In the internet world, people talk about bandwith, backbone, throughput, connection speed, etc. What the main concern is will the page load fast enough, can it handle enough simultaneous requests so people don’t have to wait for the page to load and possibly find another website. They also use the term “pipe” kind of as a slang, like is the pipe big enough to support the flow.
I am using this analogy because it is something that a plumbing contractor can relate to in real terms. However what I am referring to is your phone system. I have written about this several times before, but unlike a drain-clog, leaking water pipe, this type of pipe problem is hard to detect and if left un-checked it could severely impact your business in a negative manner.
Here are a few simple tests that will inidicate if you’ve got a clogged phone:
Call your number and see how long it takes to get answered.
If the call is not answered after 4 or 5 rings, the caller will probably hang up.
What happens if it is not answered?
What happens if more than 1 call is placed simultaneously?
What happens when there is no one available to answer the phone?
There are simple and cost effective solutions to any one of these clogs. I call them clogs because in the service business every call should be treated as a job that will generate revenue and keep the business profitable.
Any call that is not answered is lost business that will go to another company. I am amazed at the number of companies I call that have clogged phone lines.
With the current technology available a customer should never get a busy signal and they should never experience a call that is not answered.
The simple solution is Voice Mail. Voice Mail turns a simple 1 line phone into a business phone!
If you add call waiting, then you will have the capability to switch between 2 live calls and then a 3rd call would be sent directly in to voice mail.
Even if you have all these things, it is a great idea to call your office at least once a month and make sure everything is working the way it was programmed. Also, do your employees answer the phone pleasantly and professionally? Is the business clearly identified so the caller has no question that they called the right place?
If you don’t have any idea how to set this up, call your local phone company or hire someone to get rid of your phone system clog. When you get more advanced with this, consider adding “message on hold”. It is a great feature that takes the “dead air” out of a caller on hold and turns them into a captive audience for your custom commercial. Its all about great customer service and insuring your customer that they are dealing with the right company.