Any call that comes into your business is potentially a new customer.
This means every missed call is a potentially lost deal.
And many businesses are losing money simply by not answering the phone when it rings.
In fact, small and medium businesses in the UK are losing an estimated combined £90m a year just from missed phone calls, according to research by BT.
According to the research, missing a single phone call costs a business on average £1,200 in lost revenue.
The research also found that on average, customers will only try to call a business a maximum of two times before moving onto a competitor.
Many other customers would only try a company once before moving on if they didn’t answer the phone.
Being contactable for new customers and existing clients is a fundamental part of running a business and providing good customer service.
After all, it’s not unreasonable that someone is able to contact you when they need your services.
But if you’re a sole trader or small business, it can be challenging to manage your day.
Between completing work you’ve been paid to do, travelling between sites, sitting in meetings, or even when you’re already on the phone – the potential to miss a call from a new customer is all too real.
So what are the consequences for your business if you’re not answering the phone?
We’ve already touched on this point, and there’s no denying that not answering the phone to a prospect is potentially lost revenue.
Customers have so many options to choose from now that they won’t wait for you to pick up the phone when convenient.
If they need services, they’ll go somewhere that can provide those services as soon as possible.
And it’s not just the loss of immediate sales.
It’s the potential lost revenue over a customer’s entire lifecycle.
Missing a £500 one-off project is bad enough.
But if you’re charging £1,000 a month and the typical customer stays with you for three years, that’s potentially £36,000 of lost revenue just because you didn’t pick up the phone.
Getting a reputation for poor customer service
No matter the size of your business, a reputation for poor customer service will damage your long term prospects of being successful.
This is particularly true if you get a reputation for poor customer service because you don’t answer the phone when people call you.
How important is customer service?
Well, 73% of customers say they’ll stay loyal to brands because of good customer service, according to research published by HubSpot.
Wasted money promoting your business
You spend a lot of time marketing your business.
Whether it’s getting a website, promoting yourself on social media or the more traditional networking, it takes a lot of time, money, and effort to get your business in front of the right people.
But that’s all wasted if, when the call comes in from a new lead, you’re too busy doing a job or are in a meeting and can’t answer the phone.
If you’re going to invest your time and money promoting your business to bring in new leads, it makes sense that you should also invest in the resources to deal with those leads when they do come in.
Risking your business’ future
There are many risks to your business when you cannot answer the phone to new customers or existing clients.
You might think they’ll call back.
Or you’re only missing a couple of calls, and it’s not going to cause any significant trouble.
But even one missed call and one lost lead a month is 12 pieces of new business a year.
Can you really afford for those leads to go to your competitors just because you couldn’t answer the phone?
Losing out on new business or risking losing an existing customer because you don’t answer their call when they need you is all adding up to put the long-term future of your business at risk.
So isn’t it worth investing in resources to make sure every call that comes to your business is answered? Or that every lead who comes through your website is engaged with?
That’s where a virtual assistant comes in.
The benefits of a virtual assistant to your business
A virtual assistant works as an extension of your business to make sure all the calls that come in during the day are answered professionally.
You never have to worry about missing out on a new customer while you’re out on a job, because your virtual assistant is working in the background to answer calls, take and forward messages, deal with enquiries and put a professional touch to your call answering.
Whichever way you look at it, failing to answer the phone is proven to have a negative effect on a business’ prospects.
Why risk letting new business go to your competitors when you could invest in a resource to make sure your business is always ready when those calls come in.
Any business that doesn’t is only putting their own futures at risk.
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