I'm the kind of person who thinks hard about a purchase, does some research, but then when I want decide to go ahead I want to get things moving immediately.
So I choose a supplier, based on recommendations and their website (Webbed Feet UK web design in Salisbury can help here), and give them a call ready to spend my hard earned money...
But there's no answer or I'm left with an answer phone, so I hang up and choose the second company on my list. They were comparable anyway, and their service must be better, after all, at least they answer the phone.
The first company has lost a sale because, as with most people, I am busy and didn't want a call back. All they had to do was pick up the phone; that was a costly mistake.
This isn't a dramatisation, it happened to me the other day, only my fourth choice picked up the phone and, as such, they're getting over £1,000 of work.
Don't think it's limited to the phone either; people don't expect an immediate reply to emails, but they do need a reply. A good suggestion would be to let them know that you'll be dealing with their enquiry shortly and let them know when you'll get back. If you’re running a business like a shop or café where people can pop in, then make sure you’re open at all times, otherwise people will make an effort to see you, notice you’re shut, and choose a competitor as their preferred supplier.
Common courtesy never goes a miss and it's something we're always preaching to our team. We’re always here during working hours to answer the phone as we’re aware that a missed call could resulting in losing a customer which costs us not just a single sale, but potentially years of loyal custom.
It’s the little points like this that we adopt that give us the friendly and efficient reputation that we have earned. Although high quality website design is important, customer service could be argued is even more so.