Customers call when they want a rapid response, a meaningful conversation, and a solution to challenges. Too often though, the first hurdle for them is simply getting through.
When calls go unanswered, the result is disappointed customers and a poorly performing business. It only takes one missed call to alter a customer’s perception of your organization—and it’s worth remembering that people are twice as likely to spread the news of a poor experience than they are a positive one.
So to deliver a service that satisfies customers and builds advocates, you need to be able to keep track of unanswered calls and take steps to reduce them. That’s why we’ve launched a new Unanswered Calls Dashboard as part of our Analytics+ suite.
To help you get the most out of the new feature, let’s look at the leading causes of unanswered calls, the impact they have on your customer service, and how you can start minimizing your unanswered call rate.
3 Reasons You’re Missing Customer Calls
To start tackling unanswered calls, you first have to identify some of their causes. Let’s break the top three reasons down.
1. Your team is overwhelmed
This is likely to be the most common reason for calls being missed—your staff are simply too busy to get to them. There are a few telltale signs if this is the case.
Most obviously, if your team is already answering a high volume of calls, you’ll know there’s little room to squeeze in additional customer conversations. Likewise, if your sales and support folks are struggling to hit their KPIs or reporting high levels of burnout (or you're even struggling to retain employees), these are all warning signals that your team is overloaded.
However, to identify these signals, you don’t need to play detective. With new tools from Aircall, you can clearly see exactly how many calls are going unanswered and why (more on those features below).
This can help you make the right decision to solve the problem—whether it’s improving rep efficiency, expanding hours, or even increasing hires.
2. Employees are distracted by other communication channels
If sales or support staff are overly focused on maintaining communications on other channels like email, chat, or social media, calls may fall off their radar. But while those nonstop notifications from other services may demand attention, it’s crucial not to let calls go unattended.
Not only do 44% of sales professionals say phone calls are the most effective channel for remote selling, but customers are also more likely to use the phone when a query is urgent. In other words, calls being missed are likely to be of a higher value to the business than a DM on social or an email.
What’s more, around 85% of people whose calls are not answered don’t call back. So, with every missed call, you run a high risk of the customer giving up and instead picking up the phone to call a competitor. You want to answer calls on their first try to avoid this happening.
Clear KPIs for different channels, or even dedicated team members covering specific modes of communication, can help ensure those vital customer interactions don’t lose out to an onslaught of emails and social queries.
3. Ineffective call routing
Particularly in complex or growing organizations, it’s all too easy for customers to end up being sent around in circles when they call. This can lead to calls being directed to the wrong department, ringing out, or hitting voicemails—all of which are less than ideal for your customer and the business.
There are a few tools that can help tackle this. First off, you want a solution that can reveal how many calls are being abandoned and at what stage of the customer journey they are being abandoned (for example, in the first few seconds or during the welcome message). Next, you can implement a customized routing or interactive voice response (IVR) menu to ensure that inbound calls go to the right place (and an available rep) every time. With time-based routing, these can even be set up to provide continuous service during and after business hours—for example, by rerouting inbound calls to a different location during specific time slots.
Understanding the Impact of Unanswered Calls
When a customer call goes unanswered, it has a profound impact on the business, as well as the overall customer experience. Let’s take a look at some of the additional effects when that call hits voicemail, goes on hold, or simply keeps ringing out.
Slow response times
It’s simple: If a customer call isn’t answered, you’re not going to be able to solve their problem. That means crucial metrics, like average waiting duration or % of missed calls start to skyrocket. These are clear signals that something needs to change.
Reactivity is key to building a satisfied customer base. And if a customer is already calling support, there’s a chance they might be on the edge of frustration already. You want to swoop in superhero style and save the day (the cape’s optional). Ultimately, they should be left feeling happy and reassured.
A missed call does the opposite—leaving the caller feeling adrift, unsupported, and ready to leave in search of other businesses. Overall, the more missed calls you have, the more likely those vital CSAT and NPS scores are to drop.
Lost business insight
Every call a customer makes is also a chance to learn and improve. When those calls fail to connect, that opportunity goes down the drain. Encourage a mindset shift to view every call as a resource that can help the business—and teams—to become better at what they do. What’s more, if you’re automatically transcribing those calls using AI, you can build a bank of valuable knowledge to share.
Ultimately, calls are a source of revenue. Whether it’s a new customer looking to connect with sales, an existing client planning to renew, or even a dissatisfied caller whose problems can be solved—missing their call can easily impact the business bottom line.
How to Start Tracking Unanswered Calls
Tracking unanswered calls—and taking action to cut them—doesn’t have to be a chore. Aircall’s new Analytics+ features an Unanswered Calls Dashboard that puts data at the heart of your decision-making. It offers a clear snapshot of how many calls are going unanswered and why, in real-time.
By using the dashboard, you’ll be able to identify:
When the highest number of calls are left unanswered—revealing which times or days are causing problems and how this changes over time
What the main reasons are for missing calls—for example, a lack of an available rep or because the call was abandoned before it was answered
How well you respond to missed calls by getting back in touch with customers and how many unanswered inbound calls requested a callback
This information allows you to start optimizing your rep’s days and take action to reduce missed calls or follow up with an outbound return call.
For example, if particular time periods are causing a high volume of missed calls, you might shift the schedule of your reps to cover them. Or if certain reps are constantly unavailable, you might look to adjust their workload in other areas to ensure calls can be answered. In another scenario, you could spot that calls are being abandoned due to an unintuitive flow and realize you need to rethink your interactive voice response menus and routing process.
What’s more, with smart filters, you can take a closer look at how KPIs around unanswered calls shift on specific days of the week, or for certain phone numbers. With this knowledge at your fingertips, you can get more out of your next team meeting, quarterly executive reports, or one-on-ones with a rep.
Whatever challenges you have, with Aircall’s Unanswered Calls+ Dashboard, you’ll be able to pinpoint the problem and start taking steps to get more customers connected with your team.
The Power of Voice Starts With Picking Up the Phone
We’re big believers in the power of voice here at Aircall. Having a real conversation with customers builds an emotional connection that chatbots, emails, or messages simply can’t match.
At the same time, we know it’s not always easy to keep on top of customer calls, particularly at peak times—or when your sales or support reps have a hundred other tasks on their to-do lists.
But with the data and insights found in our Unanswered Calls Dashboard, you can easily track unanswered calls and the reasons behind them and build strategies for more satisfied customers and better-optimized teams.
Want to access the new unanswered Calls+ Dashboard? Speak to your Account Manager about Analytics+ today.
Published on January 2, 2024.