A true story from one of my own accounts inspired me to write this blog post. Cue anecdote:
The Little Bike Store That Couldn’t
In one of the many meetings I was having with this particular client of mine (for anonymous purposes, let’s say they ran a bike store), I sat with them to discuss the current marketing programs they were running. They had approached me stating that they weren’t sure if they were seeing a return on their investment in marketing.
After analyzing the leads and having a significant discussion about their goals for the upcoming year, we had decided to focus their marketing efforts on a particular brand of a bike. One key thing they had noted in our conversation was that although we had optimized their site and PPC campaign on this product, they rarely saw any leads.
As a result from that conversation, we decided to heavily focus on this particular bike brand for the next few months and invest our marketing funds in that. In addition to this, we also have our proprietary CRM system that allows us to see all the form requests that come in as well as record phone call conversations with customers.
A couple of weeks later, I decided to personally go into the CRM system and check in on the leads. What happened next genuinely shocked me. And I’ve seen Gigli.
In the first phone call I heard, the receptionist answered the phone after 5 rings and put the potential customer on hold immediately. After the PC waited on the phone for a minute, he was greeted with a voice that suggested the receptionist wanted to go home.
Shortly after the customer said that they were looking for “This Particular Brand of Bike,” the receptionist said “We don’t have those in our store.”
We don’t have those in our store.
Immediately, I thought of all the leads we had generated by focusing on this brand product for the past two weeks — as well as any and every lead sent for this product in the past two years of PPC and SEO.
I proceeded to hear the rest of leads answered with the same response. By 3 other receptionists.
We were effectively losing leads, completely on our own account. I still remember the voice of a potential customer stating “But it said on Google… ”
The only thing that was more uncomfortable than hearing that was hearing those phone calls with my clients. They couldn’t believe their ears and were honestly so upset about their leads being referred out and getting lost by their own customer service.
Oh Boy. That Sounds Almost Impossible. There is No Way That Would Ever Happen to Me or My Business
As account managers, it is our sole job to not only ensure that we help our clients with their online marketing efforts, but also act as a full extension of their marketing team.
This means looking beyond the picture of traffic and leads but also understanding what is happening behind the scenes once your business gets a lead. Without integrating customer service and lead handling, we will never truly be able to conceptualize what your ROI should be.
If you run a business and are investing in marketing, a key component that you must measure, along with results, is also how your leads are being responded to.
Some key questions to ask yourself:
- How does customer service respond to our leads?
- What is their follow up procedure?
- Do we take too long to respond?
- Are we approachable, friendly and courteous?
- Are we helpful? Do we answer all of their questions?
This may be quite obvious to most business owners, but in reality customer service often gets overlooked when it comes to understanding overall ROI — when in fact, this is essential.
To summarize, if you are currently running online marketing initiatives, I would 100% recommend that you also monitor and gauge staff to see how your leads are handled.