How Virtual Numbers Can Help Small Businesses in the Food Service Industry

Sep 8, 2014

Previously, we’ve talked about the fact that the person who answers the phone when a potential customer calls your business makes the first impression, and has a big influence on whether or not the caller will become a customer.

But let’s rewind for a moment, to before the phone is even answered. What do your callers hear between the time that they dial your phone number, and said person answers the phone?

The time that the phone is blankly ringing could be used to serve the caller’s needs before even speaking to someone. Recording your hours and location, your specials, and any frequently asked questions in a Hosted Messaging system can help address their needs before they speak to a representative. If their questions are not answered using the recorded message menu, call forwarding can route them to your friendly associate who will take care of them.

Changing your specials often help keep customers interested in what you might be offering that day/week. It’s quick and easy to change your recorded messages in your Hosted Messaging system, and your customers will be excited to hear what you have to offer. Allowing callers to hear about your specials in the messaging menu will give them the information they need to make a decision about coming in or making a reservation, so that they are more prepared if they decide to speak to an associate. This way, the time that your associate is spending on the phone with customers decreases, and callers get the answers they need faster.

One idea for creative ways to use a messaging system is to reserve one of the prompts for your neighboring businesses. Allowing callers to hear about other great deals around your restaurant will not only make the other business owners love you, it will also open the door for doing collaborative promotions with your neighboring businesses. One of my personal favorites is a local frozen yogurt shop that gives you a discount with the receipt from their neighboring hibachi restaurant – so you can get dinner and dessert for a great deal. Hearing about this special in their recorded menu when I call to make my reservation always reminds me of the opportunity, and makes me feel like I’m getting even more bang for my buck by placing the reservation.

The beauty of having a recorded message menu is that you can make it as personal as you’d like. Your callers won’t be stuck in a prompt menu getting frustrated – they’ll be hearing whatever information you’ve recorded for them, not a robot. It’s easy to set up a Hosted Messaging system with call forwarding so that customers can both hear your specials, and speak to your friendly, helpful associate.


Jamie Nichols

  • Mac Baza

    If you’re in the food service industry, it would be a great idea to not only have a local number to your business but to also have a vanity number that forwards to your restaurant. It would be a lot easier for a customer to remember 1-855-get-food than a random local number.

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