Great customer service is key in business; it helps to build customer loyalty, creates an edge against competitors, and is the source of many sales opportunities. In today’s culture of texting, social media messaging, and emailing, it can be easy to forget about the telephone and its crucial role in securing profits and building relationships with customers. All too often businesses underestimate the effect of missing calls, often assuming that callers will try again later. However, with BT estimating that the cost of missing just one business call is around £1,200, it’s time to take action.
Here we examine the astonishingly high cost of missing a business call and ways this can be avoided.
Customers often need your services or products urgently, so missing their call may incur their frustration, meaning they quickly seek out an alternative company for their needs. Their perception of your company becomes negative and they feel undervalued. This is disastrous for your business, particularly if you rely upon repeat and regular customers.
Missing calls can impact upon your company’s financial health for years to come. Although BT estimated an average loss of £1,200, Computer Weekly found this increased to £9,000 if a small or medium-sized enterprise could not be reached for a further 24 hours.
Given what’s at stake, it may seem puzzling that a company would miss a call. However, missed calls within a business generally mean that the company has insufficient resources at peak times, the company is prioritising other means of communication, the calls are coming through outside of business hours, or the communication system is simply failing to meet customer demand. It should also be noted that 77% of small-to-medium businesses allow flexible working patterns and 45% encourage hot-desking, meaning that calls can fail to reach the correct person.
How can missed calls be avoided in business?
It can be difficult to justify having a dedicated person or team for handling incoming calls. Employers find themselves weighing up the cost of hiring specific staff against the loss of potential business from missed calls. However, there are smaller, less costly solutions to the missed call conundrum.
Customers are usually calling your company to reach a specific person or service straightaway. If you implement call routing, you can ensure that this is what they get. Call routing plans also mean that you can receive business calls on your phone after office hours, if this is appropriate for you, or even have all of your company’s phones ringing at the same time in response to the same call.
You may wish to consider a telephone answering service, meaning that when all of your lines are engaged, or your office is closed, or the phone can simply not be answered at that time, a dedicated, outsourced team are on hand to handle the call.
Missed call alerts – emailed notifications whenever a call is missed – can also be hugely beneficial.