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Why your best web efforts maybe failing

Do you like many others wonder why so many businesses web efforts fail? Maybe ask them how long it takes to respond to any online enquiries.

You have a business, you take the time to build a website or spend some money and get to build one for you. You fuss about the layout, the content and the design. But then when you get an online enquiry, you can’t be bothered to respond. Does this sound ridiculous? It turns out around 59% of small businesses don’t respond to an online lead enquiry within seven days. That’s just plain lazy and silly if you ask me.

One large corporate (that shall remain nameless) was rumored to have spent over $600k on a recent retail banking campaign that resulted in a rumored total of six new retail customers! (Needless to say, didn’t manage this one.) This is just one small snippet of a myriad of waste and poorly managed online marketing budgets. What is your online sales and marketing department up to?

But the thing that really gets my back up is the complete lack of urgency and response quality with which businesses treat their inbound leads. When I started my career many moons ago there was no such thing as an inbound lead. I and my fellow workers had to get on the phone and work our charm. So have you become to lazy and bone idle? Or do you just not really want the business that you say you can service? If you have sales staff, do you know how long it takes them to respond to an online enquiry? Here is the challenge: enquire yourself and find out! The internet is supposed to make things quicker for your clients and make it easy for them to contact you.

Just before Sydney hit 36 degrees earlier this summer I decided to invest in an air conditioner. I did a search on Google because as we all know Google is my friend and I found three local air conditioning suppliers. I filled in two quote request forms and sent one email to sales. Only one had responded after three business days. That’s right just one after 3 days! I consider this to be a very poor effort. I have money to spend and want your business and you can’t be bothered to call me or reply to my email?

In my experience, your hottest lead is always going to be an inbound phone call. If you have a call centre or a poor performing sales person, you might as well throw your wallet in the ocean!

The second-hottest lead is someone who takes the time to fill in your online form that we set up on your web site or sends you an email. Always respond within 24 hours! Most people will get more than one quote, so the quicker you respond and the more effort you put in to the reply, the greater chance you have of capturing that sale.

A while back, ran a campaign for a home loan lender. Unfortunately, the sales team was unable to get back to people fast enough. Either that or they would call people once and give up if they were busy or not home. The client told us the leads were no good. But when we reviewed the statistics, we found 45% had found another supplier! Why? Slow response and poor service.

Don’t think that because you are dealing with emails and electronic forms, you can treat them differently to any other sales lead. Most of them come from real-life human beings who want to spend some money on your products or service.

Come on people, get with the net program! Answer your inbound leads! Even if that lead is via the internet.

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