Who answers the phone when someone calls your business? Do you have an automated attendant or do you have a “live” person handing calls? If yours is like most businesses these days, you probably use an automated attendant. An auto attendant can certainly save money on payroll, but do you know how it’s affecting your bottom line?
I have always paid a lot of attention to how my service clients’ incoming calls are handled. After all, if I have set up an advertising campaign for them I want to be sure that every lead that is generated from that campaign are accounted for. I’m lucky because I when I set up Pay Per Click campaigns, I include with a free service that enables my clients to see what incoming leads are generated and listen to a recording of each call.
Recently, I performed a very unscientific experiment to see I could discern a connection between how incoming calls are handled and overall conversions. I discovered that auto attendants get significantly more hang-ups than when a live person picks up the phone. In addition, I discovered that most auto attendant systems seem to have at least one, if not all, of the following issues:
- Too many rings before extension pick up (the most hang-ups here)
- Long delays connecting to extensions (leads to customer frustration)
- Confusing employee directories (totally frustrating)
- Outdated information in the recording (such as services provided)
- The sales department is the last option in the extension list (should be the first!)
Try phoning your own company as if you are a first time caller. What’s your experience? If it’s less than stellar, do something about it fast. Now’s not the time to let any incoming leads go.
Remember, the sales process begins at “Hello” and it’s the first step in to getting to “Yes!”