pm on Oct 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

My ecommerce site is very new - so new that we haven't taken any orders yet. The business phone has also not been called until today, and I happened to miss the call since I'm not full time with the ecommerce business. I have the caller ID, and would really like to turn this into a sale just to get the first order.

Are you advertising this number on the site as a means for customers to place orders? If Yes, I think you need to develop a plan for handling calls when you're not available ASAP. If you can't answer calls at least during normal business hours in your time zone, you might even be better off not promoting the number on your site.

Also keep in mind that your business number is going to become circulated, sold again and again, all sorts of vendors are going to call trying to sell you something, the BBB is going to call to extort you, etc.

Depending on how you protect and/or advertise your number, you may have more people calling you wanting to sell you something as compared to those wanting to buy from you.

FarmBoy

bwnbwn




msg:3472183
 8:42 pm on Oct 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you don't have already I would add a message machine so if they wanted you to call back you would know. This also filters your calls as a lot of calls will be coming in for seo work now...

ispy




msg:3477442
 1:21 am on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

I bet you it wont be an order.

90% of calls are bogus (questions, chat, ship time, etc). Do they lead to an order, who knows? Depends upon your salesmanship and tolerance for returns I guess. If they wanted to order they would just order online! Keep this in mind before you hire someone for phone calls.

jsinger




msg:3477831
 2:44 pm on Oct 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

Telephone is less important than in the web's early days. Still telephone orders for us are substantially bigger on average than cart orders and are more likely to lead to repeat business. OTOH, some trivial phone calls can take a lot of time.

I'm always amazed at the number of "time waster" calls that lead to sales at some point.

Jack_Hughes




msg:3478706
 11:36 am on Oct 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you can't provide a live phone enquiry service I would stop advertising the number on your site.

Better not to advertise the number than deliver a bad service experience.

piatkow




msg:3478798
 1:22 pm on Oct 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

I just love to hate the people who ring me up to ask me a question that is answered by information on the same page that contains the contact details.

LifeinAsia




msg:3478910
 3:10 pm on Oct 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Chances are that if your site is easy to follow, if it was a potential customer who called, that person is probably very technically challenged and you'll spend a lot of time hand holding him/her just to make a sale of the cheapest item you carry. That's IF the person actually does follow through and buy it. Perhaps not too much of a problem while things are slow to get your first sale, but definitely be aware of (and try to avoid as much as possible) those time wasters once things start rolling.

Chances are also likely that it wasn't a customer but rather the phone company trying to get you to upgrade your services, or a rival phone company trying to get you to switch, or a yellow pages (or other advertising) company trying to get you to buy advertising, or an insurance company trying to get you to buy a company plan for all your employees.

Another strong possibility is that it is someone trying to call the person who had the number before you. And if that person wasn't smart enough to have the number on the Do Not Call list, expect a lot of telemarketers calling who think you're still the old person.

bettye51




msg:3480133
 7:39 pm on Oct 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Another strong possibility is that it is someone trying to call the person who had the number before you. And if that person wasn't smart enough to have the number on the Do Not Call list, expect a lot of telemarketers calling who think you're still the old person."

to add to the wrong number aspect...it will be the bill collectors trying to reach the person who had the number before you. What a pain!

Marshall




msg:3480146
 7:50 pm on Oct 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

I found when people call my business number and do not leave a message, 99% of the time it's a sales pitch. I take the position: if it is important enough, they will call back.

Marshall

jsinger




msg:3480480
 3:30 am on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

We used to receive several calls a day for the previous owner of our 800#s... a large bank's very active collection dept. Rarely took more than 20 seconds to give out the correct #. After 6 years, I believe the calls have totally stopped.

We have 5 toll free lines and, come to think of it, we almost never get wrong numbers now on any of them.(we have to pay for incoming wrong numbers btw)

Told that 800#s aren't reissued for at least a year.

Laker




msg:3480522
 5:41 am on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

I just love to hate the people who ring me up to ask me a question that is answered by information on the same page that contains the contact details.

This is a skill set of one trained in customer service and customer support ... (not dissimilar from moderators on this board who constantly [and politely] edit out actual domain names with "example.com".)

A friend of mine says that when the phone rings and you aren't excited about answering it ... you are in the wrong job (responsibility).

piatkow




msg:3481724
 9:45 am on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

How you deal with the call is totally different from thinking the caller was pretty dumb to look up a page with address and phone number then call the number to ask for the address.

Maxnpaddy




msg:3491927
 9:56 pm on Oct 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

If it's important enough, they will call you back. If someone is that intent on making a sale (sales staff always are!), they WILL call back - I promise you. Then you just have to decide if what they have to say is worth listening to. Sales guys that have crap pitches always get the phone put down treatment - few sales staff impress me and seem to speak at a million miles per hour (to get that tried and tested, non failure of a pitch - out), which tells me they don't care about what I want.

No real need to filter sales calls, they take care of themselves. I also agree with not advertising your phone number on the site, especially in the early stages of a new company starting out. Start-ups are always targeted as sales people hunt down contact info, because they want that next commission cheque - it's just the nature of the beast, but can be annoying when all you want is sales so you can get your business going or to the next level.

Any new business has to earn respect, gain trust and takes a while to be seen as established in both visitors and customer's eyes. If potential customers make a call, you can be fairly certain it's serious (either an enquiry or a sale) and should not be ignored, and by returning the call back shows passion, commitment to their needs - damn it, even if it doesn't end in a sale - you have just shown professionalism and manners by not ignoring them.

So the answer is YES - return those calls.

[edited by: Maxnpaddy at 10:05 pm (utc) on Oct. 30, 2007]

ashii




msg:3494522
 12:14 pm on Nov 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

why not just check the number in reverse directory and you may get a clue who callup.

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