Call Handling: Is Your Phone Costing Your Profits?
How to stop your inbound phone manner losing you business ...
POSTED BY JACQUI FROST ON 01/10/2015 @ 9:00AM
According to a recent survey, the market researcher TNS Global discovered that 40% of UK consumers are unhappy with the way their calls are handled by businesses ...
It's amazing that 40% of consumers think businesses don't do their call handling right!
I think you'll agree that 40% is a significant proportion of YOUR customers and potential clients. What's more, in this same survey, 73% of respondents said they "will not do business with a company again if their first call isn't handled satisfactorily".
These statistics prove the importance that your clients and customers place on Call Handling. But if the statistics are to be believed, it would seem that far too many companies continue to let their phone manner let them down.
After all, when you do the hard work to get a prospect to call and enquire about your products or services, why would you undermine all your hard work with poor Call Handling practices such as:
Failing to pick up
Keeping the caller on hold for an unacceptable period of time
Making your caller speak to a number of tiers before reaching someone who can help
Requiring your caller to speak with a machine - rather than a real person
Poor Call Handling etiquette from the individual who does answer
First impressions matter
The way your business deals with inbound calls speaks volumes about your company. It's for this reason that your Call Handling should be congruent with the marketing and brand building work you've done, to persuade the caller to enquire in the first place! So if you've presented yourself as a friendly, professional outfit, that promise disintegrates, if the phone is answered in a shoddy, substandard, unsatisfactory way.
But far too many businesses do this. Far too many small businesses fail to recognise the importance that their customers place on the phone. All too often the decision about how to man that front of house medium is based on what's convenient and most cost-effective for the business - not what's best for the customer. Are you making this oversight too?
Get a competitive edge
Due to the amount of poor Call Handling that consumers experience, it won't take much to give yourself a competitive edge. Remember, 73% of customers won't do business with you again if your phone answering lets you down. In comparison, make the right first impression and you'll not only retain more business, but you could win more too.
It's common sense
Best practice Call Handling isn't at all difficult - it just requires commitment:
When you pick up, tell the caller the name of your company so they know they haven't misdialed - don't wait for the caller to ask.
Answer calls promptly - and definitely within three to five rings. The longer your phone rings out, the less likely the caller will hang around to talk.
Don't rely on your answerphone - it's killing your business. Your customers want to talk to a real person who can help, not an annoying machine.
And if you can't guarantee 100% that you'll ALWAYS be able to answer your ringing phone, introduce a fail-safe way to ensure you never miss a call. An outsourced Call Handling service can assist with this.
The quality of your inbound calls may not rank too highly in your day-to-day priorities, but you can bet your customers, clients and prospective clients place enormous importance on the way you answer their calls. Why not surprise them and just get it right?
"Your business will thank you for it!"
So tell me. Do you give enough attention to your Call Handling? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Until next time ...
If you want to chat about Call Handling, we're always happy to advise on 01604 529170. We always pick up promptly, professionally and politely.
Why not test our promise and give us a quick call today?
THE OFFICE GENIE
I had a successful 20-year career as an office manager and personal assistant; however, my job was no longer focused on the customers and became all about the numbers. My customer-focused background began when I was 12 in my father's independent carpet showroom. I had a spell with Marks & Spencer before I moved into office-based jobs. I have worked as a training administrator, a PA and PA/office manager in a variety of industries from manufacturing to the IT education sector.
Meanwhile, my husband Ian, a successful Northampton based Master Decorator and owner of Rainbow Frost, was losing out on work due to missed phone calls. When he was busy, callers were getting his voicemail but weren't leaving messages. I knew how to fix that problem!
I quit my job and took on Ian as the first client of The Office Genie in November 2005. Word quickly spread with the second client coming on board just one week later. The majority of our clients since have come to us through word of mouth recommendations and networking referrals. Over the years, I have become well connected in Northampton and Milton Keynes.
Outside of work I enjoy swimming, roller skating, the theatre and my cats and dogs!