New Business Phone System Makes The Difference
My small business is growing in almost every imaginable way. Either way, except the bottom line, that is. My business is mainly telephone, with over ninety percent of our sales over our telephone lines. When our call volume began to increase late last year, I employed several new employees to manage our existing telephone system. We’ve updated our software, desktops and server to make order processing much smoother. We redesigned our website for easy navigation and ordering for internet clients. We even integrated our shipping division to handle an increase in orders. The phones rang several times throughout the day as our business grew, and we began to see a slight move in the right direction for our profits. Still, I wondered if we were losing calls due to lack of response time.
Our telephone system simply sent incoming calls to any available phone. If no one was available, the customer would hear the phone ring until someone finally picked up or until he grew tired of waiting. I decided to do a tribal study, which is a method of figuring out how many calls we lose because we didn’t have enough lines. Sure enough, we missed hundreds of calls a day. In busy times, people called and hung up after waiting. There is no question about it if they ever decide to call back. Since office space was already maximized to the point that I couldn’t hire extra employees because they didn’t have room to place it, I decided to update our phone system. We installed several new lines and would now be able to send incoming calls that were not picked up within three rings to go to an automated message asking the customer to please keep for the next available representative. This helped a bit, as it seems that our busiest hours stretch even longer. Then we added desk phones with LCD screens so our reps could set up up to five calls each. This meant that four fewer customers per desk would receive the same request to keep, but from one.
What had been uninterrupted business earlier in the morning and afternoon turned into an all-day affair. We then adjusted our message to notify customers who received the automated message of the best times to call, so that they would have the option to call back at a less busy time. After all, my business has increased tenfold. All I can say is that if you do business over the phone and have times when your lines are ringing uninterrupted, you should have a good business phone system, or you could lose money.