Despite advances in technology, businesses still receive up to 80% of their incoming communications via the telephone. The idea that customers only email or tweet businesses these days is a myth.

The good old fashioned telephone call is still the most important means of getting contact with a business. A warm, polite and helpful phone answering service gives the customer an increased sense of brand trust as well as a greater respect for your company. It’s vital that you are maximising this channel of potential leads. Unfortunately, not many companies take phone answering seriously.

Missed call means missed opportunities
photo credit: Sunil Negi

A bad telephone answering experience can be the difference between a paying customer and a lost one who then goes to a competitor. 7 out of 10 consumers have ended their relationship with a company due to poor customer service and 61% of these consumers take their business to a competitor instead.

Let’s translate that into monetary value. UK business are cumulatively losing over £31 billion a year due to missed calls. Bad customer service, automated answering, failure to reach anyone and training costs are costing business upwards of £12,000 a year.

Check out this infographic for some interesting facts on the huge costs of poor customer service and missed calls:

How Much are Missed Telephone Calls Costing your Business?

When 98% (nearly all of us) admit that poor phone skills leave a bad impression, then it’s obvious that a bad telephone experience is much worse than just a single lost customer. As we all know, brand reputation is huge, especially for small businesses. On average, consumers tell 15 people about good customer service experiences and 24 people about bad ones. Make sure people are saying the right things about your company.

Then we come to the worst case scenario. A potential lead or customer is trying to contact your business and they don’t even manage to get through to you. A whopping 85% of people will not ring your business back if they fail to get through the first time. 75% will not leave a voicemail and merely hang up when they are confronted with an automated system. The only thing a consumer dislikes worse than reaching a robot is reaching no one at all.

But don’t get overwhelmed; partnering with the right telephone answering services can help you increase brand reputation, consumer trust, productivity, leads, customers and sales.

Not stopping there, telephone answering services add a human and professional touch to a business. It allows higher ups to focus on their job without distraction whilst never losing a potential lead. Business who are already utilising telephone answering services are reporting as much as a 50% increase in productivity.

Phone answering services also prevent the huge drain on resources that replacing or hiring a new member of staff creates. Replacing a member of staff in the UK costs, on average, just over £30,000 and it can take anywhere between 12-28 weeks for them to reach optimum productivity levels. Outsourcing your businesses telephone answering services puts it in the hand of experienced professionals who are dedicated, focused and already fully trained.

About the Author: Sam Walker is a Marketing Executive whom works for Telephone Answering Service provider Answer-4u.