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The Phontastic Four: Finding the missing metrics in your business phone calls

Posted by Scott Taylor on Feb 22, 2016 8:00:00 AM

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With the rise of tools like CRM databases and other automated systems, your business can generate huge amounts of data to assess how it’s doing. There are hundreds of thousands of figures and metrics you can use to track different key performance indicators, such as your click through rate on social ads, your footfall on weekends (if you’re a retailer) and how many calls into your business are converted into sales.In fact, your phone system alone can provide a very high volume of important customer data – if you know where to look for it.

What are you missing?

What metrics, or data, should you be tracking and paying attention to when looking at your phone system? Here are what we like to refer to as the “Phontastic Four:” 

Call Abandonment - Don’t underestimate how important this metric is and the need to measure it correctly. We’ve talked about call abandonment in more detail before, but can’t stress enough its impact on your business. Think about it. If you’re losing 10 calls a day, seven days a week, that quickly adds up to a lot of missed opportunities.

Call abandonment tracks how many people hang up before they speak to a real person. The key to making this an effective metric is defining how long you wait until measuring a call as a call (for example, if someone hangs up after five seconds, it may be just a misdial), and at what point you consider a call ‘answered’ (when a human picks up the phone, not when it’s answered by an auto attendant).

Hold Time - How long does the average customer spend on hold when they call your company? Your hold time metrics equate directly to customer service – and satisfaction. Obviously the higher this number, the less satisfied your customers will be – and no one wants to take a call from an unhappy customer. There are various reasons why you have to keep a customer on hold (not enough people to answer the phone, a system outage or other emergency), but ideally you should aim for hold times of less than one minute. Anything more than that and you’re trying your customers’ patience and increasing your call abandonment rate.  

Call Length - How long is your staff staying on the phone with callers? Depending on your specific business needs, create a metric based on the length of an average call. Having an average call length to look for can help identify staff who may need coaching or additional information to assist customers. For example, if an average call is five minutes and you’re seeing lots of 30-second calls from one rep, they may need more help to keep the conversation going. Alternately, if another rep is spending 30 minutes talking to a customer, while it’s great they’re developing a relationship, are they working as effectively as they could be?

Recorded Calls – Most phone systems today offer the ability to record calls, so no real need to assign a metric to measure how you’re using it. The important thing is that you do. Recorded calls are a great resource for mining more data your business can use and track in terms of customer accountability, compliance with industry regulations (think medical offices) and as a training tool for customer service reps.

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Digging deeper

 Having the right data – at the right time – can make your business more efficient, productive and responsive to your customers. Be sure you’re using all the tools you have at your disposal to gather it, including your phone system. Knowing what to look for and which metrics to pay attention to, like the “Phontastic Four” above, can help you sort through the volume of daily data your company accumulates.

For more information on mining your phone system for valuable business metrics, give us a call. Or if you have a question about what kind of data your company should be tracking, leave it in the comments below.

Topics: General Audience

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At Vertical we're inspired by the always-connected, data-driven enterprises that embrace the new way of working made possible with mobile and cloud technology. We replace traditional business phone systems with a communications platform and secure cloud services that enable powerful new workflows to ensure you are always connected to your customers. Wherever. Whenever.

Vertical has thousands of clients of all sizes in all industries and we have specific communications platforms for the retail, auto, hospitality and healthcare sectors.

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