There is nothing more satisfying than seeing your very first inbound enquiry come in. It is the first tangible proof that all the work you put into creating a fantastic website has finally paid off, and someone out there has actually taken notice. But don’t relax just yet – there is still the matter of dealing with those enquiries once they have arrived – because your response here will determine how successful they will be for you.
There are some different ways that inbound enquiries will arrive at your doorstep, but this blog is going to concentrate on the ones that come to your inbox from your website and online presence. Research into inbound marketing shows that most Australian businesses are slow to get started on online inbound marketing and often don’t make use of the resources available to them, so we are going to discuss three main things you need to keep in mind when handling your inbound enquiries.
Consistency in handling
Processes are important when it comes to inbound enquiries. Somewhere between your inbox and the real world, the ball often gets dropped. How many times have you filled in a form on a website without even an acknowledgement of a response? Your first response should always be to acknowledge the email (this can be automated or manual) and more importantly – actually follow up when you say you will. This brings us to our next point…
Consistency in response time
Once you have promised a potential customer that you will contact them within a certain time frame, actually do this. Most clients conduct over 12 searches before arriving on your site. Any delay on your part will send them back online, searching for someone else to meet their need. A follow-up call in a particular time frame also shows that you are personally reading your enquiries and taking the time to follow up.
Consistency in follow ups
When following up on an enquiry (preferably by phone call), make sure that you are prepared. The fastest way to annoy someone is to get them to complete a form and then call them back only to ask them the same questions posed on the form. Explain to them what solution you could offer, and make sure they receive an answer before the call ends. With online sales, customers got through the majority of the buying cycle before they speak to a salesperson. Help them complete the final step.
Consistency with increased enquiries
From time to time, you may get more enquiries than normal. This could be due to seasonal changes, campaigns or even positive press. Whether you paid for it or not, you should make use of it by allocating the resources required to follow up on enquiries and to make sure your website can handle the increase in traffic.
Following the guidelines above will go a long way towards converting those enquiries into sales – something that every business could benefit from!
Read more in our inbound essentials series of blogs:
- Creating your Buyer Persona
- Buyer Persona: What They Are and Why You Need Them
- What is Inbound Marketing Methodology
- Is Inbound a good fit for my business?