The Co$T of a missed call
The Math Will Surprise You
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How Missed Calls Affect Business
Picture this: your phone rings while you’re in a meeting. Or maybe you’re out to lunch with a client. Perhaps you’re on vacation with your family or busy assisting a customer when the phone rings. Either way, the call rolls to voicemail. That single missed call sets off a chain reaction of consequences you might not expect. Now you’ve added another task to your to-do list – returning calls and playing phone tag isn’t anyone’s idea of fun. You might feel guilty about the potential missed opportunity for new business or frustrated that you can’t be everywhere at once.
Now imagine you’re the caller who has been sent to voicemail. As a prospective client dialing a new business for the first time, you’re eager to make a connection and get help with your problems. When you’re sent to voicemail, the wind is suddenly let out of your sails. You don’t feel especially valued or important. If the company you called can’t be bothered to pick up the phone, they must be too busy or just not care. The missed call seems like a sign that you should hang up and dial another business instead of leaving a message.
Unanswered calls are stressful for everyone involved. Businesses miss out on opportunities to gain new clients and provide great customer service. Callers don’t feel valued. It’s a lose-lose situation that leaves both parties frustrated. Unfortunately, it’s an experience that happens every single day.
The Impact of a Missed Call
When you miss a call, you’re not just missing out on a single conversation. You’re also losing out on valuable opportunities to grow your business. Business communication rarely hinges on a single phone call, but there’s also no second chance at a first impression. When callers get your voicemail, they often decide to hang up and dial one of your competitors instead. This means lost sales opportunities and a revenue boost for your competition.
For example, if you are an HVAC business that charges an average of $1000 for each job and you close a business opportunity on 25% of incoming phone calls, that means every missed call is costing you $250! Missed calls represent missed opportunities to convert prospects into paying customers. When you let calls roll to voicemail, you’re not just missing out on important conversations – you’re missing out on valuable business.
Don’t forget to take into account the life-time value of a customer rather than simply a one-time job. Oh, and be sure to consider the referral business opportunities that happy clients produce. These considerations prove just how much is at stake every time the call rings.
Clearly, there’s a butterfly effect that happens when you miss a call. Not only do you miss out on valuable opportunities to connect with customers and foster new leads, but you also sacrifice some future peace of mind. Missed calls become yet another chore on your to-do list you’ll have to address the following day. You’ll spend valuable time returning calls, following up and playing phone tag just to get up to speed.
Those administrative chores might not seem like a big deal at first, but they add up to a snowball of inefficiency. While you’re returning calls from the previous day, you might miss out on calls coming through on the other line. You may fall behind on other projects while you’re catching up on missed calls, causing other backups and delays in service. It’s a Sisyphean task that’s bound to impact morale sooner or later.
Profit Potential vs. Profit Revenue
Understanding the differences between profit potential and profit revenue can help contextualize the cost of a missed call. Profit potential is the opportunity for a product or service to make revenue. For instance, if you’re a plumber and have the time, skills and manpower to work four service calls a day, it’s easy to calculate your potential profits over a given year.
Determining your expected profit revenue is simple: simply subtract expenses from your profit potential and you’ll see how much revenue is possible for the year. Unless you aim to eliminate missed calls entirely, though, the cost of a missed call must factor into this equation. The impact on business revenue is undeniable.
Once you’ve determined your profit potential and profit revenue, it’s easy to see the impact a single missed call has on your business. While missing a call might not seem like a big deal in the moment, there are far-reaching consequences that could cost your company serious profits. It’s time to start seeing missed calls for what they truly are: missed opportunities to grow your business, fortify your reputation, and earn loyal customers.
Common Causes of Missed Calls
It’s impossible to find targeted business communication solutions without first understanding the common causes of missed calls. Some are obvious: when staff are too busy with other duties to answer the phone, calls are bound to roll to voicemail. Even with a dedicated administrative team in place to answer phones, employees will inevitably feel like they’re spread too thin or gaps in call coverage will arise. Staff may be called out into the field or just away from their desks for a moment. It only takes a minute to miss a call.
