No matter what industry you are in, your business is likely to miss calls. A few missed calls may seem insignificant, but those calls can add up and begin to negatively impact your business--and your revenue!
In this blog we'll discuss why businesses miss calls, the impact a missed call can have on your business, 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
- Callers call after hours or on weekends
- Callers 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 oppurtunity.
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. 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 another provider.
- Your caller waits past all of the rings (which can take between 35 and 45 seconds), but 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 it actually could be adding to it!
While 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. It's something that isn't ideal, but does it make much of an impact on potential customers? Don't most customers just go online when they want to make a purchase?
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, 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 these business calls?
You Lose Revenue
You never know what a caller has in mind whenever they dial your business number. They could just have questions about hours and directions, or they may be ready to make a purchase, schedule an appointment, or book a job. If your caller is calling to make a purchase, missing that call means you are missing out on revenue for your business.
Callers Experience Poor Customer Service
When your in-house 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 have poor service.
Your Business Reputation Suffers
With missed calls, comes poor customer service. And people tend to tell their friends when they have a bad experience with a company.
Your Company Misses Out on Referrals
Along with the bad reputation comes a loss of customer referalls. 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 advertising.
How To Stop Missing Business Calls
Now that you've determined the root of your issue and understand how greatly it is impacting the sucess of your business, it is time to solve the issue of missing buisness calls.
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.
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.
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?
If you want to gradually outsource, 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.
No matter the reasoning, 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!