Modern businesses encourage prospects to get in touch through many channels. But as popular as social media and email are, most consumers still prefer to call for information. Research compiled by Answer-4u estimates that 80% of inbound communications occur over the phones.
The response timeframe for a phone call is considerably smaller than other modes of communication. Unfortunately, this leads to many missed opportunities. An overwhelming majority of callers never call back. In fact, BT Business explains prospects will call a maximum of two times before seeking a competitor.
How to Calculate What a Missed Call Costs Your Business
The financial value of a missed call depends on three averages:
- Cost of acquisition
- Conversion rate
- Customer value
How your business attracts and converts leads defines the cost of acquisition. For instance, outbound marketing (i.e. paid ads) can cost heftily per lead. Losing ad-generated leads due to missed calls thus results in wasted marketing funds. Tracking analytics on a marketing campaign will help determine the source of a lead and the cost associated with it.
Assuming for a second no calls go answered, you can calculate conversion rates based on people reached versus those turned into customers. If one in every 10 callers registers for a service, that equals a 10% conversion rate. Of course, the math is not actually so black-and-white.
Nevertheless, our example can illustrate how detrimental one missed call can be. Imagine missing two of every 10 calls. In 20% of cases, your business does not even get the chance to convert. Consequently, the conversion rate plummets and cost of acquisition climbs.
For every caller who does become a customer, your business must assign a customer value. How profitable is a new customer upfront? Consider the customer lifecycle—how long the average customer remains—to work out the historic value. Both the cost of acquisition and median conversion rate affect customer value.
Knowing the potential cost per call is important when optimizing your phone system. Such information will help you determine paths for callers that will get them to where they need to be. The following section proposes tools to make this process easier.
How to Miss Fewer Calls and Capture More Leads
Phone calls come in at all hours of the day. If your business operates on a strict schedule, those contacting you outside of office hours will bounce. Even during work hours, agents sometimes get stuck on the phones. Without an efficient phone system, any new callers who come in must wait or callback.
The list below outlines a few services that prevent call abandonment.
- Call queues assemble customers in a virtual waiting area when all agents are unavailable.
- Auto attendants greet callers with pre-recorded responses and direct them towards departments and resources.
- Audio playback files inform callers of wait times, promotions, and resources for additional help.
- Call forwarding routes calls to agents based on the time of day or device sequence. For example, calls may ring a desk phone then mobile in 30-second intervals.
After-Hours Call Accommodation
Many strategies for processing calls during work hours remain the same after hours. That said, conveying information upfront is more critical. If an agent cannot speak with the caller, that person needs to know where else he or she can go for information.
Note that telling people that the office is closed is common courtesy. Do not make people wait in queues if no one will answer the call!
To recover missed callers, emphasize alternative contact methods in your phone greeting. Mention voicemail, email, social media, and other online resources to grab the person’s contact details. For those interested in getting more information, direct them to popular pages on the website and/or sections of your knowledgebase. Just because an agent cannot come to the phone does not mean the user experience has to fall apart.