When you call someone, how many times do you let the phone ring before hanging up? A few decades ago, before caller ID and mobile phones, most people allowed the phone to ring at least 6 to 10 times.
Today, expectations have changed. People are less patient about ringing phones. Most callers now wait a maximum of 4 rings, or about 30 seconds, before their mind wanders to find another solution: hanging up, going online, or even trying to call one of your competitors instead.
At Reliable Receptionist, we view 4 rings as the maximum number of rings a caller should experience before a live receptionist picks up the phone. Here’s why.
A Ringing Phone Makes You Look Bad
When your phone rings and rings – or goes to voicemail instead of being answered – it makes your company look like it doesn’t care. This falls solidly into the “bad service” category that’s such a turn-off for customers.
Bad service is bad for business. Here are some customer service statistics that show the impact of unanswered phones.
- 33 percent of U.S consumers will consider switching to a competitor after just 1 instance of poor service.
- More than 50 percent of consumers have abandoned a planned purchase due to a single bad experience.
- 74 percent of people will stop buying from a company simply because it was too difficult.
Don’t make it difficult for your customers to buy from you. Answer your phone promptly, and ensure the person who answers is full of helpful information that encourages every caller to become a customer.
Customers Treasure Their Time
What’s the #1 reason callers hate hearing your phone ring? It’s time. People hate having their valuable time wasted.
A Pew survey found that 80 percent of working adults wish they had more time to spend with their friends/family and 60 percent always feel rushed. That’s a lot of time pressure!
In fact, the same study found that more than half of working Americans would rather have more free time than more money. Time is your customers’ most precious resource.
Respect your their time by answering the phone quickly and resolving their inquiries as efficiently as you can. Fast service – without making people feel rushed – is the key to positive connections with time-pressed customers.
Outshine Your Competitors
Here’s another great reason to answer the phone quickly: You can put your competitors to shame. If they’re answering the phone too slowly, that’s your opportunity to scoop up all the customers who gave up on them and called you instead.
In a way, it’s just a numbers game. When you answer every call, you’ll get more business each day, each week, each month, and each year.
Here’s an example: If you miss just 1 phone call a day, that’s 365 missed calls per year. Now check out what happens when you multiply that number times your average sale, say, $50.
365 x $50 = $18,250
That’s more than $18,000 in missed revenue every year. And if your average sale is $300, that’s more than $100,000 in lost opportunity! Can you afford to lose that kind of money, simply because you’re not answering the phone fast enough?
How to Answer in 4 Rings
If your company is struggling to answer the phone quickly, hire a live receptionist service that can make it happen. They’ll handle your calls, book appointments, convert questions to sales, and ensure no customer ever encounters a phone that rings and rings.