It’s a slow weekday morning at the local auto dealership, so the junior salesperson steps out to pick up lunch for the office. He’s barely down the road, when a big family with several rambunctious kids steps into the showroom. The senior salesperson is quick to usher them to the back lot, where there are several big SUVs.
Of course, this is the precise moment when the phone rings.
Back in the service bay, one of the mechanics has a car on the lift and can’t maneuver fast enough to pick up the call. The service manager is on another line, checking on delivery of a specific part. No problem, he thinks. The caller will leave a voicemail. Instead, the impatient prospect hangs up the minute he hears the recorded greeting.
For growing businesses like car dealers and service companies, an unanswered phone is a missed opportunity for sales revenue. According to research by British firm, BT Business, the estimated cost of a single missed call is £1,200. But decision makers say the cost of being uncontactable by phone for a full 24 hours could be higher – at least £9,000 and as much as £20,000. Over time, this is a sizable chunk of potential revenue.
Unanswered calls happen far more often than you would think. In fact, 85 percent of prospects say they won’t call back if their first call isn’t answered. That’s because today’s consumers are searching on their mobile phones for immediate answers. With business phone numbers available right from company websites, click-to-call dialing is on the rise. As a result, impatient customers tend to move on quickly.
But there are several reasons growing businesses feel compelled to rely on voicemail. These challenges make it difficult to answer the phone every time.
They have limited staff. With few employees, everyone wears multiple hats, which means there’s no downtime. Like our car dealership example, employees may be working with other clients or conducting tasks that take them away from their desk. They may even be off-site, visiting customers.
Their mobile phones aren’t integrated with office systems. Like their customers, employees rely on smartphones to stay connected to the office. Often, colleagues must call a separate phone number. The worker also may have limited or even no access to email.
Today's consumer increasingly relies on their phone for information before making a decision. Learn more about the power of the mobile consumer with our infographic. >
The good news is that a mobile application designed for the way they operate could solve these problems. Consider these scenarios, which show how a mobile app integrated with the company’s communications technology can streamline work and ensure no call goes unanswered.
Monitor multiple lines via a single app. Most architectural firms are small, tightly run teams whose members are often out of the office at job sites. In this business, responsiveness is as critical as the quality and creativity of the design work. With stiff competition – a Google search for local architects could bring up a dozen or more firms in the area – the owner can’t afford for his phones to go unanswered. But with a mobile app, he can monitor several lines, enabling him to answer on behalf of partners, the senior architect or the project manager.
Reach employees anywhere on-site. In a warehouse, workers don’t stand still. They move nonstop around the center as they follow pick paths and travel from aisles to the loading dock. With a mobile app, though, everyone is accessible. The receptionist can determine the location of a worker with presence features and either make an instant connection or park an incoming call until the worker is available.
Collaborate with one-click at any location. HVAC technicians spend their days visiting customer locations. Usually, a diagnosis is obvious, but sometimes the solution requires the help of subject matter experts back at the office. With one touch, the on-site tech can initiate a group call. With the right expertise on the conference, the team evaluates the problem and determines a solution, enabling the tech to repair the issue on the first try. Another common issue is part replacement. If the technician doesn’t have the piece on his truck, he can use his mobile app to check inventory. If the part won’t arrive for several days, he can also use the app to set a new appointment before he drives away.
Growing businesses need simplicity. With a mobile app that is easy and intuitive to use, they can be voice-centric without the need to deploy a complicated communications solution. The resulting improvements in customer experience are certain to translate into higher revenues while lowering costs.