The Importance of a Strong Telephone Strategy
By Laura Laaman
In this digital age, many pet care professionals make the common error of underestimating the power of the telephone. Truth be told, most of your company’s revenue will come through the phone.
Having a refined phone call procedure will set you apart from your competitors and greatly increase your company’s power to convert inquiries into bookings.
In the pet care industry, you’re dealing with the cherished furry family members of your clients. This can make for an emotionally-charged process that is best handled with personal, human care. Many times, the concerned pet parent wouldn’t dream of simply filling out an online reservation form. They’re looking for a new place to leave their fur baby in the care of strangers – it’s not unlike finding a human daycare for your child. Therefore, interacting with prospective new customers over the phone or in person gives you a much higher chance of securing reservations than even the most sophisticated website can. Each new client can bring in thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in revenue.
Developing an effective phone strategy involves organization, consistency, and confidence. Each phone inquiry is your golden opportunity to earn a new client, and you only get one chance!
What to Consider in Developing a Phone Strategy
The pet care industry is constantly growing, and the competition gets more and more fierce every year. Great business owners know they need to devote time & energy to ensure the human points of contact are as exceptional as the care provided to the pets. Good phone protocol differentiates you from your rivals and opens vital channels of communication a computer screen can’t tap into.
Speaking to the pet parents gives you the opportunity to highlight your company’s unique strengths and promote your superior services. Successful phone call handling can even double the average revenue per pet per night. You and your team can capitalize on these opportunities by following a clear and reliable strategy for fielding phone calls.
It’s essential that your team handles these leads confidently and consistently, delivering concise, compelling, and competitively superior information so that prospective clients feel more comfortable booking with you than with your competitors. Don’t simply give out prices and vacancy information alone – make the most out of every phone call by promoting your wonderful services while providing a compassionate, human interaction.
No matter the method you develop, it should be measurable. Most new phone systems allow you to record and listen to prospective and existing client calls. This helps you ensure your employees are upselling important activities to increase the pet’s enjoyment of their visit and analyze the successful conversion of inquiries into reservations. This is an invaluable tool to track your progress and help your team become as effective as possible at handling phone leads. Before you record calls, check with your business attorney to verify what steps you need to take to ensure legal recordings in your state.
Who Should Answer the Phones?
Many pet care facilities allow all members of their staff to answer the phone. However, certain individuals are going to be more talented at handling phone calls than others. Not everyone has the same comfort levels and finesse to effectively convert phone calls into tours or bookings.
Successful owners keep track of this and determine who among their team is best at answering the phone. It’s vital to put your best foot forward in receiving client inquiries, and you should choose carefully in deciding who to appoint as the verbal representation of your business.
Once you’ve identified these well–suited employees, proper training will hone their skills and make them as effective as possible. Develop a plan for new client phone calls and ensure your employees stick to it—consistency is key to keeping your telephone plan organized and measurable.
Each of these individuals should present concise, compelling messages to the client in a way that’s confident. Once trained, these members of your team will become a crucial force in your client acquisition process.
Taking Your New Plan Forward
By implementing an organized and streamlined telephone strategy, you’re giving yourself the advantage of a human interface with your clientele. You can answer their questions, promote your wonderful services, and lend your company a compassionate and reliable personality. Clients handled over the phone are more likely to visit you for a facility tour—another important tool in your client acquisition arsenal.
Just as importantly, having a solid strategy in place allows you to see for yourself the value of the phone call and examine your progress in turning these calls into new client relationships. We may be living in a digital era, but human interaction still goes a very long way. n
Laura Laaman is president of Outstanding Pet Care. Outstanding Pet Care guarantees to substantially increase the revenues of its clients with its proven services. If you’re interested in growing your revenues, schedule an individual consultation with Laura Laaman or one of our team members. Call Outstanding Pet Care at 1-888-735-5667 or go to www.OutstandingPetCare.com.