I love to compare the task of an answering service in answering telephone calls to the task of a plumber stopping a leak. An answering service prevents calls from being unanswered or answered by a voicemail, which can cost you, the business owner, as much as 90% of their businesses. If this type of a “leak” is an issue, many of our clients notice a difference in their sales pretty quickly. We have had clients who, within the first 6 weeks of starting service with us, saw a 60% increase in their sales. This is particularly true for service businesses who offer emergency services 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Such businesses include plumbers, property managers, roofers, tree services, etc.
If you are currently using an answering service, how do you know if the answering service is helping your business? Here 7 questions to ask yourself before calculating the return on investment (ROI) of your answering service:
- How many calls do you receive in a 24 hour period from people looking for services you provide?
- What are you doing when most people call?
Your life does not revolve around the telephone; thus, chances are you are doing something other than sitting by the telephone like working, spending time with your family, or sleeping. These other activities are important and they take away your availability to answer the telephone.
- How many of your calls come from new prospects?
Brand new prospects are less forgiving of voicemail than repeat clients or prospects who are referred to you…unless it’s an emergency situation and they need you right now.
- What is the dollar value of each new prospect?
This dollar amount reflects not only the job itself, but also the referrals that you get from each client for responding quickly and doing such a great job.
- How many prospects told you, “I chose you over your competitors because you actually answered your phone”?
- Is your industry competitive?
If you industry is competitive, the prospect chose to call you based on yelp reviews, and they are having an emergency, there is a huge chance that they will go to the next person in your industry who also does a great job at the same thing.
- When did you start service?
You can compare your gross sales before you started service and after a significant period of time and see the difference.
Now that you know which questions to ask, it is time to calculate your ROI, return on investment.
- How much of your monthly revenue came from calls answered by your answering service?
- How much do you invest in your service each month?
For those of you mathematicians out there, here is the equation:
ROI = ( Gains – Cost ) / Cost
To put it in perspective, if you made $3600 from the calls taken by the answering service and your monthly service cost is $300, you would calculate your ROI as follows:
ROI = ( 15,000 – 300 ) / 300
ROI = 49%
Now you know how to calculate your ROI from an answering service. If you didn’t have the answering service to help you with the number of sales that they are helping you close, what would that do to your business? What would the loss of business do to your personal life? Chances are that the results would not be positive. Thus, a strong ROI from your answering service investment, resulting from a live person answering your telephone at all times and from a successful call handling strategy that has been created specifically for your business, can be imperative to the success of your business and your personal life.
If you are unclear about the ROI of your answering service investment or if you would like to learn more about how we can help you create a successful call handling strategy for your business, please feel free to contact us at (707) 455-3555 or (415) 945-4004. You can also reach us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.