Companies in the home service industries have a lot to gain by improving call performance. A recent studies unveils the truth.
You can buy just about anything online these days. Whether you’re in the market for a new pair of socks or a ski chalet in the Rockies, chances are good you’re turning to the internet for guidance, window shopping, and purchasing. The option to buy online has chased many consumers away from the big box retailers. Considering just how convenient it is to order online, the rise of e-commerce makes total sense.
The way we buy and sell things has changed a lot through the years, but one thing remains the same: phone calls still play a critical role in the way we generate new business and facilitate customer relationships.
This is especially true for home service providers in industries that demand immediate action. When your septic system backs up, you’re not simply adding a visit from the plumber to your online shopping cart. If your heat goes out this winter, you aren’t likely to scroll through Instagram to find an HVAC technician. Initiating an online chat with a robot isn’t the best way to get your broken window fixed. For issues that need to be solved quickly, a phone call is the fastest and most effective method of connecting with service providers.
Study Reveals the Truth About Call Performance for Home Service Businesses
Though obviously important, phone calls aren’t always given the respect they’re due. A recent study found that home service professionals like HVAC experts, plumbers, roofers, and electricians are only answering their incoming calls about 66 percent of the time. This figure is even more shocking when compared with the call answer estimates home service businesses provided – they believed they were answering 97 percent of calls! Since a majority of inbound calls come from prospective new customers, this gap in phone answering awareness can have major implications for businesses.
“Most businesses think they do a good job at answering the phone, but very few of them actually do,” said Matt Buchanan, the lead researcher on the study.
“This misperception has a pretty profound impact on their bottom line and is a sizeable problem that they probably don’t know that they have.”
Missed calls = missed opportunities. Use this tool to calculate how much a missed call costs your business.
Call Performance is Also Crucial
It’s not just the rate of calls answered that matters, either. Call performance can also have a big impact on someone’s decision to work with a given service provider. Nobody sets out to provide subpar customer service over the phone, but many things can get in the way. When your phone is ringing off the hook and you’ve got a million tasks to check off of your to-do list, offering stellar customer service becomes a real challenge.
The effects of call performance, however, are significant. A fumble on the phone can lead a prospective customer to dial up your competition instead. A single conversation gone south may even result in a negative review online. Enough of these kinds of reviews and you may develop a bad reputation for service.
Thankfully, there are options available for busy service providers and business owners hoping to answer more calls and boost call performance. A partnership with a well-established call center or virtual receptionist can ensure your phone is answered every time it rings. What’s more, such a solution can help relieve some of the pressure placed on your in-house team. You’ll see productivity skyrocket without the phone constantly interrupting employee workflow.
Research shows that call answering services capture leads at a rate of 86 percent. Compare that with the rate of in-house employee lead capturing – 75 percent – and you’ll see just how significant the effects of call performance can be on a business.
For many business owners, the idea of outsourcing such an important administrative task is frightening. Given how far-reaching the effects of call performance can be, it’s normal to be a little wary. Other business owners may worry about the cost of partnering with a call center.
“Too often, businesses look at the costs associated with investing in a call center or call technology as a ‘cost center,’ said Matt Buchanan. “But what our data makes clear is that it can become a ‘profit center,’ helping them boost net revenue by as much as 54 percent.”
As most business owners can tell you, the key to success lies in relationships. This is true of customer service and professional partnerships. When you make the decision to outsource your call answering, it’s important to connect with an organization that has a proven track record of success. A quality call center will connect with you on a personal level to get to know your business, your policies, procedures, and preferences.
This customization is crucial to the long-term success of such a partnership. After all, simply answering the phone is a good start, but it isn’t enough. Callers want a prompt, professional and polite voice on the end of the line, one who is empathetic to their experience and quick to offer solutions. Anyone can answer a phone, but only experienced, highly-trained receptionists can provide the kind of call performance customers demand.
Boost Your Call Performance with MAP Answering Service
The numbers are clear: professional answering services are worth their weight in gold. Don’t let the cost of such a partnership scare you off – an investment in the customer experience will ultimately grow your business and boost in-house productivity. Call us today to learn more about how we can truly enhance your call performance.