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Who answers your phone? I havn't had a real person to do this for me in many, many months now. Thinking about a service like this: http://www.acena.com/focus/electrical

Anyone ever use an answering service for full-time phone answering and dispatching for other than after hours calls? Anyone ever looked into it? Your thoughts on the matter....
 

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I actually say "We're not able to take your call right now, but we encourage you to call our mobile #xxx-xxx-xxxx or you can reach us on the web at www.blahblah (not real link!) on our answering machine. I have a home office with 2 handsets, so my wife can fend a few during the day if she's around. I know mobile calls can be distracting during the day, but I'd rather fend them for myself. E-mail to phone is wonderful, you get the message, but reply when practical. Many of our repeat customers have moved that direction. And I explain to them why that is a benefit to me.

ie. Top of 10' ladder through ceiling grid!

(our company email is forwarded to my blackberry)
 

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I've found that if people are looking for you specifically, they can reach you, with answering machines, cell phones and the like.

If you're looking for cold calls from the phone book, then yes, you better man the phones.

The only time someone calls me out of the blue, and out of the phone book. They need service now. And they start with the A's and work down 'til they get a human. I've found that most of these jobs I didn't want anyway!

If you have a good name and track record, chances are someone told the potential customer to call you.

Every business is different, mine does not warrant someone sitting by the phone.;)
 

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NJ-IEC
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It's always far better to have a real human being answer your incoming calls! Studies have show, time and time again, you lose a good amount of calls to a recording.

I read about that in MarkUp & Profit for Contractors by Michael Stone. I definitely believe it too. I absolutely despise being connected to a pushbutton number menu. I think it really comes down to how well you want to treat your customer base.
 

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I read about that in MarkUp & Profit for Contractors by Michael Stone. I definitely believe it too. I absolutely despise being connected to a pushbutton number menu. I think it really comes down to how well you want to treat your customer base.

Excellent book :thumbsup:

I've had a professor from Purdue University Dept of building construction management program tell me the same thing. I believe it as well. This does not mean that you have to pay someone to "man the phones", it can be as simple as forwarding and picking up your cell phone! A happy customer is a repeat customer! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
... This does not mean that you have to pay someone to "man the phones", it can be as simple as forwarding and picking up your cell phone! A happy customer is a repeat customer! ;)
That's what I'm doing presently, and it is becoming very burdensome. I work the tools every day for 8 hours a day, and answering the phone is getting on my nerves. I'm not very "administrative". If I can get a reliable third party to be my "front office", that would be great. I just don't know if anyone's been down this road before, and has any hints.
 

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NEC Educator & Consultant
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My wife works for me as well so she answers the phone at the office but I also have my cell phone as my main number also and I get alot of calls that way too. if I am too busy I just let it ring to voice mail...if they can't leave a message then I don't worry about it as it must not have been too important.

I do love my NEXTEL free incoming calls......I get calls coming in from all over the country....and it costs me NADA....same with local calls as well.

They offer a free week Marc....give them a try and let us all know...:)
 

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Yeah it's old but still a viable and useful thread.


I know mobile calls can be distracting during the day, but I'd rather fend them for myself. E-mail to phone is wonderful, you get the message, but reply when practical. Many of our repeat customers have moved that direction. And I explain to them why that is a benefit to me.
In the past two years I have done much more of this myself. Most of my customers who are into e-mail (and text messages) are pleasantly surprised that I do this. They think contractors are not in touch with the real (modern) business world where e-mail is king.
I truly feel this gives me a psychological edge over the competition, at least around here. :thumbsup:
 

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That works just fine and the answer machine just needs a new tape every (2) years.
You carry a pager and your answering machine has a tape???

Dude, the 80's called. They want their technology back. :laughing:
 

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Scotchkote Installer
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You carry a pager and your answering machine has a tape???

Dude, the 80's called. They want their technology back. :laughing:
I know.. I have to ask people if they know how a pager works :laughing:
 
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