Archive for Live calls increase sales

Dropped calls: Causes and Solutions

dropped callsIn my 30 + years in the telecommunication industry, one problem I have seen consistently are issues where the end of a phone call might be interpreted not as a drop, but as a deliberate act with one party becoming offended.

So let’s take a look at the causes and some solutions.

By and large the most common cause of dropped calls that my company has seen are due to problems with older phone systems that still are using copper  phone lines or similar. Such problems existed  in 1919 and still do in  2019.  In recent years problems with calls originating to or coming from cell phones have increasingly been contributing to problems with dropped calls.
One of the ironies of the dramatic improvement in cell phone service quality is that since one can rarely tell when another party is on cell phone or a  landline or VOIP line resulting landline or VOIP carriers getting the  blame for dropped calls that are in fact caused by cell phones.  The slight upside to this is that folks these days are less likely to assume  an abrupt end to a call is a deliberate act on the part of the caller.

Other causes of dropped calls include:

a) electrical power problems.

b) internet carrier or related IT problems.

c) user error, in which case it becomes an “accidental or deliberate disconnect” and not a dropped call.

d) on older non VOIP systems component issues.

e) user issues often related to persons new to the phone system.

On  VOIP systems however.., the problems most times are not due to phone carrier carrier  or issues or the equipment but  one of 4 things;

  1. inadequate internet bandwidth – in which case a simple upgrade in speed will often solve the problem.
  2. Issues related the your internet service provider. These issues can usually be corrected pretty easily by contacting the customer or technical support department of your internet service provider. When contacting them include asking them to make sure everything in your carrier provided modem is set to allow, give priority to and/or not bloc SIP signals. In the rare times we have seen such calls not completely solve the problem we have found that insisting the carrier replace their modem has solved the issue.
  3. Make sure your ethernet switch or ( if you have a private router) is upgraded to the latest gigabyte technology and speeds.
  4. Talk to an  IT professional about providing a thorough check of your IT system for viruses. Viruses can infect a computer and/or computer network at any time. Many virus can take up massive amounts of bandwidth on even the fastest of internet circuits and by doing so play havoc with your IP phones!

The best way to avoid dropped calls is through the use of the modern business telephone system.

On older phone systems, if a component is about to go bad  dropped calls would be one of the problems one could experience.  If it is not a problem with the systems components  things that will cause a call to drop on a modern “land-line” system include a loss of electrical power and carrier issues. Switching to a VOIP system improves greatly the chances of this not occurring – but does not eliminate completely the potential for this problem to occur

So, what to do when you experience a dropped call:

  • Immediately make a note of the phone number dropped, and the time of the dropped call
  • Call the dropped party back, apologize for the interruption and inform them that the drop was a technical problem, not a deliberate act.
  • If you have internet based (VOIP) phone service contact your  local internet  service carrier and create a service ticket.  In most cases your Internet provider can help  especially if provided the above information. As noted in this article earlier  in some cases you may need to insist they replace your/their modem.

If over  a period of several months you continue to experience dropped calls on a regular basis, consider changing local phone or internet service carriers.  Most often  however today’s carriers are very good at identifying  and fixing these issues.  As bothersome as these things are be  patient with your phone or internet carrier since it may take several reported incidents before they can clearly identify  and get a handle why this is happening.

If  ongoing  issues with dropped call  is getting especially frustrating – hang in there!  A solution can almost always be found! In the meantime consider taking a break and firing up a Jimmy Buffett tune on your computer or smartphone  until things finally get resolved!

Problems with dropped calls have been around the since the days of Alexander Bell. As good as our modern communications infrastructure is, I don’t expect them to go away anytime soon.  Take the advice I’ve given you here, and you’ll find the problem to be less pervasive, and frustrating.

Callers Who Can’t Reach Someone Go Elsewhere…

Occasionally I’ll be asked to name the single most important thing a business can do to improve their office’s external communications.

My reply to them is always the same:
Simple. Make sure your callers can easily get to a live person.”

This answer surprises people but – it shouldn’t. Here’s why:

  • In our experience up to 80% of folks who call a business or non-profit for the first time and encounter a busy signal or voice-mail call elsewhere
  • Over 90% of those same folks won’t leave a message in voice mail
  • Up to 70% of repeat callers won’t leave a voice mail message
  • Up to 75% feel they haven’t reached “a real business”
  • Busy signals especially indicate management doesn’t care about people calling their office.

Even more interesting – if you ask business owners or managers with offices that don’t answer phones with a live person, if they are looking to both grow their business and deliver excellent customer service, all will say yes….

And, the biggest handicap to fixing this problem is not money or resources but the simple mindset of denial. What I call the “yes but we’re different or special so this doesn’t apply to me or my company” syndrome

I also hear:

  • A lot of our customers communicate with us by email (because you’re compelling them to do so…)
  • Our customers are “used to” reaching us by leaving messages instead of speaking to us live…(because you leave them no other choice; not a good business practice…)
  • Our customers don’t really need to reach us by phone that often (you give customers a phone number for a reason, yes?)

Most importantly:

The best time to show a caller that yours is the type of quality business with which they can trust to invest their time and money is when the caller has the time to do so…which is when they call you! …And get a recording?!  Or are forced to send you an email?

The good news: any business that feels like “they are too busy” to answer their phones by a live person is probably a fairly successful business!

The bad news: they are missing easy opportunities to grow their business and improve their customer service.

Back to more good news: this is easily done by implementing procedures to ensure incoming calls are answered by a live person, such as:

  • call queuing
  • automatic call distribution
  • delayed ring to mobile phones
  • phone system call apps for mobile phones

These are just some of the many very affordable capabilities that are available to get businesses off desk/cell phone voice mails and other customer alienators so that they can enjoy the growth and excellent customer service that reaching a live person by phone can provide.

The solutions are there. A small amount of time taken to explore & implement those that best fit your business will reap you many happy returns.

If you want help finding and setting up phone answering options to fit your company’s needs, call me @813-276-1666/toll free 866-459-7266 – or, if you prefer, email me directly at johnb@jhbtele.com

Tips on Making The Most of Your Voice Mail

man with phoneAs a Telecom professional for over 30 years, the communications technology I have seen most often misused is voice mail.

To help JHB Telephone customers make the most of this tool, here are some guidelines for the best use of voice mail – one of the best friends a company and business professional can have.

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Hosted VOIP Phone Systems – Emancipating Businesses from the PBX.

abraham_lincoln

Hosted VOIP Phone Systems – Emancipating Businesses from the PBX.

I’m an old school phone guy. From my first days working in the telecom industry  in the 1980’s a truly dependable phone system consisted of a main PBX control unit and phones. Any other model of phone system I thought was a risk to my customers that I believed was not worth taking.

To say the least, things have now changed! Today for a company of any size whether it has  1 employee or a staff of 500 if it is not in their plans to  switch to a hosted VOIP phone system they are doing their company, their customers and their prospects a great disservice! Hosted VOIP Phone Systems I believe are the single most dependable choice for businesses today. Here are some key reasons why:

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Phone Calls Answered Live Increases Sales

Guy on Phone

Occasionally I’ll be asked to name the  single most important thing a business can do to improve their offices communications…,

My reply to them is always the same;
Simply answer your office phones in a way that they can easily get to a  live person”  Phone calls answered live increases sales!

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