Missed calls are lost leads. 4 reasons to use a live answering service.
It’s common enough knowledge that live answering services can help businesses save time and energy at low costs. This is especially useful for small businesses, who can then turn their full attention to product development or customer acquisition. Convenient, but hardly necessary.
What many people miss, however, is that answering services can provide not just convenience, but business growth. Phone operators and virtual receptionists are well-positioned to capture leads for the businesses they represent. Here are a few reasons why this works.
It’s a Numbers Game
Not everyone who contacts your business becomes a lead, but every so often, one of them does. With professional phone answering services, you can entertain more customer queries than you normally would, which means more leads later down the line.
Live answering services expand your capacity in two significant ways. First, they let you take calls outside business hours; most providers establish teams specifically to provide Australia-based operators who can take calls round the clock. Second, with live answering services, you don’t need to worry about call volume; with an overflow answering service, you can handle several simultaneous calls, effectively addressing even peak hours or seasonal surges.
Just how much do you lose from unanswered calls?
According to a 2016 study, 65% of people prefer to contact businesses by phone (while only 25% would prefer an online form). The same study found that 48% of call volume came from mobile searches. Newer technology is integrating phone calls, not replacing them outright. So, how much business are you potentially losing?
It’s hard to state an exact number, but over half of dissatisfied customers will take their business elsewhere. Without sufficient measures—and web forms are rarely sufficient—to capture the runoff from lost calls, you’ll be losing up to half your over-the-phone customers. Multiply that by the average value a of new customer, and you’ll get a picture of what you’re missing out on.
An Engaging Audience
A trite bit of marketing wisdom is that there’s never “a good time” to call, so just pick up the phone and hope for the best. When you’re on the receiving end of a call, though, you don’t have to take that plunge—your caller’s taken it for you. And there’s hardly a more engaged contact than one who’s taken the initiative to get in touch.
Too many businesses squander this opportunity by responding with answering machines or voicemails. Studies have shown that three out of four people who encounter voicemails put the phone down without leaving a message.
Conversely, providing a human response shows two things. First is that you are handling their concern professionally, which demonstrates reliability. Second is that their concerns are important to you. This ensures they stay engaged throughout the call (also, it’s harder to hang up on a human than a voice recording).
From a caller’s point of view, a good call is one where there’s minimal friction between them and their objectives. If that gets them to convert—or even make a purchase—then it’s a good call on your terms, too.
With a concierge or virtual receptionist, you can reduce friction on the sales funnel even further by directing callers to someone in your company. You can customise this service to ask additional questions for more information, or to direct calls to different departments in your company.
Ultimately, whether callers choose to stick with you or switch over to your competitors will depend on how well you listen and respond to them. Giving them a timely, engaging, and professional response makes that choice a simple one.