The Importance of never missing a business call

January 26th, 2011

A business cannot function without customers. Even now, in the time of web browsing and the internet, 75% of business revenue for small to medium sized businesses is created from telephone calls [1]. Therefore, a business that continually loses or misses custom due to missed or unanswered calls will either cease to exist, or at the very least, lose a large proportion of their business to its competitors.

In business marketing, there are two factors that can be brought together to build a successful relationship with the customer: communication psychology and integrational technology.

An aspect to consider, in addition to the revenue obtained from the successful completion of a business call, is the subtle benefit of consumer satisfaction. Satisfaction, by effective call completion will in turn lead to return business and fruitful growth through a burgeoning reputation.

Caller satisfaction statistics:[2]

  • 94% of new customers whose calls were unanswered, would find an alternative business to contact
  • 86% of new customers who received the engaged signal on two occasions would find an alternative business to contact
  • 90% of new customers who were put on hold for two minutes or more considered the customer service to be unsatisfactory
  • 78% of new customers who were not contacted after leaving voicemail would find an alternative business to contact

Thankfully, systems have come a long way in development since the use of the answer phone and voicemail in the 1970s and ‘80s. Psychologically, customers do not enjoy using a stand-alone answer phone setup[3], as there is no immediate feedback, making it an emotionally unsatisfactory experience. If, however, the customer is connected after a short time, or, is called back by the business there is a huge amount of psychological fulfilment, which will go a long way to retaining and expanding your customer base.

Phone rage

‘Phone rage’ is now considered to be the number one of rages – even transcending the all too common road rage. Callers list their frustrations as the amount of time taken to complete a call, and a lack of a satisfactory response from the business – both leading to poor customer service. The way businesses can approach this is perhaps to direct the caller to a phone rage helpline (oh the irony!) or, use technological advances improve the total customer experience.

As callers find answer phones unsatisfactory, a way round this is to use a platform that enables the business to receive Missed Call Alerts. An MCA component in a virtual switchboard systems and records the inbound caller’s phone number (if available). If the caller should terminate the call prior to speaking to the business, the details, including time and date of the call are emailed to the business for appropriate follow up. The astonishment at being contacted by the company you are trying to reach must be quite something to behold.

A solution

There is a solution to overcoming the difficulty of having a number of operatives working for a business in different locations. It is now possible to have a system which can distribute inbound calls to a number of different landlines (regardless of geographical location) on a rotational basis, so calls are answered by the first available operator. This function is particularly useful when there are a number of home workers employed by a company, or have staff that need to be on the move.

Also, if a business needs to relocate, as a permanent or temporary measure, phones can be rerouted via a webpage, without the need to wait for weeks for someone else to come and reconnect you, and therefore losing you revenue.

Technology has come a long way in recent years. Perhaps the best way to enhance customer service in the end would be to beam up someone from the business directly to the customer. Maybe it is not too farfetched for the future, but I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

[1] source information cited from Intervoice Ltd [2] source information cited from [3] source information cited from Association of Industrial Psychology