The Importance of Being Accessible

Have you ever found yourself in the following scenario? You’re busy doing something at home and the phone rings. You look at the display on the phone but don’t recognize the number… so you let it ring. You reason, that if it’s important, they’ll leave a message.

While we may be guilty of doing this at home, most of us would never dream of simply letting a phone ring at our business. This is because the importance of being accessible to our customers cannot be overstated. After all, now we are talking about our bottom line! But even if would never dream of deliberately ignoring a call, it can be difficult to always be accessible. Calls may come in during non-business hours, or at a time when everyone in the organization is busy with other tasks or on the phone with other customers.

woman on phone calling a plumber with her daughter

Why is being accessible to customers important?

In today’s competitive market place, businesses need every advantage they can get. And being accessible can give a business a clear advantage. Here are a few reasons why this is so important:

  1. No they won’t leave a message if it’s important – Okay, to be fair some customers might leave a message. But suppose you run a plumbing or electrical company, and someone calls in with an emergency situation only to get your voicemail. Most likely that customer will simply hang up and call one of your competitors.
  2. We live in a culture of convenience – Like it or not, convenience is highly prized in our society. We can sit at home and do our shopping in our pajamas. We can get movie tickets and gift cards uploaded to our cell phones. And driverless cars are soon expected to be on the market. If you are not accessible, that is not convenient for your customers. And rather than being inconvenienced, they will most likely call your competition.
  3. It reflects on your customer service – A big part of whether a customer gets a favourable impression of a business is whether they feel that they are getting good customer service. If no one is available to assist them when they call, or if they have to wait on-hold for lengthy periods of time, it can give them a negative impression of your customer service. Even if you provide a great product or service in the end, this initial impression can taint their perception of your business.
  4. It reflects on your entire business – A common habit of consumers these days is to look up online reviews of a business before they purchase products or services from that company. When you are not accessible to your customers, it can lead to negative online reviews. This can lead to loss of potential customers you never knew existed.

What’s a business owner to do?

Unless you operate a very large enterprise, it is simply not possible to always have an employee on hand who can answer the telephone. Fortunately, Touch Communications provides a simple and affordable live call answering service that can help ensure your business is always accessible to customers.

Call us today to find our more. (We promise to be accessible!)

Custom Call Services

One of the biggest concerns that many businesses have when they are considering a live call answering service, is that it will be impersonal, or that it will not reflect the brand of their company. But at TOUCH Communications, we understand that your business is unique. Even if you have hundreds of competitors, there is still something special about your brand – and as such, your business deserves customized service.

understanding operator

How do we provide custom call services?

The first step in customizing our services, is to understand your business and your business needs. Do you need our reps to answer the phone a certain way? Do you need us to ask specific questions? Do certain calls have to go to certain people?

By taking the time to get to know you and your business, we can tailor make a package that is perfect for your brand and your business. The following are a few ways we can put together call services designed specifically for your business:

Live call answering

Whether you require help in booking appointments, handling inquiries or simply managing the large volume of calls that you get every day, our CSRs (Call Service Representatives) are representing your business when they answer the phone. Your clients will never know they have reached a call service – that professional and friendly person on the other end of the line is your personal assistant.

Transferring calls

When certain types of calls have to go to certain people in your company, we can do that for you. This not only saves you the expense of having a dedicated switchboard person, but it also ensures your people don’t waste any time on calls not meant for them.

Call forwarding

Do you need to have important calls forwarded to you when you’re travelling, or to someone who is covering for you while you’re away? Simply let us know, and customers calling your number can be transferred to any phone number you choose.

Appointment booking

Not only do we answer calls, but we can also provide a service where we actually book appointments for you using a shared online calendar. And don’t worry, you can customize when you want to have appointments booked and when you don’t.

Employee check-in

Do you have employees who work shifts alone? Increase their safety through our employee check in service. It’s the next best thing to having a co-worker being there with them.
These are just a few of the ways that a custom call service like TOUCH can work for your business. If there is another type of telephone, text or email service that you require, let us know – because if you can think of it, it’s probably something that we can do!

After all, there’s a reason we call it “custom.”

Four Reasons Every Real Estate Agent Should Consider a Live Call Answering Service like TOUCH Communications

Real estate agents are married to their phones! We don’t blame them really – a realtor’s cellphone is their connection to clients, prospects, and suppliers. Without that connection, they wouldn’t be able to make a living. For agents who have never used a live call answering service like TOUCH Communications, they might wonder whether they can really trust those precious calls to a third party – but there are many reasons why realtors should use TOUCH for this type of service.

real estate agent talking to client
Here are some of the main reasons:

Reason #1 – TOUCH is 24/7.

