SHARING PHONE WORDS
Sargeants Conveyancing found there’s a better way to make a ‘Contact us’ online bring in more business, simply share an easy to remember 1300 phone word — 13000 SARGEANTS.
There are two very simple rules for helping customers connect with your business:
- Make contact easy — Print your phone number and website address on all promotions, from business cards to shopfronts, stickers to signs.
- Respond quickly — Don’t leave your new or existing customers waiting for a response. The faster they can talk with someone, the faster you can do business.
Brad Mayberry runs three conveyancing offices as part of the 40-branch Sargeants Conveyancing group in Victoria. Given the number of locations operated independently but under the same brand, it has always been important that Sargeants’ clients can readily access the right solicitor in the right location.
Sargeants Conveyancing’s website, www.sargeantsonline.com.au, serves two purposes. The first is to quickly establish the network’s credentials when someone searches for a conveyancer. “It’s really important these days for a business to have a strong online presence,” says Mayberry. “More people start their search on the internet, so the more presence you have, the stronger you are within search engines, too.”
The website’s second function is to direct new customers to a real person in an office close to them. The traditional ‘Contact us’ page with a huge list of phone numbers has been replaced with a central 1300 phone word (13000 Sargeants) and multi-site IP-Enabled Communications Systems (IPECS). When customers call the 1300 phone word, the auto attendant asks them to choose the Sargeants office nearest to them with a push of a button and they’re switched through. At the point the customer hires Sargeants, a file is created that links the customer to their specific, local conveyancing team.
“Customers want accurate work by our internal solicitors who will oversee all their files,” Mayberry explains. “Each file is allocated a particular handler in each office, so the client isn’t being passed between people all the time.”
While a growing number of enquiries come via email, the business heavily relies on its phone systems when details are being discussed. And with almost 10,000 customer files, Mayberry’s three offices need to quickly link conversations with work in progress. Records of conversations, messages, emails and other correspondence are all saved on file in central servers.
Good tech supports growth
Mayberry says when Telstra installed the IPECS and set up Sargeants’ 1300 phone word he saw immediate cost savings. “Each office used to have its own phone number, so I had to advertise each office under a separate number.”
Before, calls between branches couldn’t be simply switched, which meant extra call costs either to the client or the business.
“As I branched out [he’s soon opening a fourth office in Williamstown, Vic.], I wanted to be able to transfer calls through the switching system. Now I advertise one central number and can add more offices to that as we expand.”
Another bonus with his new Telstra business phone system is bill certainty. “My phone bills had been up and down like a yo-yo,” he recalls. “So when I spoke with Telstra about upgrading, they said ‘Why don’t you sign up for a fixed price contract, where this amount is all you pay each month for a particular term, and you’ll get a certain amount of call credits or value for software or products you want to purchase’. That’s when I bought all my phone systems for all of my offices.
“I now also have one local point of contact with Telstra, and that certainly helped me make my decision. So now that it’s in place, it’s helped my business move forward, with everything working a lot smoother.”