Sometimes, technology is to blame for missed calls. Without the right infrastructure in place to field high call volume employees can quickly become swamped. Overwhelmed staff may turn to outdated technology like voicemail to cover them during the rush, not realizing the impact such a decision can have on your brand reputation.
In some cases, your employees may be too busy focusing on other forms of customer service to avoid missing a call. Giving priority to in-person customers isn’t inherently a bad choice, but that customer service strategy shouldn’t come at the expense of your callers. Understanding missed calls (and what causes them) often comes down to analyzing your existing priorities.
Additionally, business communication is no longer limited by traditional business hours. In an increasingly globalized economy, your competition may be open and available 24 hours a day. As your team heads home to rest and recuperate after a long day, you may be missing out on important calls from prospective customers. Finding a healthy work/life balance is incredibly important, but after hours missed calls don’t have to be a necessary evil.
Calculating the Cost of Your Missed Calls
Now that you understand the potential causes of missed calls, it’s helpful to calculate the cost of those missed opportunities. Start by determining the average value of each customer. If you own a bed and breakfast, for instance, an average customer may represent the equivalent of two nights of accommodation – say, $275.
Next, multiply this figure by your average customer lifespan. If you anticipate the average customer to return to your bed and breakfast five times, that individual represents more than $1300 in potential revenue over the lifetime of your business. Factor in your average close rate for turning each caller into a paying customer and it’s easy to see the impact a single missed call can have on your bottom line.
Without that initial phone call, there’s a chance your bed and breakfast guest will turn to another property for their stay. Without that first interaction, you lose not just one single night’s rate but an entire lifetime’s worth of potential overnight stays. Multiply that by how many calls you miss in a day and it’s easy to see how impactful – and downright harmful – missed phone calls can be.
Missed Call Statistics
To understand the full weight of a missed call, it helps to look at some statistics. A shocking 89 percent of consumers say they stopped doing business with a company after a poor customer service experience. While you might think letting your calls roll to voicemail is a harmless decision, you might be alienating customers without even realizing it.
Here’s another surprising missed call statistic: it’s six to seven times more expensive to attract customers than it is to retain them. It’s no longer safe to assume that you can call a customer back and win their business as if you’d never missed their call in the first place – in fact, it’s never been okay. You can pour money into expensive marketing and advertising campaigns, but if there’s no one on the end of the line when customers dial your number, you’ve thrown that money away.
30 percent of people say the worst part of a bad customer service experience is the inability to reach a real, live human being. Indeed, the average person will spend 43 days of their lives on hold. As humans, our free time is incredibly precious. There’s nothing that alienates a caller faster than sending them to talk to a robotic answering machine or virtual voice attendant. The good news? Tackling this all-too-common administrative challenge is easier than you might expect.
Voicemail: More Harm Than Good
As evidenced above, people hate leaving messages with a machine. There’s simply no way of knowing if their message will ever be heard. At best, a business voicemail may kickstart an annoying game of phone tag. It’s no wonder so many callers opt to hang up and dial the competition instead.
Voicemails aren’t just annoying for the caller – employees themselves often hate going through their voice messages. While some may understand the importance of answering phone calls in a timely fashion, most resent the chore of having to hunt down prospective callers and engage in games of phone tag. This is especially true of employees who already have a lot on their plates. Plus, people usually aren’t very good at leaving voicemails, leaving out important contact info and pertinent details. This only adds to the headache of the person listening to the message.
Ultimately, voicemail sends a clear message that you and your team are unavailable and have more important things to do than tend to customers. While you might never dream of sending such a rude, off-putting message to callers directly, the mere presence of voicemail conveys this idea. With your business reputation on the line, voicemail can be nearly as harmful to your organization as the missed calls themselves.
Improving Business Communications Over the Phone
The importance of phone calls in business can’t be overstated. Now that you’ve seen the impact a missed call can have on your organization, you may be wondering how to improve customer service and support each and every caller. One of the best business communication solutions is to contextualize the reasons each person is calling. If your loved one were on the end of the line, how would that relationship impact your conversation? By picking up the phone quickly and reliably – and by treating them like people, not just numbers – you’ll send a clear message that you value the time of your callers.
