“… leave a message at the tone” may be sufficient for your home or personal cell, but is it the same in a local business or professional situation?
You work hard to develop new customers, to get them to call in to your business. Do new clients and customers calling in to your business for the first time really want to leave a message at the tone? Or upon hearing a VM message do they just hang up and go onto the next company on their list?
Yes, existing clients looking to change an appointment may be inclined to leave a voice mail message, but if a potential new customer – especially one seeking information – gets connected to voice mail instead of a live human being, we believe they’re simply going to hang up and call the next name on their screen.
In this digitally connected online world it is so easy to find any type of company – just Google the business type and hundreds of pages of search engine return pages come up in seconds – it’s no wonder that many people will just hang up without leaving a message as they won’t have the patience to wait for a return phone call when they need a question answered now.
Listening to recordings of inbound phone calls over time shows that most calls answered by a machine get hung up on with no message left. If the caller was a new client, that’s lost business.
Roger Kahn, the owner of Champion Office Suites in Garden City, a provider of off-site telephone reception services that answers some 700 calls for its clients everyday, states… “A recent Consumer Reports survey showed that 70% of callers are frustrated by voice mail. It is crucial to have your incoming sales calls answered by a live person rather than voice mail or an automated attendant. It immediately establishes the tone for the experience the caller will have with your company and sets you miles apart from your competition. Plus, importantly, if the calls go directly to voice mail, the caller is very likely to hang up and simply move to the next company on their list rather than leave a message and hope that someone will get back to them. Why risk frustrating clients or potential clients? The organizations we serve benefit from the fact that we personally answer their calls and appropriately shepherd the caller to the proper party within the organization. Even if the caller ultimately ends up in voice mail because the person in question is unavailable, they have had a positive, pleasant, personal, experience with the company and were not left to fend for themselves with a voice message or a frustrating automated attendant. The all-important process of BUILDING PERSONAL RAPPORT was begun. There is only one way to do that – with a live person answering the call.”
So think about the next time you call a new company for information, then reach a voice mail message, how you feel? Now imagine how your inbound new customers feel when they get that VM recording? Hmmmm…..