An article in Forbes recently reported that the number of solopreneur or freelance workers grew to 55 million Americans last year, which is 35% of the U.S. workforce. The trend is expected to increase to half the US workforce, or 75 million, by 2020.
The impact for these one-person business owners is increased competition. They already have their hands full trying to keep up with wearing all the hats needed to keep the business afloat. Solopreneurs are responsible for every aspect of their business, from developing and providing their product or service, marketing, accounting, customer service, and communications.
Customer communications are a particular challenge, considering that responding to customers is vital to getting or keeping their business but is also time-consuming. For this reason, many solopreneurs allow their calls to default to voicemail, but numerous studies show this isn’t a wise business practice. Forbes reported that up to 80% of callers will hang up if they’re sent to voicemail. And if the caller does leave a message, he or she is still left with the uncertainty of when the message will be heard and responded to. This lag time gives them the opportunity and incentive to call another business that might serve them more quickly.
On the other hand, if a solo business owner does their best to answer calls as they come in, they often lose valuable time on calls that aren’t always pertinent to growing their business. They also lose time due to the distraction a phone call creates. For example, a typical “quick” phone call costs about six minutes, which includes the time on the call plus the time transitioning back to what was being done before the interruption. That adds up to a tenth of an hour each time the phone rings.
So, if it seems like solopreneurs lose out either way, whether they answer their phones or rely on voicemail, it’s time to consider another option. Many solopreneurs are discovering that live voice answering services are the ideal solution to promptly handling their calls. Their customers’ calls are answered by professional, friendly receptionists who act as an extension of the business, while the solopreneur is free to stay focused on their business at hand.
The benefits far outweigh the costs, which are minimal, and improve both productivity and customer satisfaction. Based on the business owner’s preferences, the answering service determines which calls are a high priority and require action, and which can be returned in a timely manner when it’s convenient. No more unnecessary interruptions and no more missed business opportunities.
If you’re running your own business and wondering how to best customer communications, Voice Link of Columbus, Inc. can save you valuable time and money by managing your phone calls whenever you need, whether during peak hours, after office hours, or around the clock. We can also help with tasks such as appointment scheduling, event registrations, or e-commerce. Our monthly plans contain no hidden fees and are tailored to suit your unique needs.