Missing a call every once in a while might not seem like a big deal, but do you really know the impact it’s having on your business? Not only in terms of reputation but also finance?
We’ve headed into a period where there’s a multitude of tools and tricks we can be using to make our businesses as profitable as possible, utilising analytics from our email campaigns to using social media to generate business leads.
‘Digital ignorance’ can cause an SME to grow much slower than they should be and affects profit, with new research estimating that UK businesses are losing £90millon in sales revenue per annum, purely from failing to answer their phone calls. Combine this with digital inexperience and losses could be much higher.
In recent years we’ve seen an increase in different methods of customer service, from pop up live chats to virtual assistants, such as Amelia. Are we forgetting the more traditional (and dare we say, more effective) methods of interacting with customers?
The study found that missing a single phone call cost a business an average of £1200. Once someone has called once and either waited on the line too long or simply not been answered at all, they’re likely to take their query elsewhere. The report analysed 1600 IT leaders in SMEs and found that if the business was unavailable for a 24 hour period the loss of each missed call equated to £9000.
With more reliance on cloud computing and outsourcing calls because 77% of SMEs are implementing flexitime, this means that connecting your call to the right person is becoming increasingly difficult. The financial impact on missing calls is far greater than you might think. The study found that the 63,400 SMEs surveyed lost more than £36 million during 2013-14.
Missing a call may not seem like the end of the world but it’s important that if you’re not going to be available, you’ve got a contingency plan! Ensure your call routing is adequate, if you’re not going to answer the phone then a professionally recorded voicemail or a call handler who can pass on a message are definitely better options than losing business.
You can also use your IVR messages to promote channel shift; for example, directing the caller to an appropriate page on your website where they will find a satisfactory answer to their query.
Lost calls result in lost business, make sure you address this by firstly aiming not to miss the call by setting targets! There’s also call logging software than you can download to keep track of lost calls, giving you something to aim for. Secondly make it easy for your callers to get to the right person with a clear and concise menu and thirdly if the phone can’t be answered, callers will be much less put off when they hear your professional and friendly voicemail. If that’s what you need to stop losing out on business then you’re in the right place!