113 – Should we give our clients telephone support?

In this episode:

Discussion – Should we give our clients telephone support?

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So this is an interesting discussion – should we be available on the phone to deal with client issues for our WordPress website business?

I have had this conversation so many times in the past with so many people! We all know that, in the right hands, a phone can be one of the best ways to engage with your clients. You can get to the root of the problem really quickly and help them get to a solution. You can explain your thoughts clearly and in a fraction of the time it takes to write the same ideas in an email. Unlike an email thread, the phone conversation evolves quickly and you can tease out nuances you never could from email…

Unless you can’t! Perhaps you’re averse to using the phone. You don’t like to talk too much about the work you are doing; you trip over your words and feel nervous at the thought of talking to clients. Maybe you have a habit of saying ‘yes’ all the time and cannot stand up to people when they ask you direct questions. For you, the phone is a nightmare that is best avoided!

We all have different businesses and your approach to the phone is something you need to work though.

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Have you found that the phone never stops ringing with clients who feel you’re an employee of theirs, someone who they can contact at the drop of a hat to do whatever they need doing – right this minute? Maybe you’ve struggled to ignore the phone when it rings in case it really is the once in a lifetime call you cannot miss? Do you struggle to keep client conversations on task and find that most of the time on the phone was wasted with small talk?

One way that people seem to tackle this is to put systems in place to prevent the phone from ringing too often. Booking systems which allow users to book an appointment with a specific start and end time are popular and can be very effective. You have clarity on the timing of the call and you can manage your calendars so they only occur during times of the week that suit you.

Also, there’s not a heap of new platforms cropping up which allow you to place chat widgets on the website and this can be a useful barrier to the phone. The client can begin the conversation and you can reply if you are free and available, or just ignore it for now. But then, isn’t this just the same as email?

In the podcast some members of the WP Builds Facebook group suggest what they do to combat this issue. They are:

  • Make your number go straight to your answer machine within a few rings. If the client really needs you, then they will leave a message, and you can record a message which explains your process.
  • Just ask clients to use email only.
  • Use a booking system like Book Like a Boss, or Cogsworth to make the clients create their own bookings.
  • Tell people exactly how long you’ve got at the start of the call so that it does not overrun.
  • Give your phone number only to people who are on a paid care plan.
  • Embrace the phone and get good at using it. It’s a skill and you can learn to be good at it.

It’s an interesting chat and something that we all need to deal with, so go listen and let us know what you think in the comments.

Mentioned in this episode:

Special thanks to all the members of the WP Builds Facebook Group who took the time to help us with their thoughts on this subject. They are…

Mark James, Adam Lacey, Shawn Morgan, Dave Cocking, Jonathan Perez, James Barratt, Robey Lawrence, Manuel Rosenboom, Mor Cohen, Dirkje Evers, Michael Miller, Jenni Brown, Athlone Harris-Compton and Eric Strickland.

I’m sorry if you contributed to the original post, and we did not mention you here!

This is the link to the guy who takes over scammer’s computers.


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Nathan Wrigley
Nathan Wrigley

Nathan writes posts and creates audio about WordPress on WP Builds and WP Tavern. He can also be found in the WP Builds Facebook group, and on Mastodon at wpbuilds.social. Feel free to donate to WP Builds to keep the lights on as well!

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