Many business owners are missing out on new business every day, for a very simple, very preventable reason. The truth is, 64% of merchants aren’t connecting with every interested lead and every potential customer. Why not? Because they can’t be reached by phone. Prospective customers get a busy signal, encounter a disconnected phone number, struggle to communicate with an automated call menu feature, or otherwise just don’t receive a response to their call.
Today, with search engines always at our fingertips, these missed interactions with callers mean missed business. If a caller can’t reach your company, they will call the next company that shows up in their search results. Suddenly, an unanswered phone means more than just a missed call: It means lost earnings.
Nobody Likes an Automated Phone Menu
One of the quickest ways to lose business is an automated phone menu. Sure, it will save you time, directing the call to the perfect person to best help your caller. But no callers actually want to deal with these menus: think of the hassle the last time you tried to reach your doctor’s office or cable company and had to repeat yourself over and over again to be understood. It’s awful.
Many people will actively avoid automated phone menus, no matter their age. Whether they are 20 years old or 60 years old, these interactive voice response (IVR) menus leave callers feeling frustrated and without adequate help from your company. They may even give up and call your competitor instead.
People go to great lengths to avoid IVRs, even using strange “life hacks” like swearing at the IVR, just to get a real person on the other end of the line in a timely manner. Why start your interaction with a new caller with frustration or colorful language? Help them reach a real, breathing person on the call from the start. It’s a refreshing break from impersonal, convenience technology.
Even 10 years ago, callers would wait as long as 6-10 rings for someone to answer their call. But now, in our age of technology and immediacy, those same callers only wait for an average of 4 rings for their call to be answered before giving up. Keeping someone waiting on the other end of a ringing phone can be interpreted as rude, or that you are potentially too busy to adequately help them.
Many callers will take this as a bad sign about what their interaction with your business will be like, and give up, then try another company. What does this mean for you? Not only is it important for callers to reach your business every time they call, but for them to reach you quickly, too.
Voicemail is Bad for the Client, and It’s Bad for You, Too
Voicemail is dying out. It’s true. Think of your personal cell phone. Do you listen to every voicemail you receive, or do you just return the call without listening to the message? Checking voicemail messages is an interruption in your day when you could be using that time more productively to accomplish other things. It’s a chore that must be crossed off your list, not a way to progress your business.
Just like you, your customers are avoiding voicemail messages more and more as well. Most millennials avoid leaving messages at all: texts and emails are more practical, and more likely to be seen and get a response than a voice message is to be heard and a call returned. So if they can’t reach a real person? They just hang up. That’s the end of their interaction with your company.
You can’t rely on a voice mail system to catch missed calls when you’re unavailable to answer the phone because more and more people just aren’t leaving voicemail messages anymore. And in addition to missing out on those calls? You’re taking valuable time out of your busy day to listen to each voice message and then return every single call.
So What’s the Solution?
If IVR and voice mail systems don’t work, and missed calls equal missed business, then how can you ensure that every call gets answered? The best, simplest solution is to use a virtual receptionist. Of course, you can’t be available to field every call yourself: You have work to be done, and clients to attend to, not to mention a real life outside of your job.
A virtual receptionist is more than just an answering service. Like voicemails, answering services pile up messages for you to answer later: it’s another chore to do and another list of calls to make when you could be growing your business and accomplishing your goals.
With Reliable Receptionist, you get a trained professional who is well-versed in the intricacies of your company, who can field questions, set appointments, and connect callers with the right person within your company to best meet their needs. Instead of a curse-worthy IVR menu or a voicemail, your caller encounters a friendly, knowledgeable, professional voice on the other end of the line. Calls aren’t missed, and the business opportunities for your company aren’t missed either.
Ready to see how a virtual receptionist can transform your company, increase your productivity, and help avoid missed business? Request a live tour or online tour today, or contact us for more information, and never miss another call.