74% of consumers say that they’re are very likely to choose another business after a poor phone experience.
But, if you’re like most business owners, you’re likely not answering those inbound calls. You probably don’t have time to. Like most owners, you’re too busy running your business—serving customers or clients, fulfilling orders, managing employees, and getting work done.
So, what happens to those missed calls? Some companies have receptionists or customer service professionals on staff to pick up the phone (at least during business hours). But more and more small businesses are simply letting machines take care of things. Callers reach an interactive voice response system (IVR) or voicemail through which they can try to handle an issue themselves or request a call back.
These solutions promise convenience and cost efficiency for customers and businesses alike.
Unfortunately, they don’t really work.
If you’re using an automated system to answer phone calls, you’re missing major opportunities to connect with customers and grow your company. In 2020, the people calling your business expect to reach a live representative. And if you can give customers the human connection they long for, you’re practically guaranteed to boost business results and your bottom line. In fact, for many small businesses, it can be the difference between barely surviving and thriving.
Consider these five business benefits of live call answering:
1. Increase customer satisfaction
The key to customer satisfaction is human connection. More than two-thirds (67%) of customers will hang up when they can’t reach a live person. Many of those callers will then immediately write off your company and dial a competitor. This includes new and existing customers. Everyone calling your business wants (and deserves!) fast, responsive, and personalized human service.
2. Elevate your customer service reputation
Live call answering drives not only customer service, but word of mouth marketing as well. Approximately 72% of customers will share their positive customer service experiences with others. For every caller who reaches a friendly, capable business representative, the number of new prospects contacting your company increases.
Of course, if someone has a negative experience calling your company—if they can’t get through or reach an unhelpful machine—there’s a good chance they’ll tell their friends, family, and colleagues about that, too.
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3. Collect call information
Wouldn’t it be great if you knew everything about everyone calling your business—their names, contact information, and reason for getting in touch? With IVR, voicemail, or another automated system, you’ll never capture this information from the majority of callers. A whopping 85% of people whose calls aren’t answered by a live representative will not call back.
By contrast, a human agent can collect all relevant information about a caller, as well as solve basic customer service issues and even harness sales opportunities in the moment.
4. Win more business opportunities
Speaking of opportunities, there’s no fuel for customer loyalty and business growth as powerful as live call answering. Roughly four out of five (80%) of customers will become repeat buyers based on positive phone experiences.
To see what kind of impact live call answering can have for your business, use our ROI calculator.
5. Stand apart from the robo-crowd
Here’s the kicker: despite the clear benefits of live call answering, 85% of companies are transitioning or have transitioned to automated customer service this year. They’re doubling down on systems that frustrate, inconvenience, and ultimately drive away callers.
This presents your company with a once-in-a-lifetime moment to truly stand out. Don’t be like most small businesses. Don’t settle for the average. Focus on delivering extraordinary customer experiences over the phone and you’ll delight callers, improve your reputation, and win more opportunities.
The best part? You don’t have to do it yourself or manage calls entirely in-house. With Ruby’s live answering services, you get a top-rated team of customer service professionals ready to represent your business over the phone—at a fraction of the cost of a full-time employee.
For even more business benefits of virtual receptionists, check out our blog post on the topic.
Afraid you’ll forget the benefits? Download our tip sheet, tape it to your wall, and pass it around!