This is part two in a two-part series. You can read part one here.

In part one of this two-part series on the connections between answering services and sales, we discussed the many direct ways that your answering service partner can influence your sales numbers, from offering inbound sales experts to optimizing suggestive sales opportunities.

In the second part of this series, we’ll explore the indirect ways that your answering service will continue to influence sales, even after the call is over.

What a Good Impression’s Worth

Every member of your team, even your answering service partner, should be leaving your customers with a great impression.

This goes a lot further than simply making that customer’s day, as it turns out. Although it’s certainly nice to have a happy customer, even your accountant can agree that there are dollars and cents ways that your answering service team can influence sales days and weeks after the call is over.

These are just a few:

  • Increasing customer engagement. Gallup’s State of the American Customer report made some interesting discoveries about customer engagement. Although it’s long been understood that brand marketing was the way to go, we didn’t know just how valuable true emotional engagement of customers could be. According to Gallup, a fully engaged customer is worth about 23 percent more than the average customer that picks up the phone.
  • Raking in referrals. When a customer refers a friend, it says something about your company — the same when a customer tells their friends to stay far, far away. American Express explored this relationship further and discovered that more than 90 percent of customers will talk about experiences with companies, both good and bad. In 2014 every happy customer was likely to tell about eight other people about their positive experience with your company.The really neat thing about that is that 42 percent of the people surveyed then turned around and said they’d be more likely to try a new company on the recommendation of a friend or family member. Based on these figures, for every one excellent customer experience, you could reasonably expect three or four new customers to come calling, which is not small potatoes at all.
  • Improving your brand’s reputation. Maybe you’re not a Fortune 500 company, but your company’s reputation is worth a lot, isn’t it? After all, you don’t want to be the company that everybody starts believing will provide poor service or over-priced goods. Even though your customers might not have a particular experience to point to, their interactions with your team day by day and week by week shape their opinion of you.

As time goes by, those customers act as brand ambassadors if they think your company is worth the effort. This is how companies get great ratings on Yelp, Angie’s List and similar sites—bit by bit. Make sure every interaction counts, even if your customers are just calling to check the time your shop closes.

Everybody focuses on the value of a first impression, but the truth is that every impression matters. From the moment your customer picks up the phone to the moment their service or retail order is complete, they’re forming an opinion of your company. The best way to ensure a lasting benefit from each impression is to ensure each one is positive and professional, the help of partners like answering service companies can make all the difference.