Since Alexander Graham Bell’s conception of the telephone in 1876, it’s been one of the most reliable ways to communicate.

As the technology of phones has advanced, that state of how we use them has advanced, too; we text more than we call, and we Zoom or FaceTime instead of meeting in person.

Although the ways people personally use their phones have changed, the classic phone call is still present for businesses–especially for small businesses.

In fact, the majority of customers still choose to phone a business over other communication methods.

According to a report by BrightLocal, 60% of respondents said that they prefer calling a business on the phone after they’ve found them online.

The explanation for this is simple: phoning a business is the easiest and quickest way to get your questions answered and to create a human connection. However, despite this fact, even the best small business owners know that answering every call promptly isn’t feasible due to reasons like being tied up with other business priorities.

These owners may not realize that not answering every phone call can have a large negative impact on the business.

So, if you’re a small business owner, what can you do to better manage your business phone usage while still running your business? Here are three ideas to help:

Set aside daily time for monitoring your phone and responding to voicemails

Maybe you’re a team of one, and you run your business solo. Or maybe you have a small but mighty team.

Either way, you’re bound to run into situations where you can’t answer the phone because you’re busy dealing with other tasks like servicing a client, counting inventory, or filing taxes.

By dedicating daily time towards monitoring your phone and responding to voicemails, you can focus on creating quality connections with your customers without being distracted by other things going on.

This allows you to better understand your customers and their unique needs, which increases customer loyalty because they understand that their business matters.

The downside here is that allowing calls to go to voicemail can lose you business.

As high as 80% of callers won’t leave a voicemail because they don’t believe they’ll get a callback. For many small businesses, voicemail has become more of a liability than an asset.

Implement a callback system

Since time is precious, you can quickly lose customers if they have to wait in a queue to talk to you.

Call back systems let customers request a call back from a business, either as soon as possible or at a time that suits them, meaning shorter waiting times, happier customers, and more leads.

According to SoftwareAdvice, 63% of customers prefer a callback option over sitting on hold.

The downside here is that customers may view being added to a callback queue as if they’re less important than other callers.

If this is the case, you’re likely to lose these customers since they’ll prefer to choose a business that cares about their time and interest.

Hire a trusted partner to help

The single best solution to optimize the management of your business phone is to hire a receptionist to help.

Yes, we’re biased, but with good reason…

A trusted receptionist can bring massive benefits to your business, from giving you more time to focus on delivering your service to increasing your customers’ satisfaction and loyalty.

The only challenge is deciding whether to hire a full-time receptionist or a virtual receptionist.

Hiring a full-time receptionist can be difficult, expensive, and time-consuming.

First, you’ll need to source and interview candidates, which can take loads of time and effort. Second, you’ll need to add your chosen candidate to a full-time payroll, which costs, on average, approximately $43,750 a year when you factor in things like benefits, vacation pay, employee insurance, and so on.

Hiring a virtual receptionist is simple, cost-effective, and efficient.

Smiledog virtual receptionists are set up to learn and perform reception duties for all types of specialized businesses, which means that onboarding can be done easily and promptly. Since Smiledog virtual receptionists are paid per minute rather than through a salary, the average cost per year is $8,748–saving you 80% of the cost of a full-time receptionist.

With Smiledog, you can rest assured that your investment will bring more returns than you even anticipated.

Wrapping Up

Although the way that people use phones continues to change, your business phone holds its value.

Customers will continue to call your business looking for your service, so it’s important to have solutions in place that allow you to optimize the management of your business phone and answer every call the first time.

If this isn’t possible on your own, don’t fret. More advanced solutions are available, like Smiledog’s backup reception services, to help you out without breaking the bank.

Want to learn more about Smiledog’s services? Try Smiledog today.