Sometimes Posting Too Much Information Can Work Against Us
By Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD
Over the years I’ve looked at hundreds of telephone answering service websites. A few are great, many are good, and some need improvement. A common page for many answering service sites covers pricing. There are different ways to handle rate information, each with their advantages and disadvantages.
Post Rates Online
Though I’ve never tracked it, I think most answering service websites post their rates and rate packages.
This has the advantage of eliminating budget-conscious tire kickers—who won’t hire you anyway—from taking up your time. It has the disadvantage of conditioning answering service clients—especially yours—to shop for price. Remember, if someone selects your service based on price, they’ll leave as soon as a better price comes along. High churn results. Therefore, I’m not in favor of this practice.
Request a Call
Another approach is to encourage people to call you for more information. You could say something like, “Contact us today for a customized package to fit your specific needs.”
The advantage of this approach is setting the expectation that you will design an answering service solution to meet the unique requirements of the prospect. The disadvantage is that you will invest time pursuing clients who merely want the cheapest service.
Complete a Form
A step up from requesting the prospect to call you is presenting them with a simple form to fill out to receive more information. Since they’re already on your website, this is an easy ask. The fewer questions you require them to fill out, the greater the chance they will complete your form.
The advantage of using a form is more requests for information then if you ask them to call. The disadvantage is even more cost-conscious prospects to weed through.
Use an Online Quoting Tool
An option I’ve only seen a few times, but which bears consideration, is an online quoting tool. Prospects enter their basic call parameters and call volume into an app on your website. Then the tool automatically provides a custom quote to best meet their expected usage. You can either display their custom quote once they enter their information or you can automatically email it to them. Obtaining their email address allows you to follow up.
The advantage of using an online quoting tool is that you can still provide rates quickly to prospects, thereby eliminating those who are shopping for the best price. This also keeps you from posting rates online. The disadvantage is the cost of setting up the quoting tool and maintaining it.
Consider the advantages and disadvantages of each of these approaches based on what you want to accomplish, your position in the marketplace, and how your prices compare to your competitors.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of TAS Trader, covering the telephone answering service industry. Check out his books How to Start a Telephone Answering Service and Sticky Customer Service.