The New Year is a Good Time to do a Call Answering Audit
The first contact your customers have with you is by phone or online contact form. This is true whether they are new clients or current ones. This is why it is so important to do a call answering audit.
Does your staff respond promptly and professionally to all calls and web forms? I know it’s a cliché but it is for a reason – it’s true: “you don’t have a second chance to make a first impression”.
The coming of a new year brings with it a time to reflect on how we this year and what we can do to improve. The most important measurement we can take is how well we served the people who keep our business alive.
We are all customers of someone. So it shouldn’t be difficult to put ourselves in our customer’s shoes. Yet, we come up with excuses why we can’t treat our customers the way we would want to be treated. Are we treating them as individuals or account numbers? Are we listening to them – which starts with answering them when they call?
It’s sadly ironic that we tend to give our customer-facing employees the least attention – in terms of wages and priorities. Yet this person is your gatekeeper. They can open the gate with a smile and a welcome or they can keep the gate closed, turn down the lights and pretend no one is home.
Whether you’re a large or smaller business, if your first priority isn’t making your customer feel that they matter, then you’re in trouble. And the easiest way to make someone feel they matter is to respond to them quickly and listen to them intently.
Customer Call Answering Service Audit
Great customer service starts the moment people tap your number on their phones or type a message on your website contact form.
So let’s start with the basics.
- Do you have someone that is solely responsible for managing your incoming phone calls?
- Do you have someone who responds to internet contact forms submissions
- How quickly do you respond to leads whether they come from a phone call or a web contact form?
- How quickly do you respond to messages from your social media platforms? (32% expect a response within 30 minutes. 42% expect a response within 60 minutes.)
- How do you know how many calls or web-forms have gone unanswered?
- How do you know which of these unanswered calls may have been a potential client or a current client with a problem – especially if they don’t call back?
Times, yes, they have changed
– 78% of Customers Buy From the First Responder
– You Have 5 Minutes to Contact Leads (7% of companies do)*
– Sales Conversions are 391% Higher in the First Minute
– Longer Than 5 Minutes = an 80% Decrease in Lead Qualification
– 55% of Companies Take 5 plus days to respond
*(Most companies who achieved a response time of 5 minutes use chatbots or messaging apps.)
If the call comes from a prospect looking for information, you won’t know if the caller is a qualified Lead or not until you connect with them. That is why sending your callers up a phone tree of options or directly to voicemail is dangerous for your business.
Fewer and fewer companies employ a full-time receptionist dedicated to answering phones. One reason is that more people are contacting businesses through other means, such as texting, email and contact forms.
This has meant that people who were once charged with answering phones for eight hours a day are now “administrative assistants” who juggle call answering with filing, receiving shipments and any other number of administrative duties. This means calls can be missed or put on hold more frequently.
It’s not likely you’re able to afford someone to sit by the phone in hopes that that call from that million-dollar client won’t get missed. You can’t but for a call answering service, that’s what they do.
Penny Wise Pound Foolish
As a previous restaurant owner, I learned that cutting pennies at the customer service level cost me dollars at the bank. Investing in customer service and product quality should always take precedence. Patience and attention spans aren’t what they were even a decade ago. If the client journey isn’t as smooth as an F1 racetrack then the red flag will rise at the first pothole or delay encountered.
Here’s a sample of the advantage of outsourcing your call answering:
1.Your customers get consistent, professional call answering service.
- Call management services recruit, train and invest in people whose personalities and skills sets make them expert call management specialists.
2. Call answering services do much more than take simple messages. They can also provide:
- Customer Care & Help Desk Services
- Property Management Services and Emergencies
- Appointment Booking
- Tier 1 Technical Support
- Email and SMS monitoring.
3. Having a professional answer your phone calls and responding to your online forms ensures you won’t lose than potential A+ customer.
4. A call answering service gives you a history of all your calls.
- Not sure what calls your on-call person receives overnights and weekends? With an outsourced call management service, you get a record of all your calls and access to the call recordings.
5. Call answering services constantly update their telecommunication technology.
6. Many services, like i24 Call management Solutions, enable you to schedule your on-call people at your convenience, 24/7.
- Has someone scheduled to take orders falls sick? No need to call anyone or wait until Monday morning, simply log into your personalized “On-Call” portal and make the necessary changes immediately.
Have questions? Like to know more about saving costs and gaining customers?
Don’t hesitate to contact Jeff Rosenstein at i24 Call Management Solutions.
Whether you’re ready to outsource your call answering or not, he will be very happy to help you – and he’s usually good for a joke or two.