The opportunity lost

Research suggests that 85% of people don’t call back. If you don’t answer, they simply move on to another company.

But it’s not just the business that you’re losing in the moment: you’re also losing all future work from that prospect, as well as any referrals they might have given you.

BT Business research suggests that the cost of a missed call is £1200.

The effort wasted

The marketing effort that drove that person to call was completely wasted. Why market your business if you don’t have the capacity to manage the enquiries that you create?

Additionally, missing calls on the first attempt can lead you to play telephone-tennis, wasting a great deal of time before you eventually speak – and discover that the prospect has found another supplier.

The competitors assisted

Your competitors are thrilled that you can’t answer the phone, because they are picking up those customers. And your competitors are also enjoying all the residual benefits; repeat business, referrals and reputational enhancement.

The reputation damaged

Instead of winning a great customer, you’ve shown someone that you aren’t managing your business well enough to handle enquiries.

And even if you do manage to win the business after a missed call, you are starting the relationship poorly. Rather than demonstrating your professionalism, you have raised questions about how you look after customers.

Customer lifetime value

One way to put a figure on your lost revenue is to calculate the average value of a customer. There are many ways to calculate this, but the simplest measure is to work out the average value per year.

Multiply your average order value (e.g. £750) by the average number of orders per year (e.g. 3). This gives you an average value per year. Multiply this value by your average customer lifespan (e.g. 4 years). This gives you a customer lifetime value of (£750 x 3 x 4) £9,000.

For clarity, the calculation is:

‘Average order value’ x ‘Average orders per year (per customer)’ x ‘average customer lifespan’ = customer lifetime value.

These figures are just to give you an idea of the total value of a customer. And this is purely by looking at the averages of your existing customers. This figure doesn’t reflect the possibility that a missed call might have been from a global enterprise with huge demand. Nor does it account for the secondary benefits that customers bring, such as referrals, new experience and a reputational boost.

This figure is not perfect, but it does give you an idea of the potential loss from one missed call.


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