Telephone Enquiries – The Massive Missed Opportunities
Some years ago we did some research. We found that, on average, our Salisbury office was failing to answer approximately 6 telephone calls every day during working hours. This was despite having 2 receptionists and internal arrangements for other people to answer the main switchboard if reception was busy. That’s a staggering 1500 calls every year we were missing! And you can bet your bottom dollar that a fair percentage of those were potentially new clients – who probably wouldn’t take the time to ring again .What was the solution? Another receptionist, at the cost of almost £20k once you include national insurance and other on costs? Don’t be daft.
The solution was much simpler and cheaper than that. We simply hired a telephone answering service to answer the phone when our reception team busy – at a fraction of the cost of a new receptionist. And what’s more, by doing so, we actually increased the hours that a living, breathing human answered the phone – rather than clients facing with a telephone answering message – and goodness knows how many other bits of new work we potentially miss when clients are reluctant to leave an answerphone message.
On top of that, I received an e-mail today from the ever excellent marketing guru, Boyd Butler, of Great Legal Marketing, with some more interesting statistics. According to Boyd from some tracking work he’s done with estate agents, of 2,000,000 calls to estate agents, a full 8% of those calls remain unanswered and the callers don’t call back. His figures suggest a similar ratio for Solicitors You think that’s bad – apparently the unanswered call stats for restaurants is a staggering 18%.
My advice is simple – engage a call answering service and seek an immediate improvement in client or customer care along with an increase in sales. But do bear in mind that not telephone answering companies are the same. I tried to engage a telephone answering service a few years ago and the results were a complete disaster – they set up a system so that far too many calls went through to them rather than being answered by our receptionists. What’s more, they then failed to send the e-mails containing details of the messages they had taken to us – for a whole week! Needless to say we didn’t pay their bill. They were lucky not to be sued. So if you want the name of a good call answering company [and the one we use is really good] and equally want to avoid the nightmare company we came across, feel free to drop me an e-mail. If it can work for solicitors in Salisbury, it can work for you.