As a small business owner, you may not consider missed business calls as an issue. Given today’s emphasis on digital communication such as social media and email, it’s easy to forget that phone calls also play an important role.
Unanswered calls are more important than we may think. Here’s the real impact of missed calls on your small business.
What are the causes of missed calls?
Missing inbound calls may be due to:
- Your business has insufficient staff to handle calls.
- Staff members may be busy focusing on other customer service issues such as answering emails.
- A customer calls after business hours or your small business just doesn't have the right technology to handle heavy call periods.
Missed calls - what do they really cost?
Phone calls usually act as an important sales funnel for businesses, with callers wanting to enquire or take up a service. In fact, 80% of all business communications take place over the phone. A telephone line is a direct source of communication to your target customer base making call handling as important as the sale itself.
What’s more, 85% of people whose calls are not answered will not call back, losing that customer for good. This is an alarming rate and can be detrimental to your small business in the long run.
Missing important messages
As mentioned above, there is so much resting on your ability to answer telephone calls in a timely and professional manner. A further downside to missed calls is missing the important messages that come with them. These can be messages from stakeholders, customers or suppliers and could have a negative impact on operations. For example, slowing or delaying processes in management.
Customers can't get in contact with your business
This might seem obvious, but missed calls mean customers can’t get in touch with your team. Important issues such as customer queries and service will go unanswered and can leave a bad impression from the get-go. More than 60% of unhappy customers will take their business elsewhere, increasing churn loss of customer loyalty.
Damage to your business - poor reputation and customer service
Finally, failing to answer calls can lead to poor customer service. 60% of customers will do business with a rival company if the service isn’t scratch. Moreover, unhappy customers are more likely to leave negative reviews on public sites which will lower your reputation and allow your competitors to take advantage of this.
How to solve this - digital lines
Digital lines (VoIP) have more features compared to their traditional counterpart that’s built to handle heavy incoming calls. These call handling features allow for active calls to be forwarded, recorded and important messages sent via email for easy access.
What’s more, is that all of these features can be accessed remotely via a secure dashboard ideal for taking calls on the go. Here are more features that can solve the issue of missed calls.
Phone system features
Keep calls coming in even while on the go, digital lines can be answered on your mobile phone, especially when out of the office. This is ideal for keeping a professional landline presence when working remotely and can help build business continuity. No more missing calls because you’re away from your desk or on a business trip.
Easily record an important call for your records or to review later when you have time on any call, from any device with a simple click. Record calls are also sent to your voicemail for easy listening and are perfect for documented calls or just to keep track of important messages. This can be accessed and referred to again in the future rather than just rushing an active call and missing crucial information.
Out of hours greeting
While it may seem like a small detail, setting up an after-hours announcement will help you present a professional image to all callers even when you’re closed. By presenting a clear, welcoming message containing relevant information about your business, it shows callers you value their time and want to assist.
Voicemail to email
Voicemail to email is incredibly useful for catching up and actioning messages. Receive an audio file attachment or easy listening.
Make sure every message reaches your business and use the voicemail to email service for your business.
Over IP networks, customers can leave messages when they are not able to get through to an operator or out of office hours. The feature will then send a copy of the voicemail directly to your email inbox. Ensuring that urgent queries aren't missed and allowing easy catch-up with specific customers.
Going further, you can also direct your business phone line to your mobile making sure that you can take calls wherever you go.
Call forwarding is particularly useful if you are in the middle of moving out and leaving an empty home or office. Cloud phones can activate call forwarding after a certain number of phone rings and automatically transfer to your mobile phone. This way you can answer calls to your home or office number whilst not being there.
Customers are the lifeline of your business and it’s important to make sure their queries and concerns are addressed in ample time. In fact, 89% of customers will actually switch to a competitor after a single bad experience. Good customer service is all about managing your customers' demands and expectations. It is critical that customers are receiving the right care at the right time to improve customer retention and the whole customer experience.