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    Customers and Leads Not Picking Up The Phone? Here’s the Answer to Boosting Your Answer Rates!

    You’ve got a ton of leads and potential customers, but no one is picking up the phone when you call. Don’t fret – we’ve got you covered! We’ve put together these 10 questions you should ask yourself to get to the bottom of why your calls go unanswered – and dramatically increase your answer rates.

    1. Is Your Company Name Showing on the Caller ID?

    If you aren’t sure, it's easy to find out. Try calling a few phones that don't already have the company’s phone number saved in its address book. If your business name doesn’t display on the phone when you call, then you can contact your phone service provider to get your business name registered for caller ID. 

    2. Do You Respond to New Leads and Inbound Calls Fast Enough?

    Don’t leave the fish on the hook – you have to reel it in! 

    Ideally, your phone system or CRM has the capacity to track how long it takes you to call new leads back. You should also be monitoring how often inbound calls are being answered within a set number of seconds, how many calls are abandoned (and when), and how many of your callers leave a voicemail. 

    If your business isn’t meeting its service-level agreements for response time, consider the following:

    Staff Levels Should Meet Demand

    See when most of your inbound calls and leads are coming in (day of week, time of day, day of month) and schedule your team accordingly.

    Consider First-Come, First-Served Lead Distribution

    With classic round-robin lead distribution, employees sometimes get so far behind on their leads that they can’t respond to new ones coming in quickly enough.

    3. Are You Leaving Voicemails?

    Believe it or not, most people listen to their voicemails. Leaving one if a lead doesn’t pick up will increase the chance of the recipient answering the next time you do call. In addition to that, failing to leave behind a voicemail might trigger phone carriers to flag your number as a source of telephone spam.

    4. Are You Calling Too Much?

    Even when somebody provides you with their contact information and permission to call, it doesn’t mean they want to be relentlessly contacted and cajoled. Not only does constantly calling someone work to decrease the likelihood of them answering in the future, but it’s an easy way to get flagged as spam by phone carriers.

    5. Do You Show Up as “Scam Likely” or “Scam Possible”?

    Your lines might already be flagged as spam, so you need to check to see if your number is showing up as “Scam Likely” when the caller ID data is presented. An easy way to find out is to try calling a few of your friends' or acquaintances’ phones using your business number and asking them how it looks. 

    To help prevent your phone number from showing up as spam, you should consider the following:

    • Are you blanket calling certain areas? Non-randomization results in carriers’ algorithms automatically flagging your calls as spam
    • Are you clearly identifying yourself on calls and letting the other party know they are on a recorded line? (This reduces the likelihood of calls being marked as spam by end-users.)
    • Are you leaving voicemails?
    • Are you making sure you have clean data?

    If your number is flagged as spam, don’t feel bad. This flagging happens for even the largest brands – and there are options for getting the flag removed. You can try contacting your phone provider to see how they can help; if they can’t, there are remediation services available that can address the issue on your behalf.

    6. Are You Using Clean Data?

    Fake leads have lower answer rates and are more likely to get your number flagged as spam. But every business receives bad leads, especially from web traffic where automated bots can easily submit fake and fraudulent information. 

    There are a few things you can do to help decrease the number of low-quality leads that would be a waste of time to contact.

    Implement a lead forms submission tool like reCaptcha that helps identify irregularities in online behavior (IP, bots) and automatically sets up additional verification steps in the web form submission process when needed.

    You can also use data validation services like Experian or Melissa Data to help verify that leads are accurate.

    7. Are You Checking Texts and SMS Regularly?

    Did you know that people often respond to your calls with a text message? They even send text messages to phone numbers they see on advertisements and websites. Make sure to check your text messages frequently. 

    If you haven’t been checking them, you probably have some hidden gold there. Should your phone provider not offer this option, then no worries: there are companies that can help you see your text messages without even changing phone providers. 

    8. Are Customers and Leads Able to Schedule a Callback?

    It makes sense to allow people to schedule a more convenient time for you to call back. Provide an option for people to provide a time and a number when and where they can more easily be reached. 

    Some people simply aren’t available to take your call most hours of the day because of other obligations like work or school, so it’s best to let them tell you when they can speak with you.

    9. Are Customers and Leads Able to Have Back and Forth Conversations via Text?

    A lot of people prefer texting versus speaking over the phone these days. To this end, you should consider making people aware of this option on your website, ads, digital and physical forms, IVR, and voicemail recording.

    10. Are You Talking Within the First Three Seconds?

    75% of people will hang up when they hear a three-second pause at the start of a call. So make sure there isn’t a delay between when the person answers and when you start talking. The same rule applies when they call you, so make sure to start talking right away when you answer incoming calls. 

    Improving Your Response Rate

    It can be frustrating not getting the answer rate you hoped for. However, hopefully, if you ask these 10 questions and examine the answer for your company, you’ll start to see improvement in your response rate. 

    Ytel helps businesses transform the way they run high-volume contact centers. Want to discuss improving your response rate with one of our experts? Connect with Ytel today.