Call it off: small business missing out
The start of the year is a good time to refocus on the business strategy and consider what needs to be in place to ensure that you can meet your business goals. This should include a look into your business telephone systems.
Is your company looking to generate more leads in the coming year? If so, you may be addressing your approach to sales and marketing, updating your website or investing in exhibition stands. One area that you might not have considered is your phone system for business calls.
Small Business Call Report
A recently published Small Business Call Report suggests that a significant number of small businesses are missing out on considerable numbers of prospective customers. This is due to insufficient investment in their business phone system.
The report, undertaken by Money Penny, identified that 33% of small businesses regularly left calls to ring out or go to voicemail. In the construction industry, the figure rose to 41%, with building trades being the least likely to take every call.
This isn’t necessarily a blatant lack of communication skills; the small businesses that were surveyed all had a maximum of 9 employees. At busy times, there may simply be no one free to answer the call and a lack of supporting technology to make it possible.
A review of your current telecoms system could be a good place to start. What is working for you and where are the weaknesses? Could some additional features transform your business communications? What backup plans are in place if your phones go down? These can all be addressed in a review.
Relying on Voicemail
To further add to the problem, the data showed that only 13% of small businesses were using a professional, personalised message for their voicemail; the remainder were using the standard message. This was a particular problem with mobile phones, which are now widely used for business calls.
To illustrate the impact of this lack of attention on telephone communication, the report highlighted that 69% of callers are unwilling to leave a voicemail message. If the call wasn’t answered, they would simply try to get hold of another company. This suggests that many SME‘s are essentially handing potential customers over to their competitors by not answering phone calls.
Past experience may be to blame as many callers didn’t expect to receive a call back having left a voicemail message. Does your business promptly get back in touch with callers who have left a message? If not, this could be an important step in the right direction.
Before the widespread use of the internet, consumers would often ring around a number of suppliers as part of their research. The call would be focused on collecting information, which they could then use to compare and make a decision.
Advances in technology have impacted on everything and this includes consumer habits. These days research is gathered online; people will ask for recommendations via social media, they will then view profiles and web pages to gather information and make comparisons.
The phone call to the company comes at a much later stage in the sales funnel; the point when they are ready to commit. They may want to double check a few details, but with the right response, the decision is made and they are happy to make an appointment, place an order, book a place etc.
For this reason, it is more important than ever to install a phone system for businesses.
Phone System for Businesses
If your business is serious about generating more leads, it could be time to invest in a suitable phone system. There are a number of good quality systems on the market and each offer a variety of features and functions. These are also supported by maintenance services. A specialist telecoms company will be able to listen to your requirements and advise you on the best options.
A phone system needn’t be an expensive purchase. If it allows you to work more effectively, remain in contact with customers and generate fresh leads, then it could soon deliver a return on your investment.