You’re in a meeting, you have another client waiting, your desk is piled with paperwork, and your phone is ringing off the hook. Naturally, you brush everything aside and focus your attention on the person sitting directly in front of you. After all, that is the polite and proper thing to do, right?
You simply cannot do it all so you have to let some things go. You tell yourself that once your meetings are over, you will organize the paperwork on your desk and check your voicemail – giving yourself some time to return all those calls.
Ah, just another day at the office.
Well, truth be told, as important as it is for you to stay engaged in your in-person meeting, all those calls you let just land in voicemail can really hurt your business.
The Importance of Phone Calls
As much as our society loves to text and email these days, the telephone is one of the fastest ways to get things done. You dial a number, someone answers, and you take care of business. That is until someone doesn’t answer.
Nearly all businesses have set business hours. And, during that time, your customers count on being able to reach you. Perhaps it is a new potential customer calling to learn information about your product. Maybe it is someone who is currently a customer, but he or she is having a problem with your product or service. Then again, maybe this person has been faithful to your company and has referred many to you, as well.
Whatever the reason, this goes to show you that phone calls are one important way in which business is handled. So, when you don’t answer, you don’t handle your business. Overtime, the result could lead to devastation for your business.
Why Missed Calls Happen
Rarely do individuals intentionally miss phone calls. Rather, there are other obligations and activities that pull our focus in one direction or another. For instance, you may miss business calls in situations such as these:
▶ Not placing the proper emphasis on your phone calls. In a list of priorities, you may have other items ahead of telephone calls, such as emails. However, answering your telephone when it rings should be a priority.
▶ Deciding to rely on your voicemail since you have it, rather than taking care of the calls yourself. Customers don’t like receiving voicemail and many will choose not to leave a message if they receive it. You may have to consider those calls lost.
▶ Handling business away from your desk, resulting in missed calls.
▶ Packing your schedule too tight that you just don’t have the time. Or, maybe you just need a mental break from all the chaos so you simply ignore the call.
Do one of these scenarios explain why you find yourself not answering every call? Then again, it could be one of the many other unmentioned reasons so many business calls go unanswered every day.
Missed Calls Cost You – Literally
Let’s think about something for a moment. If you have a showroom and it was full of customers, would you walk away and do something else? Would you let your customers wander alone and never be available should they want to buy something?
No way, right? You could potentially miss out on a lot of sales with this approach!
Well, here’s the thing – when you don’t answer your phone, you are, in a way, doing the same thing. You are missing out on potential sales and happy customers. And, well, we all know the value of a happy and satisfied customer, don’t we? Believe it or not, a large percentage of those individuals who call you and don’t get the response they are looking for will often move on to one of your competitors!
You may be telling yourself that it only happens occasionally, but that one missed call among hundreds can cost you. Do it very often, and you will start to feel the pain.
Unanswered Calls Can Have a Long-Term Impact
Your lack of concern over answering every one of your calls can lead to some negative long-term impacts for your business. Having good customer service is hard to beat – and it is not hard to provide. Your customers want to feel important. Unfortunately, when you don’t answer their calls, well – you aren’t doing a very good job of showing them they are valued.
When you lack proper customer service, here’s what often results:
▶ Your company will gain a poor reputation with your customers.
▶ The lifetime value of your customers will decrease.
▶ It will become more difficult to convert leads.
▶ Negative word-of-mouth advertising, as well as poor online reviews and posts, can be detrimental.
Successful businesses value their customers – and they make it known. When your customer is happy and satisfied, they can quickly become a walking billboard for your company. But, watch out – when you aren’t there for them via telephone when they need you – those same individuals can cause you a lot of distress.
What You Can Do About It
You could get technical and analyze all your calls that come in as well as your existing ways of doing business. Of course, you could go out and purchase portable devices so that no matter where you are – in the office or out – you have a phone readily available so that you may stop what you are doing and answer.
Or, you could leave the phone answering up to someone else without having to hire any new employees. That’s right – hiring a virtual receptionist means that you always have someone to answer your call – live – so that your customers know you have their back.
A virtual receptionist will answer your calls and route them as you wish – and you can continue working just as you have been without any fear of missing another call again. Not only does this allow you to better maintain your focus, but it is also a great way to nurture your current customers and convert future customers!
Remember – it only takes one missed call to start causing damage. Don’t put the success of your business at risk.