As many people operating their own business can contend to, there are a number of factors that make a business successful. Online services have been proven to contribute to obtaining a client base and get the attraction you want for your business. But with modern conveniences and technology, many business owners have forgotten traditional methods that are still quite effective. Phone calls are one of the most important tools every business should use, but is the one most neglected.
What Percentage of Business Calls Go Unanswered?
Research has found that 62% of inbound phone calls made to small businesses have gone unanswered. Of that, the phone calls that do not get answered, 37.8% of them get bypassed and forwarded to a voicemail, and though another 37.8% of phone calls get answered, the remaining 24.3% of oncoming phone calls are not getting any acknowledgement. Ponder that a moment, 6 out 10 customers are not getting a response. So why are 70% of business not even answering half the phone calls that come in?
How Do I Answer the Phone as a One Person Business?
As it turns out many of these companies are a one person operating business. Where only one person has all the responsibilities involved in operating a business, such as: sales, marketing, administrative tasks organize the working schedule and perform the service. When the phone rings, there isn’t anyone available to answer the phone. In this situation the business owner needs to make some adjustments, as an unanswered phone is a potential client that contacted someone who does answer the phone. Below are a few solutions to consider:
Hire a Secretary: A small one-person company might think hiring a secretary too costly as it could cost $1,000 – 2,000 a month. If hiring a secretary proves to be a financial hardship, the owner should recruit a family member or friend that can help, just be sure no matter if you think a secretary is worth the investment or a family member obliges, that the person is primarily responsible to communicate with customers and answer all phone calls.
Hire a Virtual Secretary: A more affordable approach is to hire a virtual secretary. Depending on its size and the service package of the virtual receptionist, an average small business would spend $50 – $150 a month.
Forward All Calls: If you can’t be at you place of business, forward the calls to your cell phone. Be sure any calls that landed in the voicemail are returned as quickly as possible.
Provide Alternative Channels For Communication: At the bare minimum, ensure your customers have alternatives to reaching someone or leaving a message if no one can answer the phone. Emails, instant messaging, or live chat options.
Automate Answering the Most Frequent Inquiries: Enable your customers to make appointments directly from your website. Feature quote calculator, that would help customers calculate an estimate the cost of a certain product or service on their own. Having these online features can reduce the number of calls and your customers are still getting the information they seek.