Using an after hours answering service can help remedy many of the challenges businesses face all while improving customer service and increasing sales.
For many businesses, sales is an endless game of cat and mouse. If you aren’t careful, you can wind up getting lost in the chase and allow yourself to get distracted by the newest tools, tricks and techniques instead of focusing on fundamentals that could make a real difference in your bottom line. For virtually every business, the most basic source of leads is the office phone. Whether your team is in the office or not, callers interested in doing business with you are able to find your phone number and call your office at any moment. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t make after hours phone support a priority. Instead, they let those callers go to voicemail, hoping they will leave a message and still be interested in doing business whenever they receive a call back.
While this may seem like a reasonable way to handle personal calls, it is FAR from an effective way to convert callers into customers. To help illustrate the impact this could have on your sales, a BT Business report cited by Computer Weekly shows that small and medium sized companies are losing out on millions of dollars in sales every year as a result of missed calls. The average cost of a missed call from this report ended up being $1,800. Although $1,800 for a missed call might sound high for some businesses, there is no denying that regardless of what industry you’re in, missing a sale from an inbound call is both unfortunate and unnecessary.
If you’d like a more specific value of what missing a call could cost your own business, feel free to check out our missed call calculator.
Beyond the initial lost sale, it is possible the after hours prospect could decide to go with one of your competitors instead; costing you not just that 1 sale, but the lifetime sales value of that customer. And don’t forget that you just handed your direct competitor a new client! Hiring an after hours answering service can not only benefit your bottom line, but it also improves the customer experience, something you should care deeply about.
Here are 3 signs that mean your business is ready to hire an after hours answering service
- You care about the customer experience
According to American Express’s Customer Service Barometer, many customers share a perception that businesses have been placing less and less value on customer service over the past several years. With over a third of the consumer population feeling like businesses don’t put emphasis on their experience, now is the perfect time for you to invest in providing a better caller experience so your business can stand out from complacent competitors. Providing after hours customer care communicates that your business values each call, regardless of what time the phone rings.
- You see there is a gap in your business hours and when customers want to engage with you.
Every week you probably notice your business has voice messages left by customers who reached out after hours. While you understandably wouldn’t want to forward calls to your cell and be interrupted at all hours of the night, you still would like to provide each caller with quality customer service even after you and your staff have left the office for the night. Research done by Salesforce shows that 85% of customers are dissatisfied with their phone experience, or lack thereof, with businesses. By simply offering after hours phone answering support, you instantly improve the odds of providing positive caller experiences by ensuring each caller is immediately connected with a live, helpful representative.
- You know you could use the extra help
No matter how well you and your team manage phones during office hours, having that safety net of a team you can trust to manage the night shift can go a long way to making sure no customer falls through the cracks and is left unsupported. A study released by CMO Council cited that lost productivity and poorly managed leads cost companies upwards of $1 trillion! How much revenue would your business recover if you were able to close just 10% more sales because your business was more productive and efficient at handling your leads? Hiring an answering service to cover your calls while you are out of the office is one simple and affordable action you can take that will make a big difference in how your organization is run and how your customers perceive your services.
There are always going to be a new and exciting ways to get in touch with your target market and try to turn them into customers. The real question is, are you doing everything you can to convert the leads you already have? If you aren’t supporting your after hours callers at the same level as callers who reach you during standard business hours, then the answer is most likely “no.” By partnering with an after hours answering service, you could bridge this gap while you and your in-house team are away. Creating a seamless experience for your callers is something they will appreciate. And it will only have a positive impact on your bottom line.