One of the top reasons business owners begin searching for call answering or virtual receptionist services is that due to a busy schedule and increasing responsibilities, they’ve started missing important calls.
Missing one or two calls isn’t usually a problem (unless it’s especially important), but if you’re beginning to notice that missing important calls is becoming the rule and not the exception, you need to take action now to ensure you don’t start losing customers.
And lose customers you will. We loved the way Prospect Genius put it in their blog post on the topic:
“Prospective customers are looking for a service to be provided. They want to hire someone. But that means if a prospective customer gets your voice mail, they’re most likely going to move on and dial the next business on their list. In other words, when you fail to answer your phone, you lose business. Plain and simple.”
So the question is not “Is missing important calls a bad business move?” but instead, “How can I stop missing important calls?”
How can you stop missing important calls?
While you could promise yourself that you won’t miss another business call, at some point, you’ll have to leave work early, take a bathroom break, find yourself outside of your cell service zone, take a sick day, go to an important meeting, etc.
Missing important calls is just a fact of life when you’re a busy business owner, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a multitude of options available to you if you’re missing too many calls.
4 ways to stop missing important calls
- The first – and possibly worst – option is to let all your calls go to voicemail (seriously – don’t do this).
- The second option is to hire a full-time receptionist to answer your phone and screen your calls.
- The third – and best, most cost-effective option – is to hire a virtual receptionist to answer your phone, screen your calls, take messages, manage appointments and scheduling, and deliver basic customer service to callers.
- Your final option is to use an IVR phone system, also known as an automated phone system, which offers callers a menu of options they can navigate using a touch-tone telephone. We’ll talk more about IVRs and the issues they create for customers below.
Sending calls to voicemail
Why shouldn’t you let your business calls go to voicemail? Many customers, upon hearing the voicemail greeting, will simply hang up and try the next company on their list. Some will leave voicemails but still continue their search for another business or provider – so by the time you get around to returning their call, they’re no longer looking to purchase.
Hiring a receptionist full-time
The second option on the list, hiring a full-time receptionist, is a perfectly acceptable option and one that many business owners take (if they can afford it). The cost of hiring a full-time receptionist is considerable, usually in the $32,000 – $38,000/year range. If you’ve got the extra ~$3K per month to spend on a full-time receptionist, this could be a great option for you.
Hiring a virtual receptionist
But why spend upwards of three thousand dollars per month on a full-time receptionist when you could take a look at option 3 – similar in function, but only costs around $120/month! Hiring a virtual receptionist is the best option for business owners who are tired of missing important calls. The cost is dramatically lower. The availability can be matched perfectly to your schedule, so you’re never paying for a receptionist when the phone isn’t ringing.
The absolute best part about working with a virtual receptionist is not just that missed calls become a thing of the past – it’s that your customers will be delighted to be greeted by a friendly voice and will receive the best customer service possible. Improving the customer experience is something Conversational virtual receptionists are trained to do.
Using an automated phone system
The final option we discussed are IVR phone systems. IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response, and that’s exactly what these systems do: robotically respond to human voices. Do a quick Google search with the words “hate automated phone systems” to see how passionately customers feel about this method of call answering – you’re sure to change your mind once you do!
Not only does a menu of options confuse and frustrate callers, but it makes it more difficult to actually get their questions answered. Additionally, most callers want to speak to a live human being when they call customer service, and being met with a robotic voice gives the impression that they are but one customer out of many and are not important to the business.
In summation, if you want to stop missing important calls, hiring a virtual receptionist is the most customer-friendly and cost-effective option. For more information about virtual receptionists, what they do, and how you can go about hiring one, please visit our Virtual Receptionist information and pricing page.