Unanswered Calls May Be Costing Your Business More Than You Think

Almost half of all global businesses say they’ve expanded their communication channels since the onset and challenges of COVID-19. Specifically, we’ve seen texting increase significantly, with 34% of businesses having adopted text as a means of customer communication during the pandemic.

Today’s consumers have a wide array of communication channels through which to contact businesses–text, call, chat, form submissions, and more–and expect businesses to be prompt and responsive on all of them. Frankly, this multi-channel customer demand is leaving many small business owners overwhelmed.

49% of small business owners say that they do all of their own marketing, according to CallRail data. On top of that, many are still adapting to the new hybrid work landscape. SMB owners have never had less time than they do now, which means that, unfortunately, customer communications can fall to the bottom of their list of priorities, leaving calls and messages unanswered.

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Unfortunately, missed calls and messages (and slow response times) are resulting in missed opportunities.

According to a study on SMB business communications conducted by The Local, about 24% of calls to SMBs go unanswered, and 38% are forwarded to voicemail. This means that the majority of calls to SMBs are going unattended–the cost of which cannot be overstated.

A customer’s first attempt to get in touch with your business can make or break their decision to pursue future business with you. Leaving their calls unanswered can make a critical impact on your revenue.

Additionally, recent research on lead response time found that conversion rates are 8x greater when responded to within five minutes of outreach. Yet, more than half of first call response attempts are a week or more later, leaving prospects with ample time to investigate other potential competitors.

Fortunately, business communications technology can help SMBs grow their customer base by ensuring they never miss a call again.

Multiple customer communications channels result in more opportunities for missed or delayed communications. The solution? SMBs should utilize platforms that allow all conversation touchpoints to be centralized in one, unified inbox.

For example, CallRail’s Lead Center solution not only compiles all communications to a business in one place, but also allows agents to access a complete interaction history for each lead — across phone calls, texts, chats, and form submissions — so that they have full visibility into each customer’s journey. This enables teams to have more informed conversations with customers and provide tailored service, shortening the sales cycle and improving conversion rates.

Effective business communications software also supports a busy, always on-the-move work schedule. Business owners are often required to leave the office to take meetings or appointments, so it’s important that their communications software is able to meet their needs on the go. They should look for communications software that provides a mobile app for smartphones and tablets that enables them to have conversations with customers even while away from the office, ensuring they never miss an opportunity to close new business.

All in all, streamlined and timely customer communication is the very foundation of customer success. As customers utilize an increasing number of channels to communicate with businesses, those businesses must ensure that systems are in place to avoid long response times, or worse, no responses at all. Businesses that fail to do so risk far more than one customer touchpoint–they are risking their reputation and revenue.

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