Emails, texts and social media may be a modern phenonemon, but that doesn’t mean you should leave your phone calls in the past. It’s easy to put an email on the back-burner and reply at a later date, but once that phone stops ringing, you’ve potentially missed your opportunity.
Missing a phone call can seriously affect your business, as overall, you’ve missed a customer- and no customer could mean no sale. To find out how Netcall Solutions can help, browse our professional call answering services.
The customers should really be the heart of your business. They are the reason you earn a living and keep your company going. But it’s definitely not always intentional when you miss a call here and there. Life happens and these things occur unfortunately, but there may be other factors contributing to why calls are missed.
Why are calls missed?
A missed call can be defined under three main categories, the first being a customer calls and the phone continuously rings until it goes unanswered. The second, is that the customer is either waiting in a queue, put on hold or offered a call back at a later date. And finally, the call goes to voicemail and the customer is given the option to leave a message.
But why does it come to this?
- Insufficient staff – You may be a new or small business with limited employees. Funding could also play into this, that you might not be able to employee additional staff.
- Priorities – Answering calls may not be something your company currently focuses on as a top priority in your line of work.
- Other platforms – Your staff are using emails, social media etc. as a form of communication over calls.
- Out of hours – Your calling hours may be limited, and a customer chooses to call outside of these. You may work with customers on different time zones.
- Your current communication system doesn’t meet the needs of your customer demand.
The impact of a missed call
According to research, businesses lose around £90 million a year due to missed calls. How much do you think your business is losing?
The answer could be that you don’t even know.
If you miss 3 calls per week, that’s 156 potential customers missed per year. Even if only half of these customers were making a sale, you’ve still lost out on 78 chances of making a profit.
You probably assume that these customers will just call back, but why would they when another service picks up before the third ring. Approximately 85% of customers whose calls go unanswered, will not call back.
You may also be thinking that in today’s technological world, calls aren’t as important anymore. Statistics show that 80% of business communications occur over the phone. Even though social media and emails are a great way of communicating, calls are quick, direct and to the point. Failing to answer these calls could have serious consequences.
When a customer calls your business, this really is their first impression of you as a company.
If you don’t answer, how do you think this comes across?
The same can be said for your existing customers as well. If missing calls becomes a habit, how does a loyal customer take this response. The answer is, they will more than likely take their custom elsewhere.
If an existing customer is calling regarding an urgent matter, and you miss this call, it is only going to cause further problems down the line.
People are more quickly to tell their friends about a bad customer experience over a good one. If you’re on a social media platform such as twitter, type in “company missed calls”; You’d be surprised how quick people are to tell the world about their negative experiences.
The last thing you want is a poor reputation for your business, especially as it is now so accessible to leave public reviews. By missing calls, you’re giving potential and existing customers the ammunition to tarnish your brand.
What can you do?
Thankfully, there is a solution to avoid all of the above. You can even have multiple options to what your next steps could be, such as:
- Telephone answering services: using services to utilise your calls, whether it’s a call handling team or a few additional members of staff. Flexible services can help your company almost look bigger than it is.
- Temporary cover: Hiring a trained telephone service for a short-term period. This is ideal for peak times or if you’re having busy periods.
- Virtual receptionist: A virtual presence to your company, without hiring an actual receptionist. This is a great way to give a strong first impression to your customers. Also extremely cost effective.
- Message taking: You can specify a service on how you wish your messages to reach you, whether this be email, SMS or fax; ensuring you never miss a moment.
- Overflow call handling: Diverting your calls to another centre during busy periods or just during a meeting, ensures your calls will not be missed.
Your business doesn’t have to suffer when there are numerous flexible options available. By utilising a call answering service, you can ensure your company is covered 7 days a week, and outside business hours.
You’ll never have to miss a call again.
How should a receptionist answer a phone?
Having a basic guideline in place, can help a receptionist answer all calls professionally. A call shouldn’t realistically ring for more than 2-3 if possible. On answering a call, it should be kept enthusiastic but to the point. A greeting which introduces the name of the company, the receptionists name and also asking who is calling. A great start to a call is one that is polite and showing a general interest in the caller.
What qualities should you look for in a receptionist?
- Positive attitude
- Effective communication skills
- The ability to multitask
- Empathy skills
- General politeness
- Previous customer service experience
If you would like help answering your phones please get in touch with us today. We offer a free trial on our call handling and virtual receptionist services.