Having people reach out to you feels great. It could mean a new donation, or a volunteer ready for action, or maybe someone is interested in your mission and services! Whatever the reason, you want to be prepared to handle that contact and their needs – give them your full attention and be of help.
It can get overwhelming, though, right? You can very quickly find yourself playing catch up, working to keep up, and ultimately feeling drained and unable to be the best you. Enough with the missed opportunities!
Sometimes people call, sometimes they shoot you an email. Sometimes they even message you on Yelp. For a team to handle these properly, you need to have a unified CRM (Client Relationship Management) tool where you can collect every interaction with each of your contacts. Not having this unified database for your team to refer to takes up time and leads to mistakes. Leads fall through the cracks. Opportunities are lost. People are let down.
Custom contact forms can be especially helpful to gather specific information from your users. More about that later!
It is also important to evaluate your contact/sales process through the eyes of your leads. Is your contact information readily available? Are users able to get in touch with an actual person? Do they have to go through a laborious process just to schedule a call? Are you consistently able to respond and resolve? Go through your lead process and test out your user experience.
It is easy to measure the return on sales from leads that contact you, but what about lost leads? There is no telling how many potential leads you lose due to an unnecessarily convoluted intake process.
Every point of contact you have should be examined for its reason to be. A great way to do this is to think of scenarios in which being contacted by someone could be useful (to you or them).
There are ways to build your reputation and sense of authenticity while keeping your finger on the pulse of your community. Much can be learned about what you are doing right as well as what could be improved, by establishing and maintaining contact through review websites like Yelp.
Direct phone calls and in-person meetings are another great way to connect with your audience. Unregulated and unscheduled, however, they can become disruptive to productive work. Services like MixMax, HubSpot and Calendly can help by letting people schedule calls or meetings that work for them as well as you without you lifting a finger. You set your availability, they do the rest. Did you just save yourself from two weeks and fifteen emails spent trying to schedule that next meeting?
People are contacting you to learn more about you, your services or your programs, and you have the opportunity to shape their experience for the better by gathering relevant information immediately with their initial contact.
A custom contact form, for instance, can gather the specific information you need from a Volunteer, including their availabilities, experience, application, and more. Think of how much time you could save. Few, informative points of contact are always better than endless email chains or phone tag.
Contact forms offer an immediate and direct, yet curated, line of communication to your website visitors.
Forms allow you to learn more about your visitor’s needs. When you fill out Sabra’s contact form, for example, we ask you about your project and the services you require. Before setting up a meeting, we have general information about your project and which of our team members will be required to complete it. We can then be more prepared for our first call by discussing solutions in advance with our team.
Sometimes you find yourself writing the same email over and over. Keeping up with all the people you have to regularly follow up with can be overwhelming.
With tools like Hubspot, you can create email templates you can quickly use and customize. You can also create automated but personalized series of response emails that can help in any number of situations, including checking in on leads or donors without lifting a finger. Set it and forget it!
Tools like Zapier, Hubspot and Calendly can also help automate your scheduling process. You set ranges of time for each day of the week, and let others find a time that works for them!
It may seem counterintuitive, but setting a clear schedule for calls and meetings, rather than taking calls on the fly, will ultimately make you more able to be fully attentive to your audience’s needs.
Automate the growth of your Mailing List by automatically adding people who opt in as they submit information through one of your forms.
You know they are interested in what you have to say if they are using your form, so why not make it easy for them to request even more!
Contact forms can be used to collect documents, too! Automate your Application process by accepting Resumé’s, Cover Letters, Recommendation Letters, or any other file you need directly from your custom contact form.