If you own a business, you know the dreaded feeling of a missed call. Was it a customer, a supplier, or a potential lead? If the caller doesn’t leave a message, you may never know. What’s worse, they may never call back.
Unanswered calls can be painful to a business’s bottom line as potential customers continue down the list of businesses that cater to their needs.
In today’s world of easy internet searches straight from our mobile phones, potential customers aren’t limited to one or two businesses in their local phone book. Approximately 61 percent of Google searches result in a phone call. The entire internet is at a customer’s fingertips, so patronage is often a matter of who answers first. And in the world of online reviews, missed calls can translate directly to bad reviews that discourage other potential customers from even bothering to call.
Answering the calls is just the first step to getting a customer’s business. Customers want to hear a friendly voice and a positive attitude, not a harried business owner trying to juggle too many job titles at once. It can be hard to show the appreciation a customer wants acknowledged when you are stuck in a stockroom, a delivery dock, or even in a meeting or business conference.
What does a business owner to do? Obviously, answer every call possible, and absolutely answer every voicemail or email in a timely fashion. But that can leave little time to actually do business.
The answer? A receptionist, of course. But wait, you’re thinking, that’s expensive! Traditionally yes, but in today’s internet and telecommute-driven world, it doesn’t have to be. A virtual receptionist can be had for a fraction of the cost of in-house employees who come with their own downsides, like sick days and vacations.
A caller who has a positive phone experience is 10-15 times more likely to convert from potential customer to actual customer than someone who has done an internet only search. On the flip side, 79 percent of customers say they won’t call back if calls go unanswered and 69 percent say they won’t bother calling back if they get a busy signal.
Virtual receptionists are the answer to a huge customer service headache. They can answer those calls you can’t, or even every call, leaving you free to run your business more efficiently, and giving your customers a positive phone experience that will lead to more future business.