When running a business, customer responsiveness and availability is essential. Repeat business and new prospects are the lifeblood of your company. Missing a phone call can cause loss of revenue and potential damage to your reputation. This article covers some of the points to consider and think about.
When running a business, customer responsiveness and availability is essential. Repeat business and new prospects are the lifeblood of your company. Missing a phone call can cause loss of revenue and potential damage to your reputation.
Therefore, always maintain a close eye on the calls you receive, but an even closer eye on the calls that you don’t receive or have missed. Do you have enough capacity to process your current demand? If not, then where is the bottleneck? Is it with your service provider or with you?
Let’s take a look at a few of the potential impacts on your business, and how a consultation with your telecoms provider could help move you in the right direction.
Did you know that 80% of all business communications take place over the phone? If you are a small business targeting growth in the short term, you must capitalise on every available opportunity. While it might not seem realistic to attend to every call and query, bear in mind that every missed call spells poor customer service and ultimately a loss of revenue. It is estimated that UK businesses lose over £30 billion each year due to missed calls, with the cost of missing just one call to be around £1200.
If you discover that you are failing to answer significant numbers of calls each day, you risk setting up a negative impression. Word of mouth is just as important in the age of social media as it ever has been. It creates trust and is one of the lowest cost methods of promoting your business. Research from BT shows that 20% of new prospects will only call once.
There are missed calls due to not answering calls in time, but then there are also calls which have never even reached you due to a capacity issue with your service. Is your telephony provider able to offer missed call information? The worst part for businesses missing calls is that they might not know they even have a problem. A business might already be taking plenty of calls and a healthy revenue each day and might not realise that they are missing further customer opportunities. It is a simple problem to overlook, so make sure that you are able to access missed call reports from your telephone service.
Probably the main cause of unanswered calls is a lack of availability. That may be due to a lack of staff or down to a lack of capacity on your service e.g. not having enough telephone lines in place. The latter is simple to solve and will require the advice of your service provider.
For challenges around staffing, speak to your provider about more efficient ways of handling customer enquiries. Implement auto-attendant and queuing functionality to reduce the probability of callers hanging up. Look at multi-channel solutions for receiving enquiries through messaging services such as Whatsapp for Business, Twitter, SMS, Facebook Messenger. These still require staffing but allow agents to simultaneously deal with multiple customers. Focus on improving your self-service strategy to enable customers to help themselves before picking up the phone. Small changes such as these will vastly improve the customer experience and subsequent client retention.
Requesting a plan of action from your service provider will help remedy any configuration glitches on your telephone system. Changes may include increasing your telephone line capacity, changing your hardware and even upgrading your Internet connection. Multi-channel solutions and advice on hiring more team members, or even outsourcing your call handling are other considerations which may need the input of your IT service provider.
Call reports and plans will indicate where change is needed. With statistics and analytics, you can gain visibility of how changes will reflect to an improvement in customer service and subsequently retention and revenue. Too much information can also be a hindrance, so start by focussing on core performance indicators (PIs) which can help to uncover some of your immediate obstacles. A good place may be to start with PIs such as number of missed calls, total call time, average call time. Tracking even these three indicators will help you to assess customer engagement at a very high level. Moving forward you can then delve deeper to analyse more involved statistics to help cultivate a fully performance driven customer engagement culture.
Telappliant is the managed service provider of choice to over 6000 UK businesses. Our suite of telephony, connectivity, IT and cybersecurity solutions will make your business more efficient, more competitive. We offer free IT audits and provide trials on all of our services, so why not contact us today about moving your business to the next level?