Even with texting, social media messaging, and live chat options, the majority of customers still prefer to call businesses when they need help. According to Google, 61% of people call businesses while they’re in the buying stage. Of current customers, 40% will call your service team after using self-service help like a knowledge base and 32% prefer to call over using other customer service options. That means that your phones are an integral part of every part of your buying cycle. You can set appointments, make sales, complete onboarding, and provide customer service leading to longer lifecycles with your phone system.
But unfortunately, too many businesses treat their phones as an afterthought, or just a necessary business expense. Instead, you should see your phones as another avenue for boosting revenue, delighting customers, and facilitating upsells. The best way to make your phones work harder for you is by removing areas that drive your customers crazy. Your phone systems should get your callers to the right person and get the answers they need as quickly as possible without confusion.
Read these 3 things everyone hates about calling businesses – and learn how you can fix them:
- Silent holds
- Busy signals
- Too many transfers
All businesses, and especially smaller businesses, can get overwhelmed with callers if just a few more than usual call at once. Have you considered your customer’s experience when they are put on hold? AT&T found that the average customer will hang up after just 90 seconds on hold. However, people listening to hold music thought they were waiting for half as much time as they actually were.
Music and other recordings both lets the caller know that they haven’t been disconnected and helps make the wait feel less long. Missed calls mean missed business or frustrated customers, so it’s vital to do everything you can to keep people on the line until you’re able to reach them.
How to fix it: Add music or custom messages to customer holds. Messages can convey upcoming events, specials, helpful information, or just thank the customer for remaining on hold. Another option is to set up a callback feature. In this case, instead of having to stay on the phone, your caller can hang up and you call them when it’s their turn in line. Almost two-thirds of customers prefer this option over waiting on hold. But, keep in mind that most callers will be expecting that callback within an hour.
At a time when VoIP makes unlimited lines possible, busy signals are even more jarring than they once were. Busy signals can indicate that a number is wrong, the company is no longer in business, or that they aren’t big enough to handle the calls coming in, causing distrust in your callers. Aside from these issues, one-third of callers who get a busy signal won’t try to call back. That means you’re losing 1/3 of calls that you don’t even know you missed!
How to fix it: Switch to a VoIP solution that offers more lines so your team never misses a call. You can also set it up so that your customers can access different numbers for sales, customer service, and billing – even if they actually all ring to the same place. That way, you know exactly why someone is calling when you pick up the phone.
Too many transfers
Your callers want to talk to a person and get an answer as quickly as possible. This extends to after their call has been connected as well. There’s nothing more frustrating than telling a receptionist what you need, being transferred and repeating your issue, only to transferred again and having to rehash your problem. Streamlining the calling experience will raise satisfaction and help free up agents to answer the next call.
How to fix it: Set up an IVR menu for callers to choose from. IVR stands for interactive voice response; it’s a menu which and has callers state which department they need before they even talk to anyone, alleviating the load that your office manager may be managing with transferring calls. And even if you’re a small business with just one phone, these menus will make you seem larger and more professional.
It’s a common misconception that customers today prefer to do everything online. A majority of people would rather talk to someone in order to get faster answers and be able to ask follow-up or specific questions. By reducing holds, busy signals, and transfers, you’ll increase the number of callers you help with pre-sales questions and support issues. This results in more sales and happier customers.
Learn about our business voice solutions to find all the features you can access when you make the switch to Vonix.