When you’re suffering through the third or fourth loop of that dreaded on-hold elevator music, endlessly waiting for a human being to pick up the phone, you might start to wonder just how important your call really is to a company. And according to a recent survey, you’d be totally right: Your call isn’t nearly as important as the others.
A consumer report released in May by If By Phone, a voice-based marketing automation platform, surveyed 531 prospects and consumers and found that sales-related calls put into businesses were handled more quickly (51.1 percent handled within a minute) than existing customer calls were (21.5 percent handled within a minute). Basically, the report says that companies value the prospect’s call over the existing customer’s.
The reasons for this are clear: sales calls represent new deals (and new money), while existing customers are already under contract. But it brings into question companies’ values when it comes to customers. A customer was promised a certain level of service when buying into a contract and expects that same level throughout the life of that contract. Referrals make up a massive portion of a company’s clientele (and they’re insanely cost-effective), but that requires having happy, satisfied customers. Who’s going to refer a company that neglects the service calls of its own customers?
Said Irv Shapiro, CEO of If By Phone, in a press release, “If you aren’t perceived as a customer-facing organization, you run the risk of customers abandoning the brand when their contracts expire — and an even greater risk is that existing customers will advise their friends to steer clear of the brand. Forward thinking organizations get the buyer to the right person faster.”