With live call answering you’ll never miss another phone call.
Does this sound familiar? It’s happened to all of us at some point. You’re dealing with a client when the phone rings. You’re about to reach for it when the customer asks a question. You pause to answer and by the time you get to the phone, the caller is gone. You check your voicemail, but all you find there is a pause and a click.
You’ll probably never know for sure how important that call could have been to your business. Sure, it might have been a waste of time. It might have been a wrong number. It might have been a telemarketer. But it might have been a potential client looking to price out a large order. It might have been an existing customer looking for assistance or wanting to report an issue. It might have been ..., well let’s face it; that missed call might have been just about anything.
It’s difficult to overstate how important your telephone is to your business. You probably know this, but it’s always worth repeating. Your telephone is your most basic and fundamental lifeline to the outside world. It’s what connects you to your clients and your clients to you. While the proliferation of new technology over the past few years means that there are a number of alternatives out there, the phone is still the easiest and quickest way for someone to get a hold of you in a hurry, whatever the reason. And that means that your telephone is often your first point of contact with your clientele. Add that all up and there’s no denying that each and every missed phone call is a missed opportunity to build your business.
Let’s look at it another way. Think about all the time and effort you put into attracting customers and developing the fabric of your business. Think about all of the money you spend on advertizing and promotions and on getting your name out there in front of the public.
You’ve done all that. You’ve placed you ads. You’ve put up your signage. You’ve developed your website. Then the phone rings! Success!!! It’s all paid off and you’ve caught someone’s eye. You are about to make that all important first contact. This could be the start of something big.
But it turns out not to be the start of anything at all. That’s because, for whatever reason, you haven’t been able to get to the phone on time.
Only you can tell exactly what the impact of that missed call is on your bottom line. It very much depends on your business. For a shoe store or a dress shop it might be as low as a hundred bucks. For a plumbing company or an electrician though, the cost is likely to be well into the hundreds of dollars, not to mention the missed chance for possible repeat business. And for a realtor the loss of a single sale could potentially cost tens of thousands.
So yeah, those are some eye opening numbers. But your sales figures are only part of this equation. In business as in anywhere else, first impressions are vital and, as the saying goes, you only get one chance to make one. You want your business to come across as professional, competent, polite and on the ball. By not answering your phone you’ve achieved the exact opposite.
But missed calls do happen. They happen a lot. Recent studies have shown that as many as a quarter of all calls to businesses are allowed to go unanswered or go straight to voicemail. That’s true right across the board from global corporations to mom and pop’s corner store.
Think about that for a minute. If 25 per cent of your incoming calls are left unanswered, what is the impact on your business? And what kind of impression are you leaving with the people who have tried to call you? Even if you miss just one call a day that’s still more than 350 in a year. Can you really afford to be turning those people away? Some of those callers might try to call again later, but statistics show that the majority of them will not. People are busy. Time is tight. If they choose to call it probably means that they are in a hurry. The chances are that if you don’t answer they’ll simply move on to one of your competitors without thinking twice. Even your best, most established and loyalist customers – the people who are the very foundation of your business -- will give up on you eventually if they constantly have trouble getting through to you when they call.
So what about voicemail? Won’t that work? Well, voicemail’s fine if your partner wants to remind you to pick up a pint of milk on your way home. But for business, it’s not so great. Let’s face it, voicemail has more limitations than a cardboard submarine. It’s horribly impersonal. The caller can never be certain that you got the message. And, perhaps most importantly, a lot of people just do not like talking to a machine. And that’s before you take into account all of the things that can go wrong, from cut off conversations to accidentally deleted messages. Then there’s the inconvenience of having to call people back only to find they’ve already taken their business somewhere else.
We’ve talked about the money you’re leaving on the table by not answering your phone. But as we mentioned earlier, the cost of that missed call can’t always be measured in just dollars and cents. With all of the methods of communication available today people tend to turn to the telephone when they want something quickly or when something has gone wrong. So yes, that missed call could be a lost sale, and lost sales are bad news. But what if the call was from someone who’s had an issue or wants to discuss a problem with you? In that scenario the consequences could be even worse. Leave a customer feeling ignored these days and he or she is unlikely to be quiet about it. They’ll certainly tell their friends and if you’re not careful that negative impression you’ve created by not answering that complaint could wind up anywhere on social media, where it will remain forever. Of course, that may never happen. It probably won’t. But still, is it a chance you should be willing to take?
But there’s a solution
So it’s all quite worrying, isn’t it? Missed calls are certainly costing you money and they are potentially damaging your reputation. But at the same time let’s be realistic. There’s a limit to the number of things you can do at once. You simply cannot do everything yourself and you don’t want the expense of hiring and training additional staff just to answer your phone. Is there anything you can do?
Well, yes there is. The good news is that there’s a simple and cost effective solution that can ensure that your phone is always answered both promptly and professionally by a living, breathing human being.
The solution to all of this is to work with a live call answering service. With a live answering service you can be confident that your callers are being treated both politely and professionally whatever the time of day or night they choose to call. And that holds true 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.
With a live answering service your caller can be confident that his or her message has been received, is being handled correctly and isn’t sitting on someone’s voicemail which may not be checked for days.
With a live answering service you’ll receive your messages with absolute clarity. How many times have you received a voicemail message and later found out your caller had missed some important detail that was vital to what he was trying to say? Even once is once too often. That will not happen when you’re dealing with a professional customer service agent who’s been trained to ask for all of the relevant details when handling your incoming calls.
And this is not just about taking messages. A well trained and professional customer service agent will be able to answer an entire range of the kind of day to day customer enquiries that come up in the regular course of business, so your caller gets the information he or she is looking for right away without any unnecessary delay. Give your call answering service access to your schedule and they can even help set up your meetings and appointments.
And best of all, a live call answering service can work seamlessly as part of your customer service team. Your business will look both polished and professional and you can enjoy the peace of mind of knowing your callers are getting the service they need and that your phone will always be answered by someone who is dedicated to helping you grow and prosper.
If you’d like to know more about the ways Intercon messaging’s live call answering service can help you grow your business give us a call at 1-866-605-2558 or click in the link below. We look forward to working with you!