Findings of small business call report revealed

Moneypenny’s Small Business Call Report covers a range of industries from Financial to Construction

New research suggests relying on voicemail is having a huge detrimental effect on the bottom line of small businesses.

US businesses are missing out on work because they are failing to answer their calls and are instead relying on voicemail, losing the business at an early stage as the majority of callers refuse to leave messages. The worst offenders are small businesses. In fact, small and micro businesses are three times more likely to use voicemail than large businesses.

  • 69% of callers don’t leave voicemail messages.
  • 71% of SMEs let calls go to voicemail and 29% let their calls ring out
  • 54% rely on standard network voicemail greetings
  • 13% set up voicemail and don’t reference their business
  • Only 33% use a tailored voicemail message

In an independent survey commissioned by Moneypenny of 300 micro businesses (0-9 employees) and an examination of 10,000 businesses’ call data, we found that a third of the businesses surveyed (33%) failed to answer their incoming calls. In its report, Moneypenny also revealed that 69% of the callers who were answered by voicemail declined to leave a message, and instead hung up.

Businesses need to think differently

Ed Reeves, director and co-founder of Moneypenny, commented: “Quite simply, a customer getting through to a voicemail instead of a person is like tearing up money. It’s akin to walking into a shop with no one at the till. Buyers simply ring the next supplier on the list. Pretty much every prospective customer hangs up at an answer message, yet so many businesses, especially those run from cell phones, have no solution in place.

US businesses are losing a fortune in opportunities, and their dependency on cell phones makes things worse.

“Customers use phone inquiries differently nowadays; a phone call is no longer a research tool –that’s handled by social media, websites or email – instead it’s the final reassurance prior to a purchase. This results in fewer yet higher value phone calls coming from only the most serious of buyers. Not answering those calls guarantees losing the business.

Ed concluded: “We all hate leaving voicemail messages as much as we dislike listening to them. But if a cell is answered by a real person, you’ve immediately got a business connection. It really is that simple. Larger companies have long ago realized the value of this personal touch, but it seems their smaller peers are still lagging behind and missing even the basics of a professional business front.”

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