Expert Awards

phone calls

Problem Calls: Home Expert Awards

When you run a service company, your success or failure is entirely dependent upon convincing clients to go through your business. That means your phone is your literal lifeline. When it’s ringing, you’re in business. When it isn’t, you might be in trouble. But not all client phone calls are created equal, and sometimes it can feel like you’re fielding the same calls over and over again.

We asked our experts what phone calls they get the most often–and which ones they’d like to get less. They had a lot to say about the vital role that customer cold calls can play in their businesses!

Below, we’ve compiled a few of the helpful answers our experts provided. Check back later in the week for a follow-up article!

What problems do you get called about the most?

Do you ever get calls about problems that aren’t within your expertise?

What problems do you wish customers would stop calling you about?

What things do you wish you’d get calls for more often?

Most Inspiring

"The only calls I get that I’m not entirely comfortable taking & are out of my expertise are bathroom/kitchen remodeling as I’m not certified. While I can help with color, furniture & accessory choice (as well as the organization & storage solutions), remodeling these rooms is out of my expertise & comfort level." read more

DeAnna's comment reminds us that no matter how much you want to help a client, their problems are not always within your expertise to solve. It's important to know what the boundaries of your own abilities and certifications are, and to pass on projects that go beyond them. Knowing your limits is best for both you and for your potential clients.

eLocal Expert Network

Most Creative

“Certainly, calls are opportunities even if you only provide advice or an ear. In my business we get calls for all kinds of pest issues, but many times people believe they have a pest issue, especially when one thinks something bit them or another member of the family. ... I went as far as putting together a 3 page list of all the things suspected bug bites can be.” read more

Mark came up with a creative solution to a type of call he was receiving frequently. By paying attention to what customers were calling about, he was able to identify the need for a resource and provide it on his website. Having a pre-written fact sheet like the one he mentions is one way to help clients without spending too much of your own valuable work hours discussing problems that may not be in your power to fix.

eLocal Expert Network

Most Insightful

“Problems are sometimes real and other times perceived. By offering too much of a sympathetic ear it may nurture bad habits and encourage clients to complain rather than fix the problem at its root or focus on a solution (preferably one outside of the box).” read more

Kahshanna's comment clearly outlines one of the main dangers of creating too close of a relationship with a client. It's good to let clients know that you are on their side and want to help, but you don't want to make yourself their go-to person for every little problem. That can quickly cross the line from a business relationship to too personal, and it can get in the way of finding real work with other clients.

eLocal Expert Network

Most Articulate

“I think that because we are business owners, and professionals we must take on our call of duty and help the customers. Whether the questions irritate us or not, they are reaching out for help. I always try to answer my customers questions. If I don't know, or know someone who does i try to steer the customer into that direction. Its too easy to become annoyed.” read more

When you work in the service industry, it's your job to make sure customers' problems get solved. Sometimes that means dealing with repetitive or annoying calls, but that's just part of business. Even if you can't solve a customer's problem yourself, steering them in the right direction will leave them thinking well of you, and earn you a second call when they do have a problem you can fix. It's all about building positive business relationships.

eLocal Expert Network

Most Informative

“We receive calls where the client is comparison shopping. It may be mildly annoying, but it’s pretty standard. The calls we most love to receive are those from existing customers. It’s fantastic when someone has been so happy with their plumbing services that they now come to us for expert advice.” read more

Tammy reminds us that, while many types of phone calls may be annoying, they are all just part of doing business. Clients are going to comparison shop, and it's your job to make sure the work you do is worth the price, so that customers come to you again in the future. After all, those cherished repeat clients usually start out as cold-calling customers.

eLocal Expert Network