In utilizing unorthodox working methods like hot-desking and on-the-go productivity, you have probably injected an appreciable degree of flexibility into your business operations. However, has all of this inflicted an adverse knock-on effect on your ability to take customer calls promptly?
Sadly, statistics suggest so. In the UK alone, SMEs yearly lose £90 million in potential sales revenue due to missed calls, ITProPortal reports. If you often leave the phone ringing, you could be leaving precious money on the table, too – here are good reasons why…
Let’s crunch the numbers when it comes to missed calls
An analysis of 1,600 SME-based IT leaders and IT service users has revealed that, on average, just one missed call costs the business in question £1,200. If that business still doesn’t answer follow-up calls over a complete 24-hour period, the average loss can total £9,000.
Worse, according to the research, smaller, more resource-strapped businesses tend to be hit hardest by missed calls. Between April 2013 and March 2014, 63,400 companies with a worker tally of between 20 and 49 lost, overall, £36,518,400 as a consequence.
The effect that this negligence can have on customer loyalty is startling. One report from Business Insider reported 28% of people shedding “brand loyalty” in the wake of poor customer service. 78%, meanwhile, would be reluctant to shop again with a brand if their complaint was badly handled.
What’s to blame for missed calls?
It’s clear that, the longer a business fails to answer incoming calls, the more customers and custom it can lose. However, prime culprits for missed calls, it seems, include two ways of working that have apparently, on the whole, made businesses more productive: flexible working and hot-desking.
With research revealing that 77% of companies allow flexible working while 45% permit hot-desking, calls appear to face numerous barriers to reaching their intended recipients. Therefore, the onus very much needs to be on efficient call routing.
Four-fifths of workers are said to spend time away from the office, while over half rely on three different devices for communication during work. However, rest assured that your customers will not care how their calls are routed, only that those calls get through to the right people.
Potential remedies for the problem of missed calls
In turning to a telecoms provider, you could be pleasantly surprised by the range of call routing plans on offer. For example, it’s possible to have your phones rung in a particular order to ensure that, if the initial line is unavailable, the call can be moved onto another line, and so on.
You could alternatively have all of your firm’s phones ringing simultaneously in reaction to the same call. Outside the usual work hours, calls could even be forwarded with a bespoke routing plan; for example, a call typically meant for your office-based system can be redirected to your mobile.
All of these call routing plans are available from Planet Numbers, which has published an informative guide on why missed calls can often mean missed business.