Given that most modern customer service is conducted over the phone, internet and digitally any company looking to make clients happy and keep them coming back for more, needs to have their “phone answering ” perfect!
Here’s a few of scary consequences that unfold when your telephone service isn’t up to scratch.
The cost of acquiring new customers costs go up, and lifetime value goes down.
It’s a common fact that new customers are much more expensive to acquire than it is to keep the ones you already have. Getting new customers should still be a focused part of your business but shouldn’t be a constant moving force in your business! The hard part is keeping your customers.
Still, when your telephone service levels go down, not only do you have to work harder and spend more on damage control to keep those unhappy customers, you also have to spend a lot more money on marketing, in order to repair the damaged reputation your company gets from word-of-mouth spreading about your poor customer service.
Unhappy customers also don’t respond well to price increases, meaning they’re more likely to leave when prices are increased. If you’re not scared about what your poor service levels are doing to your bottom line, keep reading.
Conversions suffer and the losses are tough to quantify. Consider the scenario that can occur when your telephone service is poor or non-existent:
“Customer A” has a few questions before they purchase but can’t get through due to a busy queue or because you don’t have anyone answering the phone. Fact 80% of callers will not leave a voicemail but will call another similar business. You can guess who made the sale.
“Customer B” only does business with companies that answer the phone the first time they call and who also don’t leave them on hold waiting more than a few minutes! You know what we mean especially when you have to navigate your way through the unending menus of an automated menu-based phone system.
“Customer C” wants to set up an appointment with a sales representative early the next day, but the clunky old answering machine can’t accomplish such a feat, can it? A good telephone answering service could also offer you a diary management service.
These and other scenarios are a nightmare for any company looking to scale their business by maximizing conversions. That’s why it’s so important to have someone answering your calls either by hiring more staff or outsourcing to a reputable phone answering service.
Telephone Answering Service Woes: The scary Consequences
Poor customer service costs businesses an estimated 37 billion pounds a year in lost revenues. Sadly, despite all we’ve learnt of its importance, these figures keep rising. Not surprisingly the fact that most of this revenue is lost via phone-based service problems with the most common complaints being rude staff, being redirected multiple times, and being put on hold for too long.
This certainly isn’t good for modern businesses, with the aging baby-boomer generation being more tolerant of poor service; but less likely to be a long-term customer and brand advocate.
Your reputation is irreparably damaged.
Over half of all jilted customers who feel they didn’t get the prompt and complete service they deserve from a company are going to complain. In fact, over 60% of those customers will always tell someone about terrible customer service and are likely to tell three times as many people as those happy people who would share their pleasant experiences would.
Bad customer service spreads like wild fire, and as mentioned in the opening paragraph, most of them usually start and end on the phone. It’s so much easier to wow a customer in person, isn’t it? Unfortunately, in the “connected” world we live and do business in just doesn’t allow for that kind of interaction most of the time, but they will shout out over social media of the bad experience.
How many posts have you read that were rage-fueled because of poor customer service and probably were the most popular and shared on social media. What this means for companies who offer poor phone support is that you’re essentially setting yourself up to be potentially even more popular than your competition – unfortunately not in a good way!
When you start to lose your reputation, it becomes hard to bounce back because of so many readily available competitors waiting with open arms to take your unhappy customers and turn their frowns upside down.
Most customer service problems can originate on the phone…
The truth is that most of your employees probably weren’t hired exclusively to answer customers phone calls. And, most companies don’t have the infrastructure and/or budget to keep an employee strapped to a headset. Your employees then get over-stressed and don’t offer the support levels modern customers demand, and calls go unanswered which leaves even more money left sitting on the table.
This is why having a telephone answering service to take some or even all your call handling work is essential to overall success in the market. With an answering service, you get all the benefits of having dedicated in-house support on hand, without the added expense of hiring more staff and spending the money installing a dedicated call routing system in the office:
Trained professionals whose sole job is to answer the phone with a smile.
Phones are answered promptly and immediately routed to the right person
Messages are instantly transcribed and sent to the recipient using email and SMS.
Calls are recorded in case of customer/agent disputes or discrepancies.
Many services can even book appointments and make sales for you when the team is absent.
The benefits are many and the drawbacks few. Don’t let your company fall prey to the consequences that come from phone answering woes in the office.
It’s so much easier to stop problems from occurring in the first place than it is to fix them after the fact. Prevention is better than cure!
Employees start to leave for greener pastures
There’s nothing scarier for an employee than getting up and going to a job day-in and day-out where they’re going to do nothing but listen to customers calling to complain about how terrible the company they work for is.
When service levels continually plummet, your employee’s life gets harder and harder. And, with all those calls coming in, it becomes harder to manage those calls, making sure accurate messages are taken and ensuring customers are routed to the right company representative.
An outsourced telephone answering service will often offer more than just the ability to answer calls and take messages, too. They can also help route your calls during business hours, schedule appointments for sales and service staff, and even help with basic to moderate product troubleshooting and other support-related issue in some cases.