Phone tag – we’ve all played it. It’s not a game we want to play, it just happens. From a customer perspective, it’s just straight up frustrating and as a business, it’s bad for your reputation. But what if you could turn phone tag into something more productive?
Customers rely on your service department to answer their questions as soon as they have them and can easily become frustrated when their calls aren’t answered.
|82% of customers rate an immediate response (30 minutes or less) as important or very important when they have marketing or sales questions, and that percentage rises to 90% with support questions. (HubSpot Research)|
You know their calls are coming, so why not anticipate those calls and prepare your team to handle them as they come in by implementing a call management system?
Why Missed Calls Happen
No one understands how hard it can be to answer every phone call like a busy service rep. Sometimes, they hang up with one customer and answer another call in the same swipe. But there are times when a rep can’t help but miss a call. The following factors may play a role in a high volume of missed calls:
- A small team that can’t handle your high call volume.
- Customers call a phone that rings to an empty desk because everyone is in the field.
- Your team is prioritizing other things before incoming calls and relying on voicemail.
- Your business doesn’t offer after-hours support and that’s when customers call.
- Your current call management system or other technology is insufficient.
Missing a call or two is almost inevitable, but it’s still important to strive for a 100% answer rate and prioritize call backs.
How to Minimize Missed Calls
Answer the Phone
The best way to reduce missed calls is simply answer the phone. So, how can you increase the odds that your service reps will be able to answer the phone? Have the phone ring to your whole team on their cell instead of just one desk phone or one team member’s personal phone.
Hold Regular Trainings
Is your team ready to answer support calls? Keep your team up to date on the latest happenings so they can provide customers with the best answers by holding meetings or trainings on a regular basis. This ensures your team is ready to answer a variety of calls.
Evaluate Feedback and Data
If you are keeping record of your team’s call data or gathering feedback from customers, you can determine areas of weakness that your team can improve upon. Once you know what you need to work on, you can implement (or make improvements to) your call management system or hold specific trainings for your team.
Use a Call Management System
Route calls in a way that connects customers to a representative faster. If you’re not currently using a call management system, they are an easy way to streamline your processes and improve your customer’s overall experience. Schedule a demo to see why hundreds of Ag businesses have turned to AgriSync to manage calls and other communications for their business.
When to Respond to Your Missed Call Log
The sooner you can call back, the better. According to 82% of customers, the main factor in a great experience is a quick response to their issues1. Responding with a sense of urgency shows sincerity and helps prove quality service to the customer.
What to Say in a Voicemail
“I’m not sure what the answer is, but I will find out and get back to you.”
Avoid phrases like “I can’t help you.” “I don’t have an answer.”
It’s always best to be honest with the customer. If you give them a wrong answer or a guess, it could just cause more trouble. And even worse, if you don’t give them an answer, they might think you have poor service. Always try to direct customers to someone that does have an answer or find the answer and call them back later.
“I’ll call back between 2 and 4 this afternoon,” or “If I don’t call back in 24 hours give me another call.”
Give customers a response time or a specific time to call back to cut down on phone tag. (voicemail etiquette)
“Sounds like an issue we can help you with.”
Avoid phrases like “It’s easy.” “You can fix that yourself.” That might make the customer feel silly for calling about their issue.
Customers should feel like they can call when they need help and making them think their issue isn’t really a problem can be insulting. Majority of the time customers don’t cry wolf. If they are calling, they have a reason. Especially during their busy season, when wasting time isn’t an option. You always want to leave your customers with a positive feeling of your business. Customers probably won’t remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel.
What If They Don’t Answer?
If your customer doesn’t answer your call back, don’t be afraid to leave a voicemail. It’s better to leave a voicemail to at least acknowledge their issue.
- Say your name, position, company name or any other pertinent details
- Apologize for missing their call
- Answer their question if they left a voicemail
- Provide next steps – Call back if you have additional questions or need any clarification.
Why leave a voicemail? If you include these details it gets the customer immediate answers and shows you are making every effort to be there for the customer.
Sick of dealing with missed calls and voicemails? Find out how AgriSync can help you shrink your missed call log.
1. The State of Support Services: 2017, Technology & Services Industry Association, https://www.tsia.com/resources/the-state-of-support-services-2017