Getting prospects the answers they need (2)

Yesterday I discussed instant response mechanisms for enquiries from prospects, specifically telephone or live web-chat. There are also two non-immediate methods for prospects to contact you: email and social media.

People who use these methods don’t expect instant replies, but obviously the faster you can get back to them, the better. Email can be done through web forms, but few of us trust these, and an email address is what most people prefer. Apart from anything else, it’s quicker: when prospects click on your email link, if you’re helpful you’ll have set it up to fill in the email’s subject line automatically, and their own details will of course be included in their email signature, which makes it much easier than filling in a tortuous web form. The sender also gets a record – another reason why emails are liked more than web forms.

Social media is less used, but is a channel you might like to make available. Indeed, I know companies who have a Twitter account which is not used for conventional broadcast purposes, but just so they can put a ‘Direct (Private) Message us on Twitter’ link on their website. Enquiries received this way can be processed like email ones (indeed, you can get email notifications that someone has sent a Twitter Direct Message). I assume the same could be done with Facebook Messenger, although I can’t recall seeing that done.

In summary then:

  • Create a good pre-sales FAQ page
  • Link to it from the top of your contact details page
  • Guide people to the right person or department when displaying your telephone number
  • Ensure out-of-hours prospects are encouraged to leave a message and get a call-back
  • Investigate adding live chat to your website
  • Provide an email address, instead of or in addition to a web form
  • Pre-fill the email subject line to help prospects
  • Investigate offering social media direct messaging as an alternative to email