It is estimated that U.S. businesses lose between 8 and 9 million dollars in sales each day because of unanswered or misdirected phone calls from customers. If a company earns revenue by selling products or services, it must answer the phone. If it can’t answer, it must have an automated system that works properly.
Okay, I made up that number in the first sentence. Maybe it’s more than 8-9M. But in the “please visit our website” era, some companies seem to have forgotten that customers have questions that may not be answered on FAQ pages. They want specifics that can only come from a live person. They have non-standard orders that you may or may not be able to fill. New prospects can be turned off by a lack of personal communication.
As an independent PR and marketing consultant, I answer every call I receive. If Caller ID only gives me a number but no name, I answer anyway. It could be a prospect who was given my name and contact info. It could be a media person who wants a client to do an interview. It could be someone I gave a business card to years ago who wants to know how I can help his or her organization.
Yes, I miss some calls when I am in a meeting. But I make an effort to return calls in a timely manner.
I realize that cost-cutting owners cringe when a designated human phone operator is sitting idle. I also realize that some companies have efficient automated phone systems.
But when your business involves selling and someone calls who has cash and wants to buy, isn’t it in your best interest to embrace this caller and accommodate your customer’s needs?