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Can I call back even though the caller didn't leave a voicemail or anything, or is this a no-no?
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.
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.
I'm always amazed at the number of "time waster" calls that lead to sales at some point.
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.
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!
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.
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).
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]