With all the focus these days on mobility and electronic communications, businesses that advertise only a mobile number and no business address could be harming their business.
The latest research by Roy Morgan and Servcorp (Feb 2016) titled Secret killers of business success confirms that businesses are throwing away potential customers.
A staggering 82 per cent of respondents will call a business that has a recognizable CBD address versus one that has a PO Box address or no address at all.
Another 86 per cent want a business that provides multiple ways to contact them that lists both a fixed landline and mobile number.
In fact, a local address (no. 4) and a fixed landline (no. 5) are rated in the Top 5 most important factors when choosing which supplier to contact at 65 per cent and 52 per cent respectively, almost as important as the quality of the website (equal 2nd) and online reviews (equal 2nd) at 68 per cent each! Personal recommendations leads the list valued by 98 per cent of respondents.
86 per cent of prospects prefer a business that provides a mobile number and a land line. Having a land line contact number is more important than the quality of a business’ advertising (32 per cent) and brochures (21 per cent).
What do these findings mean?
Businesses without a CBD address and that only have a mobile number are missing out on thousands upon thousands of dollars of potential contracts. They are losing out on 63 per cent of prospects who will not do business with a supplier that has no local presence.
Worrying for the small business owner is that 47 per cent of respondents stated that meeting in a café had a negative impact, while those who choose to meet a client in their home office for the first time had a 24 per cent negative impact.
75 per cent of respondents stated that meeting in a professional business environment had the highest positive impact.
“With 67 per cent of respondents saying that a first impression was very important, it is essential that businesses of all types and sizes ensure that having a professional business environment is a priority,” Marcus Moufarrige, Servcorp chief operating officer, says.
“A good first impression is a great way to start a conversation. It goes a long way to building trust and if you create a bad first impression you spend a long time trying to win back their confidence.”
“That’s why we invest so heavily in our prime CBD locations and quality people because we are a premium brand and we want our clients to make a good first impression.”
There are no second chances!
Even more concerning for those businesses that don’t have a professional office or location is that 66 per cent of respondents won’t give a supplier a second chance if a bad first impression is made.
“With the worry of finances in mind, businesses will often side with the cheaper office provider to save on rental,” Moufarrige says. “But these businesses don’t realise just how much impact a prestigious business address, an exceptional receptionist, a professional meeting place and a robust IT and communication infrastructure has on their business’ longevity and prosperity.
“Servcorp solves this challenge for businesses looking for a smart, scalable and cost-effective solution, which will deliver a profitable return on their investment.”
Businesses are also closing their doors on prospective customers when they don’t have a reliable call-handling setup.
Businesses that respond to calls with a PA or colleague will win the hearts of 83 per cent of prospective customers, who stated they prefer to speak to a person when contacting potential suppliers.
The research confirmed that many people don’t like to leave voicemails. 40 per cent of prospects will not leave a voicemail if they can’t get through at first contact.
In fact, how quickly businesses respond to enquiries could be the main reason a prospect chooses to do business with them.
79 per cent of respondents regarded ‘speed of response’ as the No. 1 factor influencing their choice. Surprisingly, this was even more important than the quality of your advertising, which didn’t even make the top 5.
“With commercial tenants it is about trust and providing a stellar service. That’s why we present a professional office and highly-trained staff to help with their business. We’re putting the service back in a Serviced Office” Moufarrige says.