What Are Missed Calls Costing Your Business?
The worst thing a business can do, besides literally burning money, is not pick up the phone when a true, honest customer is in need of its service. As a professional entity, failing to provide the basic service of answering a call can have major negative impacts on your business.
The ramifications are drastic and extend far past just the simple misstep of not picking up the phone.
Missed Calls = Missed Opportunities
When you miss a call, you miss out on what could have been a crucial opportunity to grow your business. When you miss out on those business opportunities, you also miss out on the associated revenue of a closed sale, positive reviews that come from a job well done, and even any future business that could have come from having a positive initial interaction with the potential client.
According to ANA, an independent marketing research institute, a single positive experience can lead to word of mouth that is 5 to 100 times greater than a paid impression. That’s a considerable loss resulting from a completely avoidable situation.
You can always just call them back, right? Even if you manage to reach the client during your first callback, you are now fighting an uphill battle. That negative first impression impacts the sales strategy required to earn their business, which may involve making a lot of compromises and trust-building that you could have avoided if you had answered the phone in the first place.
Businesses live and die by reviews. If the only experience an individual has had with you is negative, such as missing their call, there is no chance he or she will recommend your services to other potential clients, and they may even go so far as to leave you a negative review related to their experience.
This domino effect can then turn one missed call into an immeasurable amount of potential clients who never reach out at all. You have no way of knowing how many people were convinced to go with a competitor as a result of seeing a negative review about your business, so these opportunities are impossible to recover, all resulting from something as simple as a single missed call.
Losing Your Grip On Your Market
Your competitors love it when you fail to captivate the market, as your mistakes are what feeds their business growth. When you miss a call from a new potential client, it is highly unlikely that they will reach out to you again.
However, since you have left their needs unmet, they are almost guaranteed to turn to your competitors. The customer still needs to be provided service, after all. When your customers turn to your competitors, you lose a finger on the market. Then, before you know it, that finger turns into a hand, and then you’ve fallen off the cliff.
A 2018 study states that 80% of all business communication takes place via phone, and when clients are left dissatisfied 60% of them will seek out your competitors for better business. Missing out on a client is a surefire win for your competitor in more ways than one. Not only will they get the financial benefits associated with winning more business, they also get the social benefits, referral business, and will most likely get first dibs on any future business from that client.
Your competitor can then use those extra profits to further promote and extend their business, making it even more challenging for you to compete. In a competitive landscape, you want to ensure that you give absolutely no foothold to competing businesses.
All Is Not Lost!
If you do miss a call, it may not be the end of the world just yet. While never missing a call in the first place is your best bet at winning new business, there are steps you can take to recover from a missed call.
The first step in recovering the missed opportunity is to act fast. If you are able to return the call before they have had a chance to reach out to another provider, then you may be able to make the sale with only a relatively minor hiccup. The longer you wait to reach back out to the potential client, the more challenging it will be to not only reach them, but to convince them of your value.
It may take multiple phone calls to reach them again, and by the time they do pick up, they may have already found another business to work with. If you are unable to reach them again, steps will need to be taken to remarket to that audience to give you another chance, which will cost a lot of time and money.
There are many processes that you can put in place to ensure a missed call is a rare event in your business. Many companies choose to utilize round-robin phone systems or simultaneous rings that give multiple staff members the opportunity to answer any incoming calls. Businesses with a leaner staff may even utilize a call answering or appointment setting service to help manage their incoming calls and schedule callbacks.
It is always better to schedule a future call, or to even take a message for the client, than to miss the call altogether. This shows that while you were not able to help them at that moment, you are invested in their needs and also shows them that your business is professional and forward-thinking.
You should never miss a call if at all possible. For the sake of your business, it’s important that you stay on top of your client calls. So, here’s a brief recap on the consequences of missing a call, and what you can do to stay on the line:
Missing a call may –
- Lead to missed sales opportunities and, ultimately, lost revenue for your business.
- Prompt a caller to write a negative review about your business.
- Cause you to miss out on future business and referrals.
- Be a missed opportunity for your business that your competitors will profit from.
Missing calls is completely avoidable, consider –
- Using a round-robin or simultaneous ring system.
- Utilizing an outside service for assistance.