You’re busy running your business. The phone rings, but you simply can’t answer. Whether you’re dealing with a customer or on the other line with another vendor. It’s just one phone call, after all. But what if that one phone call you just missed cost you $1 million?
Missed calls cost you
The odds of a $1 million call coming in without any warning isn’t very likely, but it’s losing money by not answering the phone is a likelihood. Even if it was just a prospective deal calling for the first time, if you don’t answer the phone, your caller isn’t likely to leave a message unless they are highly motivated to speak to you. And when most consumers are shopping around for business, they aren’t likely to leave a voicemail. They’re more likely to call the next business on their list.
Those missed calls add up
A lead begins with an internet search. This consumer lands on your website, then looks for a number to call. Almost 50% of the calls that come into your business take place after an Internet search. That adds up to a lot of leads. And, had you answered 100 percent of those calls, and a percentage of those calls convert, that’s a lot of sales you’re missing out on just by not answering the phone.
Missed calls cause damage
Not only are you missing out on leads by not answering your calls, you’re also projecting a negative image in several ways:
- Negative first impressions. If you don’t answer your calls, prospective customers are going to be left with a bad taste in your mouth. Being sent to voicemail projects the image that you’re not effectively running your business and providing good customer service.
- Lack of professionalism. If you’re consistently missing calls, it looks like you don’t care about customer service and that you are understaffed and disorganized. This not only will cost you leads but it may cost you your existing customers.
- Lost marketing and advertising dollars. If you’ve taken out an ad, placed a billboard, or any other marketing or advertising strategy to help drive in leads, then that money is wasted if you can’t answer the phone when those leads come calling.
- Lost referrals. If you can’t provide great customer experience, your existing customers are hardly likely to refer you to other people. Word-of-mouth marketing is a great lead generator and those opportunities are lost if you aren’t able to answer the phone.
How to handle missed calls
- It’s not possible for you to answer every call that comes into your business. Whether you’re busy with existing customers, or it’s after hours or the weekends, a percentage of your calls are going to end up in voicemail. Here are a few tips to soften that blow for your customers and leads.
- Have a great voicemail greeting. You want this to be friendly, empathetic and informative. Let customers know when they can expect to hear back from you. Provide alternative methods for contacting you that may have a faster response, such as email or social media. Thank the caller for their time and interest and guarantee a call back.
- Check voicemail often. Customers are interested in getting quick responses, so if you can, try to check your voicemail during multiple points during the day. Think about how your typical work day goes and figure out the best times to take a few minutes to listen to your voicemail messages.
- Prioritize your call backs. While it would be easier to call back in order of the messages received, some messages take priority – such as time sensitive ones. Prioritize by urgency and then set aside the time to start working on your callbacks.
- Take ownership of the missed call. You can regain integrity by apologizing to the caller for not being available. You may offer a quick explanation of why you were busy, then thank the caller for being patient and for their interest. This show of humility is a great way to engage the customer.
Never miss another call
A great way to handle your call volume and ensure all your calls are being answered is by hiring an answering service. With an answering service, all your calls will be handled by live operators, who will take a message and then send your messages to you. This way, all calls coming into your business are handled with human touch and the caller will be reassured that their inquiry is being recognized.
Choose an answering service that does it all
VoiceNation has been in business for more than a decade and has served thousands of clients to make sure no call or lead is ever missed again. With custom scripting and US-based operators, VoiceNation answers your business calls just like you do. Operators will take messages and send them directly to you through the VoiceNation mobile app, online dashboard and through email and text. More than that, VoiceNation operators can also take payments, process orders, set appointments and more. High quality and affordable phone answering is just a call away! 877.679.3777.