Have you ever called a company at the top of a web search page to hear an engaged tone, voicemail or just had the phone ring out? It happens more often than you think. As a potential customer, you probably do what everyone else does and call the next company until you get to speak to a human. That first company you called has not only missed out on your business but possibly your repeat business, the odd referral and 5-star review for impeccable customer service. In short, that first missed call has a value and it’s costing businesses millions.
Everything else is ancillary to speaking to your customers
I work for a telecoms company and as a result, I get to see the raw call stats and the truth is frightening. Across all the business I deal with from tiny start-ups to some very prominent blue chip companies, they miss around 22% of their inbound calls across some 10,000 businesses. I know this just an average but this translates to around 5,000 missed calls a day by these customers alone.
What’s your margin?
Most businesses spend good money on a website, advertising, and marketing. They work very hard and dedicate all their time and money to channel those customers to their virtual door and nearly a quarter of these aren’t even spoken too! So how much damage does this cause?
I know you wouldn’t divulge your margins to the man on the street but you know what it is. If you know your conversion ratio of inbound sales calls, then you can work out how much that missed call just cost you in purely financial terms. Either way, with pay-per-click prices going through the roof and so much marketing noise out there, each and every call should be nurtured, cosseted and treated as your number one priority.
Is it all about ROI?
It’s not just the raw ROI of new sales. Although this in itself if reason enough to sit up and gawk at those stats. Nothing is more infuriating than calling a company with a question or issue and have the phone ring out or go to voicemail. It feels unprofessional and your faith in that company rapidly declines. Your company is then on the back foot and we all know what happens next.
Everyone with a smartphone as only 10 seconds away from typing your company name in a web search followed by the word "Review". They then have an instant snapshot of what your customers think of you. Often this is not always representational of the truth because who leaves reviews when you get good service?
If you have good reviews then you can breathe a sigh of relief, if you don’t then the best way you can rectify this is good customer service and this starts with answering your calls.
Our data gurus dissected our verticals, average basket price and conversion ratios. They talked to customers and run the numbers and came up with £43. On average, for this point in time across our customers, each missed call is the equivalent of a £43 loss. But this is only a fraction of the overall cost. £43 is for pure raw inbound sales only. This doesn't take into consideration money wasted in time, expenses or lost through repeat business or referrals, so you can guarantee the actual cost is going to be higher.
If you miss only a few calls a day, this is going to cost your business nearly £35,000 a year. These figures may not directly relate to your business but this is an average and although your figures may differ the premise is the same.
Before concentrating on the fluff, the "arty" web design, the wizardry of SEO and online advertising, get your calls in order. This will give you the biggest return for the lowest investment and that’s just good business practice.