But, I get it, there are just so many places and platforms to keep tabs on today.
People have countless ways to contact your business – it’s no wonder you can’t keep up with it all.
There’s; Email and forms, Text and SMS, Phone and voicemail, Website Chat, Google Business Messages, Facebook messages, Instagram direct messages, Reviews in 3rd party sites, And the list goes on…
But, what if you had an automated way to funnel all of those potential inquiries from prospects and leads into one place that allowed you to elegantly and automatically respond immediately?
If managing a million channels sounds intimidating, don’t worry. I want to share my strategies with you for handling all of your incoming leads and lead communication with speed and personalization. All while feeling clarity, confidence, and control in your customer lead management.
In this post, we’ll discuss how to communicate with your customers and how small businesses can automate and unify those channels to better manage their interactions in today’s dynamic, non-linear buyer journey—leaving you better prepared and one step ahead your competition.
Find out how to use an automated follow-up system by booking a free online consultation with us.
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How To Automate Lead Management Today
Where business owners are missing tons of opportunity today
A big part of making your customers happy is understanding them and communicating in the way they want. But I get it. There are just so many places and platforms to be aware of today.
People are now contacting businesses from Google business pages, SMS, third-party sites, emails, reviews, social media, and 50 other channels. And yes, you’re supposed to create content and engage in all of them, or you’ll lose many opportunities daily.
One way to help build a lead management engine is to start using the technology available to automate your communication. The primary way you can meet your customers where they are is by having an automated way to funnel all of those inquiries from prospects and customers into one place that allows you to elegantly and automatically respond.
The holy grail of lead communication today
I always educate our clients on the importance of making it easy to collect customer information and creating a seamless communication experience with your audience. But, as a small business, it is practically impossible to do this right without using technology to automate the flow of lead management. Here are some helpful tips.
How SMS is one of the drivers of change
Now that you understand why a business has to start automating lead communication let’s dive into some of the drivers of change. You can use these thoughts to change how you contact your audience or to explore new techniques and channels to get in touch with them.
One of the drivers of this change is SMS. Everybody has a phone, and every single one of those phones has SMS functionality.
Some people don’t think SMS has a place in business, but data shows the opposite. Surveys indicate that around 48% of people prefer to communicate via text with a brand, especially early on in the awareness stage of the buyer journey.
It means that if you’re not using that technology as a part of your overall communication strategy, you are missing tons of opportunities. In fact, I would suggest some buyers will not do business with you if they don’t see that functionality available. That’s just where we are as consumers.
The role your Google Business Profile plays
If you’re a local business, you should optimize your Google Business Profile as much as possible.
There are several huge advantages to creating a Google Business profile. First, it’s free so why not? Secondly, the real estate on Google’s SERP is extremely valuable, especially on desktop. Having a Google Business Profile helps your business secure a good portion of that valuable first results page real estate.
To get setup you’ll need ensure that you have only one listing for your business, select the right business category and subcategories, and finally, take advantage of all the real estate and linking options available to you.
But that’s not enough. Google wants its users to have the best experience possible when looking for answers online. That’s why they are attempting to capture all forms of communication, including text messages.
If your Google business profile is showing up at the top of the search results, one of the functionalities that they’ve added recently is text messaging. So, instead of calling you, get directions to your business, or going to your website, customers can just send you a message.
Many small business owners don’t know where those messages are going, resulting in lost business opportunities. Again, here’s where a unified communication platform will become increasingly important, particularly for local businesses.
Social Media Lead Management
It doesn’t matter what you sell or how you sell it. In today’s world, you need to be accessible to your customers through your social media presence.
95% of consumers, ages 18-34, are likely to follow a brand through social media channels (MarketingSherpa). And with 79% of American internet users on Facebook, it is the most used of those channels (Lyfe Marketing).
It means that your audience is there, and again, you have to meet them where they are. But how to use social media in your communication strategy? Here are some of my best practical tips:
Create a great customer experience by giving your audience an easy way to communicate with you that they are already familiar with.
Show your customers that you care by listening and responding to their questions and concerns quickly.
Receive and respond to reviews. While you can certainly get reviews from dedicated sites, don’t forget that Facebook pages provide a place for customers to rate your product or service. Caring about reviews is key to providing excellent service, so getting as many as possible is important. And responding to the good and the bad quickly is even more important.
Don’t make every social media interaction about business. The brands people want to work with today are the ones that teach people something and make them feel smart and empowered, so create content to help your audience and avoid talking about you and your product every time.
Especially if you have developed unique procedures internally that guarantee that somebody will get a great result, you have to show them that process.
Find out how to communicate efficiently by booking a free online consultation with us.
With an all-in-one customer and lead communication service, you can quickly respond to every query from customers on Facebook or Instagram easily and all in one place alongside email and other channels.
How can Small Businesses apply unified communication?
As I said before, speed is critical when it comes to lead management. But what does speed really mean? Let’s have a look at two examples. Follow me on this one.
How many calls do you miss because you’re on the phone or whoever was supposed to answer didn’t get to it? Hiya discovered that, on average, Americans miss more than half the phone calls they receive.
Imagine if you had the functionality that every time you missed a call, that person got an immediate text saying, “Hey, we missed your call. What can we help you with?”
They’ll respond if interested, and now you have a real conversation going.
Imagine that people could schedule an appointment and receive text reminders like, “Thanks for scheduling the appointment. Or “Hey, your appointment’s in a day.”
There’s no doubt that It’s becoming necessary to have that follow-up automated as a part of a lead management strategy, and there are platforms and businesses out there that have been doing it for a long time. Your dentist, famous restaurants, and maybe your AC contractor or plumber do it consistently.
Now let’s look at our next example. Reviews. That’s another process I continuously encourage small businesses to automate if they want to scale and grow.
Imagine you just finished a great project, and now you just had to press one button in an app to send a text asking for a review automatically. And then, when that person did the review, you could respond smoothly within the app.
Lead communication is challenging but highly beneficial if you do it right. To profit from it, ensure to meet your buyers where they are today and communicate with them efficiently. Doing so will help your local business stand out from the competition and boost your success rate.
I know it’s challenging to find all the places people are interacting, but with sufficient enough commitment and the right tools, you can follow up with your customers within five or ten minutes, making them far more likely to convert.
We’ve built the solution that will allow you to have unified communication with your clients. Book a free online consultation with us if you want to hear more about this new way of running your business.
For more detail on how to automate your Lead management- book a free online consultation with us here