No matter what industry you are in, your business is likely to miss calls. A few missed calls may seem insignificant to your bottom line, but those calls can add up and begin to negatively impact your business--and revenue!
In this blog, we'll discuss why businesses miss calls, the impact a missed call can have on your business and revenue, and how to best solve the issue of missed calls. Feel free to jump to the section that you'd like to cover.
Why Do Businesses Miss Calls?
Businesses miss calls for three main reasons:
- The business is too busy to answer calls
- Customers call after hours or on weekends
- Customers choose to hang up
If your business is experiencing one of these situations, it can be stressful to you and your employees, as well as harmful to your business. After all, a missed call is a missed opportunity.
Is My Business Too Busy To Answer Calls?
Your business may be too busy to answer customer calls if:
- The receptionist or person responsible for calls also has a handful of other responsibilities and isn't able to make it to the phone everytime it rings.
- The receptionist answers calls, but your business is receiving so many calls that it is impossible for a single employee to answer them all.
- You are out working on a job when a caller tries to get in touch and aren't able to stop work just to answer a call.
Why Do Callers Hang Up?
Maybe your business isn't technically missing calls, but still seems to lose callers (and customers). Callers to your business may hang up if:
- Your customer calls for an inquiry, but after hearing the phone ring one too many times, they choose to hang up and call a competitor.
- The customer is put on hold or put in a queue by an IVR system, loses patience, and calls a competitor. .
- Your caller waits past all of the rings (which can take between 35 and 45 seconds), hears the voicemail come on, and decides to hang up.
Is Voicemail Hurting My Business?
Many office managers believe that installing a voicemail will solve their missed calls problem, but this could actually be adding to it!
While some companies like to think that a voicemail is good, consider how often you check your business voicemail. Is it every day, every other day, or maybe when you see it has become full? By the time you check your voicemail and call a customer back, they most likely have booked a job or scheduled an appointment with another provider who did answer their call.
Even if you check your business voicemail religiously, you could still be missing out on potential customers. This is because most callers will not leave a voicemail.
What Impact Does A Missed Call Have On Business?
Most business owners don't consider missed calls to be a big deal. After all, how much of an impact does it have on potential customers?
While it is true that in today's digital world, consumers do a good bit of shopping online, 80% of business communications take place over the phone.
This means that when your customers call your business directly, they are likely to do business with your company. They've done all the research online, read reviews, and have chosen your business. All you have to do is answer the call!
But what happens when you miss those calls?
Missed Calls = Lost Revenue
You never know what a caller has in mind whenever they dial your business number. They could have questions about hours and directions, or they may be ready to make a purchase, schedule an appointment, or book a job. Missing that call means you are missing out on potential revenue for your business.
Callers Experience Poor Customer Service
If your receptionist misses a customer's call, the caller either hears a voicemail, or an IVR system. Neither of these make a caller happy and can cause customers to feel frustrated.
Your Business Reputation Suffers
With missed calls comes poor customer service. And as we all know, people tend to tell their friends when they have a bad experience with a company. Don’t let one upset customer spread their experience with friends simply because you were unavailable to help them.
Your Company Misses Out on Referrals
If your company has a bad reputation, you’re not going to receive as many customer referrals. According to Forbes, referrals are the most valuable form of marketing, and they require no financial investment. Don't let a missed call cost you free word-of-mouth advertising.
How 24/7 Call Answering Services Help Prevent Missed Business Calls
Once you've determined the root of your issue and understand how it is impacting the success of your business, it is time to solve the issue and make sure you’re providing exceptional customer service.
There are several options for this, including hiring additional staff, paying employees overtime to take calls after hours and on weekends, working with a 24/7 answering service, or even hiring a virtual receptionist.
So, which alternative to voicemail is best for your business?
If you want to handle things in-house, hiring additional staff and/or paying current employees overtime to handle calls when your business is closed is your best option. Your staff knows everything about your business already, and will likely enjoy the overtime.
Tip: Give your employees some extra training for handling calls and message taking, "Guidelines & Training Tips For Customer Service Agents".
Be sure that your staff doesn't become overwhelmed and that they are able to answer all calls made to your business, even the 2am calls or the ones rolling in on a Saturday night. If they aren't able to, you'll find yourself back in the same situation of missing business calls.
Partnering with A Dedicated Answering Service
If you want to guarantee all of your calls are answered, consider partnering with a 24/7 premium answering service. An answering service can prove beneficial as they are able to answer any time, including weekends, late nights, and holidays.
A premium answering service will work with you and function as an extension of your office. With a premium answering service, most callers will think they are talking to someone inside your office. What is a 'premium' answering service?
Working with a Virtual Receptionist
If you want to gradually outsource after-hours calls, consider working with a virtual receptionist. A virtual receptionist is a great choice for any business owner looking to cut costs of a full-time receptionist, without losing the benefits.
A missed call can have a significant impact on your business and eventually your pocket book. Determine which solution is best for your company and work to turn those calls into customers!