Marketing VoIP Services To Non-Technical Consumers

March 16, 2007 by Garrett Smith

Not All Consumers Understand VoIP

But you do not HAVE to make them fully understand the technology in order to get them to interested enough to purchase your VoIP service. You do, however, have to give them enough information and understanding of Voice over IP in order for them to be confident in making a buying decision. Here are some tips you can use, as a VoIP Service Provider, to help bolster your marketing efforts in order to increase your subscriber base.

VoIP Service Provider Marketing Tips

  • Speak The Customers Language – Do not use tech speak. Keep acronyms to a minimum. If you had to tell a ten year old what it is that your company does, how would you describe it?
  • Don’t Use High Speed or Broadband Internet to Describe an Internet Connection – 90% of consumers do not know what broadband means or if their service is high speed, after all, even dial-up services promote a higher-speed product. Instead, use DSL or Cable to describe the Internet connection necessary to use the service.
  • Sell Devices That Mimic The Traditional Calling ExperienceVoIP adapters, while cheap, add a foreign device to the calling experience. Rather than wasting your time explaining what an analog telephone adaptor does, sell them and cordless IP phone. Customers are familiar with cordless phones and people like things that they are familiar with. It will save the time and headache of explain why you need and ata and how to install it. If you insist on having a VoIP adapter, make sure you offer one that has PSTN failover, like a Linksys SPA-3102 or Grandstream GS-488.
  • Explain What Happens When Their Internet Connection Goes Down – Do not just make this a bullet point in the fine print. Use it as an opportunity to differentiate yourself from your competition by explaining the issues and making sure your customers have a “back-up” plan such as a cellular phone or PSTN line for failover. Sure you might lose a customer or two, but the ones you gain will trust you. Trust build loyalty. Loyalty breeds lifetime customers.
  • Show Them More Than Price – If the sole decision was price, then they would have switched year ago. Most non-technical customers needs reasons other than price savings to go through the “hassle” of switching their phone service. Promote the convenience of voicemail to email, how they can use a second number so others can call them for free, educate them on the benefits your features provide them.
  • Do Not Make Switching a Hassle – No one wants a hassle. Make the sign-up process easy, have knowledgeable staff answering your phones, have a number porting system that constantly updates the customer on what stage of the number porting process they are currently in. Make sure devices arrive on time.
  • Make Paper Invoices an Available Option – Believe it or not, many consumers WANT paper bills. Due to their “non-technical” nature, they may not be use to or comfortable with paying bills online. Do not make them do it “your way”, allow them to do it “their way.”
  • Stop Assuming and Start Talking – Stop assuming you know what customers know about Voice over IP. I “thought” I knew what people knew about VoIP, but it wasn’t until I started selling VoIP in a brick and mortar retail environment that I started to “get it.” From there, I actually paid a friend to go out and get people to fill out surveys about their knowledge of VoIP. What I found was that most people know little, are filled with mis-conceptions, and really do not care about VoIP. But do not take my word for it, go out and talk to lots of people about Voice over IP.

While it is one thing to identify points that VoIP service providers need to market to, it is another thing to execute on them. Execution, after all, is just as important as strategy. These points are merely a starting point for enhancing the marketing of your VoIP service – do with them what you will.

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