Although you can take measures to ensure that you just about never miss a call, ever, it’s inevitable that it will happen from time to time when a caller slips through the cracks for some reason.
A proper phone system and call log can almost completely eliminate the possibility of missed or lost calls, but you should nonetheless have procedures and standards in place for those times when it does happen. Customers who are calling you expect to be taken care of, and quickly, which is why the tips in this post are helpful to you as a business owner.
Make Sure a Record of All Calls is Saved
When you miss a call, there’s going to be a record of it in your system’s log or in the actual device where it came in, but that’s not always the case. When a call is missed and you don’t have any procedure in place for it, it’s possible that the call could be deleted or somehow lost due to lapses in your system, or even problems with the phone carrier. Be sure to keep a separate record of all your business calls so that you can return the missed ones.
If you have a Talkroute system, then a call log is included with your account which automatically saves every single call and text message that you receive, along with a bunch of detailed call information, but even so, it’s good to have an independent list for your own reference. In your separate call record, you can even mark which ones need to be returned or were missed.
Don’t Assume that They Will Call Back
You might ignore missed business calls at times because you figure that, if the person needs something from your business, then they will surely call back, right? You might even ignore those calls because you still regularly take almost every call. That’s honestly not a great attitude to have towards answered vs. missed calls because all of them matter.
What if the one you missed and didn’t return posted an awful review about your company, or sent out a viral Tweet about it? It’s just good policy to take the best possible care of every customer.
Customers calling your business might only try to reach you once, and if you miss that call, you might not get another chance. That’s potential revenue automatically lost. Many businesses don’t have a phone system set up, such as a virtual phone system like Talkroute that will always show you a call that was missed.
If you are just using your cell phone without an attached virtual system, for example, or you’re only using one office phone line, then it’s easy to miss a call because it can sometimes ring through with no one on your team there to answer it. There are also any number of scenarios where they can be missed, if you don’t have a call management system in place.
Verify that Missed Calls are Returned Quickly
Don’t assume that someone on your team will return missed calls. In fact, most employees probably won’t consider it their responsibility to return a call unless you’ve explicitly stated that it’s required of them.
That’s not to say that the employee doesn’t care about the customers; they may just assume that someone else is already taking care of it if management hasn’t told them that they are supposed to return missed calls. One of the greatest mistakes people make, in general, is thinking that others know what they’re thinking without actually telling others what they’re thinking.
This is kind of a cognitive fallacy that we all have to be aware of. So, obviously, it’s preferable if you never miss a call—and that should be the goal at all times—but if you do miss one, it says a lot to the customer if you immediately call them back. Not only does this convey that you have a habit of staying on top of your business’ operations, but it also clearly shows that you care about your customers.
Even if you have to do it yourself, make it a point to call customers back as soon as possible. It’s a helpful practice, as well, to put at least one person on your team in charge of fielding, or at least recording, any missed calls as soon as they come in.
Use a Proportionate Response
What is a proportionate response? What this means in the context of what we’re discussing here is to respond to the customer in such a way that it is equal to the time and energy that they put in when they contacted you.
As a general rule, it’s a good idea to return missed calls proportionately; that is, if someone called you, then you should respond with a phone call, not a text message or other method. If someone contacted your business via text message, then it’s probably okay to at least send an initial response with a text, which is still a proportionate response.
Additionally, a point that may be very useful to show customers that you did not forget about them (which is the underlying idea of this discussion), is to let them know you’ll get back to them shortly—if you can’t do it right away. It’s actually not the worst thing to set up automated text messages for this purpose, either, as long as you follow through and get back to them in a timely manner, as the text notification tells them that you will.
This is another occasion when you can send a text, but only to let them know you received their call. Remember that it can be off-putting to the customer if you respond to their missed call with merely a text message.
It’s our hope that this article will help you to handle, process, and properly respond to those instances when you miss a business call, for which the tips herein will definitely be of use to you. Bear in mind, though, that the best approach to this problem is to avoid it entirely. To do that, you just need a good phone system in place that manages all of your calls with professional features, including a reliable call log.
Though you can react to missed calls in a conscientious and effective way without a professional system, it’s far better to have the system. If you feel you might need a more reliable system for keeping track of your calls, feel free to check out a free trial of Talkroute here: https://talkroute.com/sign-up/
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.