31 Oct What’s the cost of a missed call?
In today’s connected world, being available at all times is vital. Although most businesses tend to favour email and online channels as a way of keeping costs low, customers still expect to be able to reach you by phone. As such, it is important to know how much missed calls could be costing your business.
The cost of missed calls vary greatly depending on your industry, but this guide will help you assess whether you can afford to miss calls, or whether further investment in telecoms services is required.
Where your business works on projects billed by the hour, a missed call can directly equate to lost revenue. Time that could otherwise be billed during a customer call may not be recouped – particularly if the client defaults to a non real-time alternative like email.
Calculating the cost of these missed calls is simple – take the hourly rate of the unavailable call recipient and apply your minimum billable unit. For even greater insight, your business needs to review missed call logs for every employee. This will then allow you to assess the cost of missed calls according to; the employee, the team, the department and the company as a whole.
If your existing telephone system does not natively provide this level of detail, your business should investigate how this additional functionality could help boost revenue.
If your business has an obligation to answer calls within a certain number of rings, every missed call costs money. However there are several factors to consider:
- The actual cost of the compliance failure
- Any industry-assigned fines associated with failing to meet targets
- Any legal costs associated with breaches in compliance
- The cost of any negative press associated with breaches and perceived poor service
Modern telephony systems allow your business to:
- Automatically re-route calls internally, ensuring there is always someone available to answer
- Monitor and report on instances of missed calls
- Create a full call audit that allows you to prove your compliance status
A modern phone system provides the tools your business needs to maintain compliance and prove that you are meeting your obligations.
In the health sector, a missed call could be the difference between life and death for a patient. It is critically important that calls are routed effectively and efficiently. To help avoid situations that place lives at risk, you need a system that:
- Routes calls internally so that they are always answered
- Applies routing rules to ensure that calls are delivered to the most appropriate available member of staff
- Routes internally and externally to connect multi-sites or enable out-of-hours services
Your business can further improve availability and cut costs using a mobile app to access your phone system and control call routing. In this way, on-call staff can be reached at all times without incurring expensive mobile termination charges.
Finally, there is a factor that affects all businesses – the cost of sales lost due to unanswered calls. Again, it can be extremely difficult to calculate an accurate value for lost sales. But if you consider that just two missed calls each week equates to 104 potential lost sales each year, the seriousness of the situation becomes apparent. Even if you assume that one third of those callers leaves a message, you are still potentially losing 72 sales each year.
You can then take the cheapest item in your inventory or service list and apply that to all 72 missed calls. Assuming a fee of £50 per item, you are potentially losing £3600 every year simply because two calls go unanswered each week.
Long term failings
Where your business provides customer service and support, missed calls have the potential to damage your reputation. Ultimately, reputational damage will cost your business dearly. Customers will not renew their support contracts if they:
- Are consistently unable to get hold of your team
- Believe they are not receiving the support they pay for
- Are paying for calls that connect to a queue but are never answered by a real person
Ensuring that customers get to speak to someone in the event of a problem is essential to providing top quality support. If you want your customers to renew their support and maintenance contracts you will need to deliver a quality support service consistently.
“Delays in answering phone calls to HM Revenue and Customs hotlines cost the taxpayer £136m during 2012. According to a National Audit Office (NAO) report, delays cost customers £33m in call charges while they waited for HMRC to answer the phone and the estimated value of customer time while they waited was £103m”
– National Audit Office.
Avoiding missed calls
Clearly missed calls are costly for any business. To avoid them harming your business, you need:
- A configurable solution that allows you to route calls so that a real person answers every time
- A system that provides in-depth reporting to identify where calls are answered and missed
- Mobile app tools to extend your company phone system beyond the wired network
For free, no-obligation advice please get in touch and our team of experts will help you to establish your ‘no missed calls’ strategy.