Chances are that at one time or another you’ve had the frustrating experience of calling a business after hours simply to leave a message and enter into a maze of voice prompts asking you to “push 3” 12 different times until you are ready to pull your hair out. If you’ve had that experience, you may also have done your best to make it a one-time thing by taking your business elsewhere.
Image courtesy of flickr user Ed Yourdon
But as a small business owner, have you ever considered what your own customers hear when they call you at a time when no one else in available? If you are putting customers or prospects into a call prompt labyrinth—or worse, not giving them access to your voicemail at all—it’s time to make a change.
According to a customer service survey by Zendesk, 55 percent of customers said they switched to a different company for a product after having a bad customer experience, and that’s only one of a mountain of startling facts the research revealed. Can you afford that rate of churn?
Even if your fledgling company is still in its infancy, there are affordable virtual office phone solutions that allow you to set up call extensions and customize how and when they ring. You can easily record a personal greeting, have voicemails sent to your email to ensure you respond immediately to time-sensitive inquiries and even create a digital text greeting. Best-of-breed products provide you with support, a free local phone number and VoIP technology as well, meaning your phone can measure up to or even surpass companies many times your size.
So if you are concerned that your phone system might be giving customers the wrong impression, it’s time to call in yourself and find out for sure. Go ahead…pick up the phone and dial. Don’t worry—we’ll wait.