Small businesses face an ever-increasing array of challenges. Having the right tools to acquire, retain, and delight customers is just one of the many things business owners have to think about, but it’s arguably one of the most important.
No matter how good your product or service is, if you’re unable to communicate with customers and prospects when they have a question or need assistance, you’re bound to struggle to compete.
Missed phone calls can be an exceptionally costly breakdown in communication, and it’s estimated that almost 50% of phone calls to small businesses don’t get answered.¹ By not answering the phone, you could miss out on a new customer or risk losing a previously loyal customer.
Implementing missed call texting is one way to ensure timely communication even when no one at your business is available to talk. But what about call queues? Do you still need a call queue if you already have missed call text software?
In this guide, we’ll answer that question and show how they can work together.
What are Missed Call Texts?
What happens if a caller dials you outside of your office hours or tries to reach you when all of your employees are tied up on the phone? For many businesses, the call goes straight to voicemail. The problem with this approach is that only 20% of people leave voicemails.²
Depending on how often a call slips through the cracks, this can be disastrous for your business. It can also rob you of productivity as your team plays endless games of phone tag trying to track down the callers who do leave voicemails.
Missed call texts are the solution to this problem. With a missed call text, your caller will receive an automated text whenever they call you, and no one answers. The text can usually be personalized to include the following:
- A greeting and apology for missing the call
- An option to continue the conversation via text
- Information about office hours or team availability
- Personalized messages for callers who already exist in your database
What Are Call Queues?
Think of a call queue like a line of people waiting for something. In this case, the queue (pronounced like the letter “Q”) is a line of callers waiting to be connected to a real person.
Call queues work by allowing people to reserve their place in line virtually. Instead of receiving a busy signal or being left with the option of leaving a voicemail, callers will be greeted by an automated message and then placed on hold until someone is available to help with their inquiry.
Call queues can include several useful options, including:
- Call routing based on skills, department, or agent availability
- Self-service options
- Simultaneous routing (all available phones ring and whoever is available can pick up)
- Position announcements
- Escape options
Fewer missed calls equals more business
We often receive over 200 calls per day for our single office. With Weave’s call queues, we’ve made handling call volume much more manageable for our staff and decreased our total missed calls by 20%. - Maria M, Practice Manager, Quail Animal HospitalSchedule Demo
Pros and Cons and Cons of Missed Call Texts
Missed call texting can be incredibly helpful in enhancing communication with customers and prospects, but there are some potential cons to consider before relying solely on this tool as a backup.
- Communicate with callers instantly: We live in a world where people tend to want instant gratification. If a potential client can’t you, they’re likely to dial up a competitor. If the caller is already someone doing business with you, they could feel frustrated that you’re not reachable and even question the integrity or professionalism of your company.
By responding instantly to a missed call with a text, you can continue the conversation and service the caller either right away or at a determined time.
- Improve customer service: When you’re unreachable, and a caller gets a voicemail greeting, it can potentially damage your relationship. However, a missed call text signals callers that their needs are important. In some cases, the ensuing dialogue via text can resolve an issue or answer a question, eliminating the need for real-time vocal interactions.
- Win more clients: Instead of moving on to the next company on a list, a caller who receives a missed call text from your office might be won over. This is especially true if your missed call texts are sent promptly, feel personal, contain helpful information, and allow for two-way communication.
- Not everyone can get text messages: Though most people have text-enabled mobile phones, we can’t assume that everyone does. 81% of Americans communicate via text regularly, but that still leaves 19% of the population out of the loop.³
If you serve an elderly population or work with clients who have below-average means, you could end up alienating them with missed call texting.
- Some callers might still need verbal interaction: As a society, we’ve become accustomed to the convenience that texting offers. It’s immediate, less intrusive than a phone call, and it can cut down on how long it takes to have a conversation. However, not everyone feels that way.
Though it’s estimated that 70% of people would prefer to communicate with businesses via text rather than the phone, this figure doesn’t account for everyone.4 There’s still nearly a third of the U.S. population across all age groups that wants to speak to a human.
Pros and Cons of Call Queues
Call queues can address the more personal human interaction element that’s missing from text messages. Still, a call queue is only one piece of the communication puzzle.
- Prevent missed calls: Without a call queue, a busy office has no choice but to miss a call or divert it to voicemail. Call queues give callers the ability to wait in line for someone to help them.
- Improve customer satisfaction: Instead of routing a call to voicemail or leaving a caller on hold indefinitely, call queues give callers a guided experience, which can result in a more positive experience.
- Reduce wait times: If you implement call routing rules, interactive voice response (IVR), and self-service options, the average amount of time that a caller is on hold can be drastically reduced.
- Increase employee productivity: Call queues have the potential to lead to several areas in operational improvement.
First, by keeping callers on the line instead of sending them to voicemail, you can address the inquiry in a single phone call rather than duplicating efforts by having voicemails and return calls.
Second, call queues that have self-serve options can reduce the amount of time spent on simple transactional calls, freeing your team up for more personal conversations or completely different tasks.
- Can feel impersonal: A caller that’s greeted by an automated message might feel like a business lacks a personal touch. You can overcome this challenge by ensuring that the greeting is friendly and makes a caller feel valued. The greeting can also explain that the goal is to help save them time by directing them to the most appropriate person as quickly as possible.
- Errors and glitches: No matter how advanced, no single piece of technology is immune to the occasional error. If a technological issue happens at the wrong time, it can be troublesome for a business. However, having multiple options or fail-safes in place and carefully planning your systems can drastically reduce the chances of any problems.
How Missed Call Texts and Call Queues Support Each Other
Together missed call texts and call queues work hand-in-hand to elevate the customer service experience.
There are various ways to set up a system that includes both features, so we’ll outline one possibility to spark your imagination.
Let’s say a call comes in, and there’s no one immediately available to answer it. An automated greeting will answer the call, and the caller will enter the call queue.
From here, the caller will be presented with a few different options. The caller might be given a choice to remain on hold until someone is available to help. Alternatively, the caller can select the subject of their call from a list and enter a different queue or enjoy a self-serve option.
If the caller is not keen on waiting, your system could invite them to select an option to hang up and continue the dialogue via chat.
Another scenario could involve texting a caller who hangs upon hearing an automated greeting that sends them to a call queue. If they decided that waiting for a live person wasn’t something they were interested in doing, they might terminate the call. The good news is that if you have missed call text functionality, the system could classify this behavior as a missed call and send an immediate follow-up text.
Learn More about How Missed Call Text and Call Queues Work Together
As you can see, there are numerous ways to combine the functionality of missed call text with call queue software.
To see this functionality live and get your questions answered by an expert, schedule a Weave demo today. Weave is a small business communications platform that includes missed call texting, call queues, and so much more.
- “Shocking” Research Finds Small Businesses Miss Almost HALF of Incoming Calls
- Is it finally time to ditch the voicemail?
- U.S. Texting Statistics
- Study Shows U.S. Customers Prefer Texting With Businesses