At 123notary, we have been using analytics for more than ten years. We do this to identify which listings are better quality than others. The issue is that there are 15 different factors we look at and all of those factors have to be weighed to compute a final points score.
One of the issues I have found is that analytics do not apply equally to listings in different placements. Here are some examples.
People who don’t answer the phone lose a lot of clicks in the high range of the search results while in the middle of the search results listings do not lose a lot of clicks on average by not picking up.
People who refuse to talk after answering the phone lose a lot of clicks in the middle of the list but do not in the high end of the list. This data seems to be opposite from the phone answering data. Basically people in the middle of the list don’t have to pick up, but if they do, they had better be nice and talk otherwise they will lose a lot of clicks.
People who argue with Jeremy (that’s me) can get away with it and that will not affect their scores. But, people who interrupt seem to get a lot worse click scores. The difference seems to be that arguing with Jeremy is something people only do with Jeremy, but not with clients because they think that my opinion of them doesn’t matter (boy are they wrong.) But, people who interrupt do this because of a lack of control and probably a screw loose. This screw loose will manifest with everybody. Additionally, if you refuse to answer questions over the phone with Jeremy, this does not seem to affect your click ratios at all.
So, let’s look at the factors in order of importance.
If you have good reviews and lots of them, this counts in your favor as the most important analytic for clicks.
If you score well on Jeremy’s tests, it might not mean anything to you, but the other Notaries do not have the skills to match and are rarely willing to study, so this makes you stand out.
If you have horrible communication skills to the point where someone can barely talk with you, you will lose more clicks than from any other factor.
If you have someone else answer the phone for you, you will lose a lot of clicks.
If you give vague answers to questions, this affects your clicks. Vague answers are a sign of sluggish and unclear thinking. Your clients might want their questions answered in a way where they don’t have to ask for clarification.
Ignoring emails is another way to lose a fair number of clicks. If someone asks you questions by email and you ignore them, they will be less likely to click on your listing in the future or use you.
Refusing to talk after you have answered the phone is a fast way to lose clicks. If you can’t talk — don’t answer. Just send them a text if you feel the call is important.
Having an answering machine that does not state your name is another way to lose a lot of clicks.
Rambling on and on is annoying, but title companies seem to be a lot more patient with this behavior than I am. I recommend controlling what comes out of your mouth on business calls. But, this is a lot smaller of a factor than I previously thought.
Background noise is something I can’t stand, but it doesn’t seem to affect click volume. If you can avoid background noise, you should.
Poor call backs. When you call someone back, refuse to announce who you are, but ask them who they are, and make them repeat themselves three times — to me this is unbearable and rude. But, this behavior for some reason does not seem to affect click rates.
Answering the phone saying, “hello?” seems very unprofessional to me. You have to announce yourself and then ask the person who they are, and instead of telling you they ask who you are after you have told them and then ask why you are calling. Some people you have to ask who they are three times to get a straight answer. However, this used to affect click ratios more, but these days since people are shopping for price more than quality, it does not affect your scores much. I still recommend acting professional if possible.
The analytics that matter are reviews, clear communication, quiz scores, and answering your own phone. Many of the analytics I thought mattered before seem to be very trivial. I concluded that my personal value system is antiquated and does not matter in today’s world. I was running my directory based on what I thought is important. Now, I am running it based on what those who click feel is important. Things have changed in certain ways as a result.