Most people have the approach that if they miss a call, the person will leave a voicemail if it is important. I’m afraid not. Think about it; when do you actually call someone? Usually, it’s because you need or want the information right now so you don’t want to have to wait for them to pick up an email. From a sales perspective, you are ready to make the decision.
Studies have shown that businesses in the U.K. lose over 30 billion pounds every year due to missed calls.
So, it’s pretty important to answer the phone.
So, how many calls am I missing?
Some phone systems have analytics built in with them but the best analytics tend to be a bolt on to your existing system. Also, you don’t have to purchase a new phone system to get the analytics, you can have a separate phone system and reporting function which integrates with it.
For the benefit of this blog, we are going to assume that you have some basic call reporting function (if you don’t, please do call us we can install a free trial on your phone system up to one month.)
Log on and check the following:
- The number of missed calls (Call Abandonment) in one week and one month.
- The average number of missed calls per week and per month.
- Number of voicemails left
- Peak times of missed calls
- The number of engaged calls.
Breakdown each of the above by department.
Use this Formula
Average Number of Missed Calls per week x Average Sale Value
= Value of missed opportunities
Here is an example:
80 missed calls x £250 = £20,000
Ouch. That is a HUGE figure. Now, there is always a cynic who doesn’t believe that every call is a sales opportunity, so for you, work out 20%:
16 missed calls x £250 =£4000
I don’t know about you but that is still not a great figure to be losing out on. Imagine if you times that figure by 52 weeks to work out your annual potential sale loss.
(Please note that we cannot be held responsible for any heart attacks.)
What can I do about it?
So you have your formula and you are ready to make some changes. You’ll notice that we mentioned some other metrics. Those statistics will help you decide which approach to take:
- Peak time resource – Once you identify peak times, you know that you need more resource in those time periods. You can then pull the resource in from other departments. Or if it’s a huge figure – a business case to employ someone new. An additional thought to consider is to assess if any/most of those calls are happening outside core hours; perhaps your opening times are 9 am but you are missing a lot of calls between 8.30am and 9 am. Perhaps you can consider a shift change for some staff?
- KPI’s – If you can’t figure out why the phone wasn’t answered because you had enough resource, then I’m afraid it’s most likely to do with the phone answering culture. Most people are taught to answer within 3 rings. Set this as an expectation and then take it further by setting a KPI for all calls in the department to be answered X% of the time. Breakdown it for individuals, too. Reward or reset behaviours accordingly.
- Voicemails – If it must go to a voicemail, make it interesting or at the very least “current.” We know a few businesses that change their voicemail every day. Try something like this, “I am so sorry that I am missing your call today but I am in Northampton seeing a great Hotel about how I can help their business. Please don’t hang up, leave a message and I promise I will call you back by 10.30am tomorrow morning.” I’d certainly leave a message to that voicemail – wouldn’t you?
- Employ a Call Handling Service – This is particularly advantageous for small businesses with limited resources. It ensures that someone always answers your phone calls and you can train them to take orders, not just messages. If you are considering this route, please do contact us as we can recommend a few reputable businesses to you.
- Review the reports – If you are setting KPI’s, review them on a monthly basis. If you have everything sorted, still check them every 2-3 months as you don’t want to become complacent and see your figures dip.
Most of my calls aren’t being missed in my sales department, so does it matter?
Although you may not be missing sales (kudos, by the way) you will still have an indirect impact on your sales. If you don’t keep customers happy, they will go elsewhere. So if you are missing calls in other departments, it’s worth looking at too.