You’re probably familiar with the old adage “Time is money.” But allow us to introduce a new one: Calls are money. When it comes to businesses and their phones, a call is more than a call. It represents an opportunity, a relationship, a sale. Perhaps there was a time when business phone systems were solely for fielding questions like “Are you open today?”, but that time is long past. These days, there’s nothing trivial about calls that come into your company. A single phone ringing could signify a potential high-value order – or perhaps it signals the start of a promising new customer relationship. But mostly, enterprise phones can be thought of as one simple idea: Rings = $$. And you can be sure of one thing: If you don’t pick up the phone, that’s money lost.
Missed calls are missed revenue
Let me give you an example of what I mean. At one point in my career, I visited a finance company based in the southern United States to examine its phone system. With more than 260 physical locations, this was no small operation. And yet despite the scale of its physical business, the company’s phone system fell far short. One of the first things I did when talking to administrators at the business was ask them how many calls they fielded on a regular basis. They couldn’t tell me – and that was the first bad sign.
Despite being a relatively large company, the finance firm was leveraging a phone system that was far behind the times. The biggest problem is that their system lacked cohesion. If they missed calls, they wouldn’t know about it. Also, they didn’t have real-time call info, which means that, among other things, they couldn’t plot out where calls were coming from.
“A financial firm’s legacy phone system was leading to quantifiable losses in revenue.”
But above all, the firm’s legacy phone system was leading to quantifiable losses in revenue. Here’s what was happening: At some of the business’s locations, an average call would net around $700 in sales. But at other locations, a single call would only return around $300. Why the $400 difference? When I posed this question to company administrators, they couldn’t give me an answer. Without real-time tracking or call recording, they couldn’t even tell me basic things about the calls, let alone analyze their contents. You see, a missed call doesn’t only mean not picking up the phone. It also means not getting the most out of a call when it happens.
The finance company came to me for a solution. Fortunately for them, I had one.
Bringing the phone system up to speed
The key to business telephone systems today is the cloud. By taking outmoded enterprise phone systems and sticking them in the cloud, I help businesses realize a communicative – and ultimately monetary – potential they didn’t know they had. The service is called Hosted Voice, and what it does is it takes your company’s phone system out of the dusty closet and place it in the virtual realm. Here are some of the things organizations gain when adopting a Hosted Voice solution:
- The most up-to-date phones around, which enable easy logging of missed, received and placed calls.
- The ability to route calls anywhere, meaning that if you’re not in the office, you can receive that call on your smartphone – or have it route to someone who is in the building.
- The security of knowing that your phone system is completely protected against disasters.
I determined that a Hosted Voice solution would be the best move for the finance company. Not only did the system fundamentally change business for the better – it also provided the answer to a $400 question. After implementing Hosted Voice, the business was able to leverage the service’s call recording features to determine the difference between the locations averaging $700 per call and those netting only $300. By listening to the calls, company administrators were easily able to pinpoint the source of the discrepancy: While the calls averaging $700 lasted around four minutes, the $300 calls only ran for two minutes.
This added up to a lot of potential money to earn. After all, if 100 of the company stores were able to boost just one weekly sale from $300 to $550, that comes out to $100,000 in additional revenue – every month. Multiply that by 12 and you start to get an idea of how much annual revenue can be boosted by a great call system. For this company, more time with customers meant more money. It was as simple as that.
Here’s another thought to leave you with: If, at the finance firm, they’re able to process just one more sale per week at each of their stores, that comes out to $520,000 per month. Simply put, phones aren’t a secondary resource – they’re a central business tool. So pick up the phone, because there’s dollars on the other end of the line. For a long time, the finance firm had been unable to grasp the meaning behind this $400 difference, even though the answer was there all along. Because of its legacy phone system, the company hadn’t noticed the different length in average call time that explained why some locations earned more than others. By putting Hosted Voice in place, the business now enjoys a cohesion that ensures streamlined operations and optimal productivity – and, of course, greater revenue.