One of the most important days in a person’s life is their wedding day. And, many would agree one of the most important elements of a wedding are the photographs (and video) recording those fleeting yet precious moments for posterity.
In the competitive business of nuptials, photographers and videographers endeavor to fill their calendars with these events. In order to do so, people like John Graves, general manager of A&A Video/NICO Photo in Houston, Texas, travel to hundreds of wedding shows and conventions around the country every year, collecting and following up on thousands of leads that will inevitably lead to bookings. But, Graves tells us, he kept running into the same problem.
“What we were finding is that my guys were spending so much time dialing and at the same time they were dialing a lot of wrong numbers.”
That was before Graves found CallFire’s Cloud Call Center and SMS text messaging solutions two years ago. “It has changed our whole process,” said Graves. “It allows us to go through those leads a whole lot faster and more accurate.”
What Graves is referring to is CallFire’s multi-line power dialer. What the Cloud Call Center does is streamline the process of calling hundreds and thousands of phone numbers. Rather than hand dialing each one which can take hours and days to complete, agents simply upload a list of phone numbers, design and schedule a campaign and begin calling.
If an agent comes across a busy signal, the dialer moves onto the next phone number on the list. If the agent runs into an answering machine, they can use the SmartDrop feature that allows agents to leave a pre-recorded voice message while they move onto the next call, saving time.
Because of CallFire’s Cloud Call Center efficiency, Graves says, “We saw on average a 20-30% increase in bookings. Those consultations led to approximately 500 weddings in a single year.
“When we put CallFire into place we also put into place appointment setters,” Graves tells us. “It really allowed me to track who was getting through the list and I was able to track and narrow down my team.”
Graves employs up to four agents at a time who work remotely. Because CallFire’s Cloud Call Center stores information and tracks data in the cloud, it gives Graves and his agents more freedom. “I can have them working from home and not worry about it,” says Graves.
“When you have a team that’s outside of your organization you wonder if anybody that calls back or anybody that’s doing business with [the agents] is going to have their contact information and not mine.”
“What we were then able to do was direct back to a specific number,” says Graves. “I was also able to set up [the account] with a number that I wanted on caller ID so I was able to manage things in house and not have all these weird numbers going out everywhere.”
In addition to localizing his phone numbers and track incoming and outgoing calls, Graves can record every conversation, “and, hear what they’re saying on the phone because then you can start to look and see who’s producing and use that as a training opportunity for the rest of the team.”
Ease of use is also an important factor for Graves. “The system is so simple.” His agents had to simply log in and go.
Graves also uses CallFire’s SMS text messaging solution to bring in new clients. “After one of our shows we did a blast text for an open house and we’ve done that a couple of times and got a good response out of it.”
As part of his lead generation process, Graves will run follow-up campaigns to help calculate the value of attending particular shows and measure whether it’s worth the time and money spent to participate.
“We get leads all the time and the worst thing for a company like mine is to not follow up on all of those leads,” says Graves. “It really helps me figure out, ‘Hey, do we want to do this show again, what is the quality of leads I’m getting, are these people interested - did they book, did they not book. Sometimes you have a real flop for a show and this allowed us to see what we were doing from those shows.”
“We cater to a very elite type of client, but we also cater to a budget bride as well. I work in all markets,” which means Graves and his team have their hands full for much of the year. And, while Graves says it’s hard selling videos and photos over the phone, CallFire makes it a whole lot easier.