Studies show that one bad customer service call is enough to turn a customer away forever, and the likelihood of losing a customer is highest the first time they call your business. So, make sure every call counts! Businesses like yours can gain and retain customers by avoiding these common phone system black eyes. Let’s start by tackling the issues.
Callers Can’t Reach Your Business.
There are a lot of businesses out there – if a customer can’t reach yours fairly easily, they’re likely to turn to a competitor for the service they need. In fact, 34 percent of callers who hang up before reaching a business will not call back. Reduce the likelihood of losing business by addressing the following common reasons for missed calls.
- All Lines Are in Use.
Usually, when someone calls a business already at call capacity, they’ll hear a busy tone and be forced to hang up. Some companies reserve their last available phone line for voicemail; however about 80 percent of callers do not leave voicemails. Leverage call analytics to ensure your business has the lines it needs to address all calls.
Note that VoIP solutions offer lines at a much cheaper price than bundled landlines. For businesses with highly variable or unpredictable call volumes, invest in a SIP VoIP solution with unlimited lines or burstable trunks that allow calls to continue to come through when all lines are in use.
- All Agents Are Busy.
Freeing up lines only works if there are enough employees available to take the additional incoming calls. Monitor high call volumes and use calling data to inform staffing decisions and workload distribution. In VoIP call centers, managers can even display agent performance numbers to employees to encourage productivity and boost the overall number of calls employees take.
- Customers Call During Non-Working Hours.
Inbound calls outside of business hours are often sent to voicemail. With voicemail rates as low as they are, consider more promising after-hours solutions like a professional answering service or staffing a few after-hours employees (hiring workers in different time zones can help with distributing these shifts). VoIP solutions can seamlessly route calls to different locations on set days and times, and VoIP lines are easily accessible from remote locations, so remote workers can always make and receive calls from a company number.
Alternatively, simple settings like missed call notifications via email reduce the risk of missing important information or potential business; encourage employees to address any missed calls the following business day. Some services can even offer callers an automatic callback on the next business day if they call after hours.
- Technical Difficulties.
Aside from phone downtime’s major productivity losses, missed customer calls can result in lost sales and decreased customer trust. When shopping for providers, scan their reviews for repeat customer service offenses before committing to a vendor to ensure they can provide reliable support. Additionally, cloud-based VoIP solutions are generally much easier to troubleshoot than landline solutions. Providers host VoIP PBXs and other equipment in data center infrastructures, and are therefore responsible for maintenance and fixes.
Word to the Wise: Treat online reviews with a grain of salt – competitors are known to post bursts of unflattering reviews to try and drop star ratings and influence popular opinion.
Take one further step in preventing phone downtime by establishing a disaster recovery plan. Some VoIP providers work with clients to establish disaster contingencies, like: internet failover, automatic cell phone call routing or even prepping separate locations with alternate means of contact.
Customers Aren’t Connecting with the Right People.
A lead that can’t reach a salesperson is a lost opportunity. Similarly, customers with product or company questions who reach the wrong department may become frustrated or receive insufficient responses from well-meaning employees hoping to avoid transferring the call. Even if employees are doing their best with a misrouted call, it’s an easy setup for giving a misleading impression about your business.
Complicated or error-ridden IVRs are a common culprit of phone misdirection. When setting up an IVR, aim for a maximum of five main menu and three sub-menu options, and always give the caller the option to speak with an agent. This helps prevent caller frustration and confusion. An attentive phone support team is invaluable in helping businesses optimize IVR and any other phone setup challenges – the best ones can also quickly address system or setting errors.
Tip: Make sure to thoroughly test your IVR! Don’t turn callers off with a sloppy first impression.
Your Business Appears Unprofessional
When customers call a business, they’re usually seeking fast, knowledgeable and professional help. Being transferred to the wrong department or waiting on hold for too long can turn callers away – sometimes for good. Call analytics can help managers evenly distribute calls to avoid long hold times, and auto-attendants can quickly and accurately field calls without the need for a live receptionist.
Additionally, set a professional tone and build trust in your customer base with a VoIP toll-free or vanity number. These provide callers a free and memorable means of contacting your business.
Build Customer Trust and Satisfaction with Great Phone Service
Next to face-to-face meetings, voice is still most customers’ preferred method of contacting a business. Invest in stellar phone service to work on converting new customers into repeat buyers by setting a great first impression. VoIP solutions ease maintenance, management and other common phone hassles, all at a much lower cost than alternatives.
At 4Voice, we dedicate ourselves to honest and quality customer service. Learn about our near-zero customer attrition rate and other benefits of 4Voice’s VoIP phone service in our infographic.