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Marketing Insights for Entrepreneurs

Hate Traffic? Try Talking to Customers.

traffic

In an effort to engage our customers and help them get the most use of our service, we at Grasshopper make sure that every new customer gets a personal phone call within the first week or so, asking them if they need any help, have any questions, etc.

As a manager, I make a handful of these calls each week and I always end up learning something new from talking to customers – seeing how they use our service to run their business and the types of questions that they have.

I really enjoy making these calls but one of the challenges I face each week is finding the time to make them. Often times the end of the week comes around before I know it and I start stressing out because I have so much left to do – and I still need to make my customer calls. This stress sort of bums me out because I know that the best calls I have with customers are the ones where my full attention can be devoted to them. The last thing I want to do is to haphazardly rush through these calls at the end of the week just so I can get my other work done and also put a checkmark next to my name stating that I made my calls that week.

One day recently, as I was about to leave the office and begin my 75 minute trek home in rush-hour traffic, I again realized that it was Thursday evening and still had not made my customer calls. I then had an interesting thought:

Could I make these calls in my car while sitting in traffic?

At first I told myself that this would not be good for the customers I talked to because I would not be at my computer to assist them. I then challenged that thought with the fact that I was pretty sure I could answer any questions people had off the cuff as I do have a decent amount of product knowledge. I also knew chatting with customers in traffic would allow me to really engage with them in dialogue and not be rushed – like it or not, I was not leaving my car for a good, long time.

I decided I’d conduct this little experiment and see the results. If it went well I’d continue and if not, I wouldn’t. Pretty simple. The results of the experiment were actually quite good. Minus the struggling to dial the phone numbers (I’ll pre-program them next time), the calls were some of the best I have had with customers. I was able to help out a couple of customers with basic setup questions as well as have a nice conversation with someone who has a couple of accounts and really loves our service.

So…if you hate traffic as I do and want to use this time in a more meaningful way than cursing at the people in front of you, try talking to customers and making personal connections with them!