Warning: most people who read this, won’t implement the recommendations.

Why? Because it takes time, usually involves changes in staff culture, and overall can be perceived as a ‘nice to do’.

It may sound harsh but if you don’t do it, then you’re missing a fundamentally basic foundation to getting the best results from your website visitors traffic.

Still reading? ….

How many of these types of incoming enquiries do you keep a formal record of?

  1. People who buy or look ready to buy.
  2. People who make an enquiry but aren’t ready to buy yet.
  3. Enquiries that don’t look as if they’re going anywhere.

The right answer should be: all three.

Logging all enquiries, regardless of the quality/potential of those enquiries is vitally important because when you know the date and time of enquiry, and assuming that the enquirer was on the website at the time of enquiry, you will be able to determine:

  1. What form of marketing brought the really good enquiries to the website, and how those people moved through your website before making contact. This helps to demonstrate return on investment from your marketing activities.
  2. Where your less-useful enquiries came from. What brought them to the website in the first place?  This can help to focus on business visibility that isn’t working for you.
  3. How many enquiries you had in total, during a time period (which you can then compare to website visitor numbers as shown in our guide visitors vs enquiries.

So what do you need to record about each enquiry you receive?

We advise recording as much of the following information as possible:

  • Date of enquiry
  • Time of enquiry (as close as possible)
  • Contact method (e.g. phone, email, enquiry form)
  • Basic details about the enquirer (name, phone, etc.)
  • What the enquiry was about (e.g. red widgets)
  • Whether the person was on the website at the time of enquiry (for enquiry form/email enquiries, this will be pretty obvious as being a ‘Yes’ but for phone enquiries it’s possible the people had been to the website previously but weren’t on there now.   As long as it’s a natural part of the conversation it’s always worth asking “are you on our website at the moment?”.
  • Perceived source of enquiry (e.g. PPC, organic search, email shot). This is completed when you link the enquiry via A1WebStats data.

With several types of enquiry-related data to keep track of, what’s the best way to keep a record of enquiries?

This will vary, depending upon your business structure and culture.

Here are some options …

Spreadsheet – if few people are responsible for logging enquiries then a spreadsheet could be the answer.   You can download an example one here that you can adapt to match your business.

Shared document – if it’s likely that more people will log enquiries, then an online shared document would work because that allows multiple people to use the same document.  Most people would use the free Google Sheets.  Setting that up would use the same type of columns as you will find within the spreadsheet example.

CRM system – your CRM system may be set up to focus mainly on existing customers and strong prospects, but it may also be possible to easily log all new enquiries into the CRM, to include the type of information shown in the spreadsheet example above.

Sheets of paper – in some businesses, people taking enquiries don’t have easy access to online systems to record enquiries, or culturally don’t want to use them.  The solution is to have either enquiry logging pads (which will contain areas for name, number, etc.) or to use any pieces of paper.   This works if it is then someone’s responsibility to take all the hand-written enquiries and input them daily or weekly to one of the three electronic formats detailed above.   The upside to this is that it is simple and fits in with people’s comfort zones.  The downside to this is that lost pieces of paper mean the details of the enquiry become lost.

 

When you’ve got a strong method of logging all enquiries, it’s time to focus on linking enquiries to contributors.