Unanswered phone calls can cost businesses a lot of money. Some of these callers could be potential customers and by not picking up the phone you could be losing out on business. Other callers could be existing customers – failing to answer their calls may lead to urgent information being delayed and could even cause them to leave negative reviews if they feel it has led to a bad customer experience.
Setting up an answering machine to record voice messages can be one way of dealing with missed calls. However, not all callers will want to leave a voice message. Tracking calls may similarly allow you to call people back – however, there’s no guarantee they’ll pick up. As a result, it’s worth focusing on ways to reduce calls getting missed in the first place.
There are lots of reasons as to why calls get missed. You may be out of the office, you may be busy with other tasks or you may even be on the phone to another caller. Below are just a few solutions that could help to reduce missed calls.
Hire a receptionist
If you’re often too busy to answer the phone, a solution could be to hire an employee to answer the phone for you. This could be a PA who also helps out with other admin tasks or it could be a receptionist that purely answers the phone if you receive a lot of phone calls.
Of course, you don’t have to hire an employee – you could consider getting a virtual receptionist service. This involves outsourcing a company or individual to answer calls for you. This could be cheaper than hiring an employee and more practical if you don’t receive enough phone calls to warrant a full-time employee.
Take calls on the go with a VoIP system
If you currently use a landline telephone to answer business calls, you could consider switching to a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) system. This gives you a virtual number that can be answered on any device from any location. This means that you don’t have to be in the office to answer calls (neither do you have to give out your mobile number to business contacts).
A VoIP system could work out cheaper than a landline system. If you have employees, you can also allow them to take calls on the same number from their devices, giving them freedom to work out of the office too.
Use a hands-free headset
Hands-free bluetooth headsets can allow you to answer calls and handle other tasks without having to hold a phone to your ear. If you often miss calls because you’re preoccupied with other tasks, this could be a great solution (providing you can still concentrate on both tasks at once). Hands-free headsets can be particularly useful when driving or carrying out manual labour tasks.
Connect your phone to your car speakers via bluetooth
If you often miss calls because you are driving, you could consider connecting your phone to your car’s speakers via bluetooth. This allows the phone call to come through the speakers of your car instead of a headset. Most cars that have bluetooth connection also have microphones fitted for speaking back – if not, you can always buy a car microphone for speaking into.
Put callers into a queue
Do you often miss callers because you’re preoccupied with another call? Putting callers into a queue could be one way of getting around this. This is often used by companies that experience busy periods of callers (such as a local doctor’s surgery in the morning). Rather than callers not being able to get through because the line is busy, they are put in a queue, which they can choose to wait in. Not all callers will be willing to wait – so you could still miss some callers – but you’ll likely answer a lot more calls than if you didn’t have a queue.
Caller queues are often combined with phone menus and multiple extensions that allow callers to select their reason for calling so that they can be directed to the right person. This could allow you to direct emergency calls to a different department so that they don’t have to wait in a queue. Directing callers to relevant people could also ensure that each call is quicker because no time is wasted having to locate the right person.
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