It’s not enough to just be present, though. Avoiding missed calls is just the beginning. The most successful conversations go beyond mere message taking to prioritize a helpful, productive exchange of information. If you and your team don’t have the time to dedicate to this goal, it helps to delegate to professionals. Whether you’re strapped for time, manpower, or cash, answering phone calls professionally must remain a priority.
Reducing Unanswered Calls
There are a number of business communication solutions to try out when combating missed calls. For starters, you can hire more staff or partner with a call answering service. Increasing the manpower behind your operation is a simple way to boost your business reputation while also increasing potential sales revenue.
If you decide to work with a professional answering service, receptionists can help you craft a customer experience that’s rewarding as it is memorable. Phone calls don’t have to be purely utilitarian. In fact, they can serve as opportunities to forge connections and earn lifelong customer loyalty. Anything less is just poor customer service.
Many business owners commit to having a real, live human voice on the end of the line 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They leverage technology to meet demand, stepping up phone coverage during busy periods and scaling back during slower times. While you might expect this strategy to be especially costly, the reality is far different. The money you put into your business communication solutions helps to invest in the health and longevity of your organization.
The Impact on Your Business’s Reputation
It’s true what they say: you never get a second chance at a first impression. While you might see a ringing telephone as a minor annoyance or something that can easily be ignored, it represents the opportunity to connect with new and existing customers alike. Let it roll over to voicemail and you may soon gain a business reputation of being inaccessible and apathetic towards callers.
A single missed call can leave a terrible impression on the person at the end of the line. Once you’ve become associated with poor customer service, the impression can be very difficult to shake. While especially dedicated customers might jump through hoops to get in touch, most will be unwilling to put in extra legwork to reach out.
Thanks to the internet, business reputation matters more than ever. When a customer searches for your business online, they’re instantly shown reviews of your services and products. If your reputation is anything less than stellar, prospective customers may opt to do business with your competition instead. With no shortage of options to choose from, consumers have the power in this dynamic.
Protecting your reputation is the best way to face this challenge. By prioritizing the customer experience, you’ll inevitably get the kinds of reviews that delight and motivate new customers to engage with your business. Conversely, if you opt not to address bad reviews and ignore the customer experience you offer over the phone, your business reputation will no doubt suffer.
Improve Customer Service Now
MAP Communications offers affordable, reliable call service for companies hoping to improve their business communications. Professional representatives are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to be the friendly, helpful voice of your brand as they assist customers, offer solutions, take messages, route calls, schedule appointments, place orders and more. Place your phone calls in the trustworthy hands of MAP. It’s the easiest way to ensure high quality customer service while guaranteeing you never miss another call.
A third-party answering service ensures quality call performance every time the phone rings. Receptionists are outfitted with the latest technological advancements in the industry, allowing them to capably assist callers with whatever questions or concerns might arise. Professional, courteous representatives can be bilingual, too. Their skills allow your organization to connect with callers who might not speak English – an increasingly common challenge as America’s demographics continue to evolve.
With dedicated agents covering the phone lines, your in-house team will have more time than ever to dedicate to their duties and projects. Daily operations will seem like a dream when you’re not constantly being interrupted by the ringing of the phone. Missed calls become a thing of the past, leaving you and your team to focus on the in-person customers and the most important parts of your job that you are uniquely qualified to handle.
Best of all, callers may never even realize they’re speaking with an answering service. Agents are trained to work from customized call scripts that mirror the precise language, policies and procedures your own team follows. Many of our clients report a boost in their brand reputation after partnering with MAP. Don’t be surprised when your business witnesses a boost in stellar online reviews complimenting your customer service.
Don’t take our word for it. See for yourself how effective MAP’s call services can be. The testimonials section of our website has first-hand reviews of our offerings. To truly understand the power of MAP, though, you’ll want to try us for yourself. That’s why we’re offering a free seven-day trial of our live answering service. For seven days, you’ll be treated to all the benefits of a partnership with MAP with zero obligation to continue once the trial period ends. With so much to gain and so many missed calls at stake, why not give MAP a try?