It’s hard to run a business and still be available for customers’ calls around the clock. Your phone is the front door to your business and first impressions count.
Sending customers to voice mail when they call could be costing your business big time.
Having a live person answering your phone makes all the difference in the world to customer perception and satisfaction. What follows are the hidden costs of using voice mail.
1. Upset Customers
What if your customers don’t like the impersonal nature of voice mail? When a customer complains, chances are their anger will increase when they go to voice mail instead of instead of speaking with a real person.
Plus, in the time it takes you to call back, their frustration can fester even more. Instead of voice mail being a customer service tool, it becomes a customer disservice tool.
2. Lost Customers
Even worse, some customers won’t tolerate automation. Tick them off with greetings, beeps and the proverbial ‘voice mail jail’, they will simply take their business elsewhere.
When you look at the lifetime value of a customer, suddenly the inexpensive voice mail solution just became expensive.
3. Inefficient us of Time
With voice mail you need to listen to all the messages. Then you need to write down the key information. Some people will drone on for five minutes and give their phone number just before they hang up.
Others talk too fast and you have to listen to their message over and over, especially for addresses and phone numbers. What if you jot the number down incorrectly? What if you can’t read your writing or make sense of your notes? It happens.
If you still have the recording, you can listen to it again. If you already erased it (which is the efficient thing to do), then you need to scour your CRM and customer files to find their number. Or maybe all you have to show for your efforts is that you’ve lost the opportunity to respond. (Refer to the first two items.)
4. Continuous Telephone Tag
After a while of listening to messages you realize how much some people ramble. They can talk for two minutes and still not leave the key information you need. Then you need to call them back just to find out what they want. If they’re out, you leave them a message. Then they return the call and leave you a message, hopefully a complete one this time.
Now that you’ve learned the reason for their call, you need to research the situation and call them back again. But what if you need even more information from them? The game of phone tag rages on.
When you total up the cost of angering callers, losing customers and wasted time, the true price of voice mail really adds up. Can your business afford it?