Let’s face it, even if you sleep with your cellphone on your pillow, it is simply not possible for you to answer it every hour of every day. While a client might leave a message on your voicemail, there is a good chance that a prospect will not.

With an answering service like TOUCH, you can be sure that no matter who is calling, no matter the time, they will be answered by a real human being that will give them the same professional service that you would.

Reason #2: It lets you be in two (or more!) places at once.

Have you ever been showing a home and faced constant interruptions from your ringing phone? Even if you have your phone on vibrate, it can be very distracting and it might even make you appear to be rude to the potential customers to whom you are showing the home.

With TOUCH taking your calls for you – you can turn your phone off and focus on the face-to-face interaction with homebuyers, giving you a better chance of making a great impression and closing the sale. And you can be confident that whoever might be calling in is getting quality service as well.

Reason #3: It makes you appear more successful.

It’s human nature that we like to do business with people who are already successful.  It is no different with real estate agents. In the absence of a direct referral from friends or family members, prospective buyers and sellers will often give their business to the agents who already appear to be doing well in their business. (After all, they must be better right?).

If a prospective client calls your number and gets an automated voicemail, they may or may not leave a message. And if they call multiple times without getting through to a real person, it may give the impression that you are too small an operation for them to trust with the buying or selling of their home.

However, when you team up with TOUCH, your future customers will always get through – either to you or to one of “your assistants”. This projects an image of success and it may be the difference between a prospect becoming one of your customers – or one of your competition’s.

Reason #4: It gives you a break

Even the most devoted realtor needs to take time for themselves, their family and their friends. But that is hard to do when your ability to pay your bills is tied to your ability to answer your phone! Perhaps you’ve noticed the looks of exasperation from your friends when your phone lights up in the restaurant or on the golf course. You may even feel bad about answering – but you have to make a living.

Having TOUCH take care of your calls allows you to block out time for a healthy social life. You can have the peace of mind that when a caller is trying to reach you, they will be greeted by a friendly professional who will make the appropriate arrangements for you to get in touch with them at a later time.

As a realtor, there are many types of investments that you can make in your business. TOUCH Communications as your live call answering service is an investment that pays off in many ways!  Contact TOUCH Communications to take the next step.

The Cost of a Missed Call

Businesses have to make spending decisions every day. Whether it’s about buying a new piece of equipment, or hiring an additional employee, business owners want to know that they are going to get a reasonable rate of return on their investment. So how do you calculate whether investing in a call answering service like TOUCH will give you a good return? One way to do this is to calculate the opportunity cost of a missed call.

young man at call centre

Why do missed calls matter?

Even the most diligent of companies cannot answer every call, every time. In most cases, when all lines are busy, the caller will get transferred to a voicemail. But to think that a voicemail system is a way to catch missed calls is, for the most part, wishful thinking. That’s because 80% of callers won’t bother to leave a message. A few might call back at a later time, but most will just call someone else – they’ll call your competition. That means lost sales and lost opportunity.

What do missed calls cost your business?

There are a couple different ways to calculate the cost of a missed call.

First, let’s consider the fact that many businesses nowadays actually pay for incoming calls from potential customers. How is this so? They pay web marketing campaigns for SEO and PPC services to drive potential customers to websites and landing pages. Say a business spends $20,000 each month on web marketing which results in 1,000 incoming calls. That means that each of those calls is costing $20. Missing a mere 10% of those calls is like throwing $2,000 out the window.

The second way to calculate the cost of a missed call is in terms of lost revenue. If every call is a potential sale, the price of missed calls adds up very quickly. Say for example, that one in ten calls results in a sale and the average sale is $10,000. Of the 100 calls that your business misses, 10 would have resulted in sales had they been answered. That equals $100,000 in lost revenue.

When you consider what percentage of those callers might have been repeat customers or might have referred your business to someone else, the numbers can climb even higher. While each company’s number of calls, conversion rate and average sale will be different, one thing is clear – missed calls are bad for business.

Impact on company image

There is one more way in which missed calls can impact a business – and this one is not quite as easy to calculate in financial terms (even though it does have an impact). Not being able to answer the calls of your customers and prospects, is bad for your business’s image and its brand.

We’ve all had that experience, where we tried to reach a company and simply couldn’t get through. Do you remember the impression that you had of that business at the time? Chances are it wasn’t very good. Perhaps it was enough to prevent you from doing business with them – or maybe you were so frustrated that you spoke negatively about the company to others.

On the other hand, when you call a business and get a friendly and professional person on the phone right away, it gives a very good impression.

The opportunity cost of a missed call is obviously going to be different for every business. But make no mistake, there is a cost. Take some time to figure out what these lost opportunities are costing your business, and then invest in measures to gain them back.