If you’re missing calls then what else are you missing?

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Business owners have more to do than sit by the phone…

The fact is business owners are often involved with the running of the business; meeting clients and prospects, ensuring the business is delivering its promises, and sometimes are distracted with managing staff.

As a result, not every call will get answered.

At best, this makes someone (perhaps a client) feel un-special, at worst, leads to a missed business opportunity.

Nobody knows how much this costs small businesses per year – especially with

the increase in use of unknown numbers and the great British dislike of leaving messages on answer machines.

20% of all ‘new’ business comes in by phone and 80% of callers will not ring back if they can’t speak to someone.

An exercise then

  • If your turnover increased by 20%, what would be the increase in pounds? (Let’s say company X has an annual turnover of £50,000, 20% of that would be £10,000 in new business coming in by phone, according to the rule above).
  • If a business generally misses 10% of those calls (let’s say 10 out of every 100) – 2 might ring back, the other 8 don’t and the opportunity is missed.
  • Using the stats above, that’s £800 of new business lost, 8% of total growth.

By using a good call handling company, those calls will be answered, the cost of this service for client X would have been around £8.

A good call handling company can be shaped around the companies requirements – ensuring owners keep control of costs i.e. to manage overflow only, to take messages when the call is not answered or to speak on behalf of the company as a virtual reception.

How much fee earning time is spent on distracting calls?…

We all feel the pain of unsolicited calls, and the majority of people are kinder than necessary leading to lost time and a break on productive momentum.

Again, no two businesses are different but most astute businesses owners will know theirs/ their staffs’ value to the business,

in pounds. Let’s say only ten minutes per day are lost to such calls, multiplied by 252 working days per year equates to 42 hours – a weeks worth of each individuals time!

A call handling company can either filter calls ensuring you only get to speak to those you want to or can take messages on behalf of the company (often texting the message to the owner).

Do mobile phones suffice as a professional contact detail?….

As many small businesses are on the go and have their eyes on cost – it’s very common to have a mobile number as the main form of contact. What choice do you have?

Call handling companies can provide services such as call diverting/routing which will divert a call to a National or regional number, straight through to a mobile phone.

Do your clients expect your business to be available 24/7?…

Especially for business-to-consumer companies (B2C), customers may often ring out of hours, don’t forget, they are likely to be at work during the day.

Many businesses in fact coin a whole competitive advantage through being available 24/7 as the modern day customer demands it and many of their rivals cannot offer this promise (particularly B2C service industries).

Yes we are business owners but we also have lives and families to take care of! At the same time, we do want to be customer-led.

One simple solution is to use a call handling company to take unanswered out of hours calls only and fill in as your company. A good handling company will be able to deal with common requests such as advice, order taking, postal/ email requests.

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