What Is the True Cost of Missing Incoming Phone Calls?

What Is the True Cost of Missing Incoming Phone Calls

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There is no denying that companies need to account for expenses when deciding how to manage answering the phones. Whether it is a doctor’s office looking at a medical answering service, a property management company that needs calls answered after hours, or even a help desk scenario, expenses and budgets need to be considered. But we look at things differently: what is the true cost of missing incoming phone calls?

The amount of money a company spends to hire new staff, contract with an answering service, or invest in automated technology is only one half of the equation. The other half is how much the company stands to lose by not answering calls promptly. Companies might save money by allowing calls to go unanswered, but by saving money, they might also be losing it.

Losing Potential Leads

Phone calls represent leads for some types of businesses. And when that’s the case, every missed phone call could equal a lost lead. Lost leads are potential customers that could have otherwise been turned into paying customers. How many such customers can a company afford to let go?

Lost leads are not an issue for medical offices or property management companies. They aren’t much of a problem in helpdesk situations, either. But lost leads are a big deal for contractors, retail businesses, hospitality businesses, etc.

Slow Response Times

Lost leads are not an issue for medical offices and property management companies because they don’t rely on calls for sales. But slow response times are an issue. In fact, they could be a big issue depending on why someone has called.

A medical office missing calls could be jeopardizing the health of an ill patient. Missing calls could mean sending patients to the emergency department unnecessarily. The ramifications of missing calls are almost unthinkable in emergency situations. And ultimately, that could mean patients leaving an office and going elsewhere.

When it comes to property management, missing calls often means missing emergencies. Responding to emergencies too slowly harms a property manager’s reputation. Over time, this could translate into trouble taking care of renters and filling empty units. No one wants to rent from a property manager who responds too slowly.

Poor Customer Service

Leaving phone calls unanswered may be perceived by callers as poor customer service. In the modern era, people are used to on-demand everything. They are used to being able to contact the companies they do business with 24/7. If your company cannot be reached after hours, are you harming your own reputation among potential customers?

Remember that poor customer service almost always results in negative word of mouth. Not only do customers not recommend you to others, but they also actively warn others to stay away from your business. The best way to avoid such scenarios is to always provide top notch customer service. Perhaps that means answering your phone calls in real time.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line here is that people still contact businesses by phone. There is no denying that. But customer expectations have changed over the years. When a phone call is left unanswered, it creates a negative experience in the mind of the caller. Negative experiences ultimately translate into fewer customers and less revenue.

It is true that companies need to consider the budget when deciding how to answer phone calls. Sometimes the money for live answering service is available and other times it’s not. Regardless, calls should never go completely unanswered. If a company cannot afford a live answering service, then forwarding to an available phone or setting up voicemail is the bare minimum.

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