Every call counts when you’re a business, regardless of your company’s size.
Whether it’s an existing customer who needs help, or a potential new customer looking for more information or to speak to a sales person, missing any of these calls could end up costing you money in the long-run.
But you can’t always be around to answer the phone when it rings – especially when you’re a small business with limited resources.
Even if you have a large number of employees, when they’re in the middle of important work – or already speaking to a client or prospect – they can’t leave that conversation to go and answer a separate call.
Missing calls is a huge problem in business, and it’s even harder to manage now with employees spread out due to remote working and working from home.
So, if you’re finding your company missing important business calls, what can you do to reduce the chances?
Six solutions to stop missing calls
1 – Create multiple extensions
Having one central business number is the best way to work with customers as it gives them a single source to contact when they need help. But having a single number also creates a problem if multiple people call and the line is already in use.
Most businesses – at least larger one – create multiple extensions to guide callers towards the right person, whether it’s customer services or sales.
This can work in a single fixed office, but isn’t always possible when your employees and teams are more spread out.
2 – Install automatic call forwarding
With employees working from home and without access to a business number, it could mean them using their personal phones for work.
But employees may not be willing to give their personal number out for business purposes as it can break that barrier between work and their personal lives and they may end up feeling like they can’t switch off.
One potential answer is to install automatic forwarding onto your business number that redirects a caller to a personal line, without giving the personal number out.
This is something you can then switch off after hours.
However, there can be a lot of administration that comes with managing forwarding to multiple numbers and there’s always the potential that a person could be forwarded to the wrong team member simply because theirs is the only number available.
3 – Use call queuing when you can
If you have limited resources to answer the phone but don’t want to risk a caller going to voicemail and hanging up, you could always add call queuing as an option.
We’ve all likely experienced this at some point, like when calling a Dr’s office and being told we’re third in a queue.
It’s not ideal though as you could leave callers waiting a long-time, which could be frustrating and risk a customer escalation once you do get them on the phone – especially if you’re not able to resolve the problem immediately.
In fact, 25% of customers say they’ll give up contacting a business and not try again if they’re left on hold for too long according to research by NewVoice.
4 – Use a digital or virtual phone system
Virtual phone systems (like Voice over Internet Protocol) are essentially the modern, technically advanced version of call forwarding.
You can set up a single business number for customers to use, but because the system operates over the internet rather than a single fixed line, it means the calls can be answered by any phone in your business that’s connected to the system.
This can come with some significant investment however and could also bring higher maintenance costs.
5 – Hire a full-time receptionist
Of course a simple solution to your call answering problems is to hire a receptionist or other member of staff to handle all of your incoming calls.
This can create a single point of contact and a resource that can either forward calls to the right team member, or take messages to be returned later.
However, full-time receptionists also come with challenges.
For one, they’re expensive (at least £20,000 in base salary, plus tax and holiday and national insurance payments).
Plus, hiring a single person to handle the phones quickly becomes ineffective if you have multiple calls coming in at once as once your receptionist is on the phone, they’re unable to deal with other calls.
6 – Consider hiring a telephone answering service
With a dedicated telephone answering service you get many of the benefits of the solutions we’ve already mentioned, but without the higher investment costs.
For example, you can retain a single business number so customers have an easy point of contact.
With a call answering service you get a team of receptionists who can cover each other – rather than a single person – so you don’t have to worry about missing calls when once receptionist is already helping a customer.
Plus a business call answering service only charges you for the time they’re helping customers. Whether it’s based on time spent on the phone or volume of phone calls, the investment often works out significantly cheaper than hiring a single member of staff.
This kind of business service is also highly scalable so you can always increase or decrease your capacity in line with your requirements at a given point.
Could a call answering service help your business?
In today’s remote and mobile working environment, it’s important to create a single point of contact for customers, without limiting your team’s ability to work from anywhere.
With a telephone answering service you get that single point of contact that can handle all your incoming calls to take messages or forward calls on to the right member of the team, without the big tech investment or administrative headaches you’d need with other options.
Plus, a call answering service can help with other aspects of your business, whether it’s:
- Qualifying leads
- Removing you from sales lists
- Handling repetitive, basic customer enquiries
Call answering teams can handle all this for you.
Want to know more?
Think a call answering service could benefit your business but not ready to make a full commitment? Or want to see proof?
06th November, 2023
Posted by Face For Business