Friday, November 21, 2008

Verbatim reveal call handling secrets at NRG

Morgan PR at at the monthly NRG-Networks meeting at Wokefield Park today and knew that the seminar would be a good one, given by Graham Hill, the founder of client and supplier Verbatim; Graham is passionate about customer service and his call handling company ensures you never have to miss a call again.

Our seminar began with a spot of role play - we stood with our phones to our ears while a recording of a cacophony of unanswered calls, engaged tones, answerphones and automated systems echoed around the room.

"How does that make you feel?" Graham asked after subjecting the audience to a full minute of the frustrating soundtrack to so much of business.

The answers naturally reflected how the situation makes people feel: angry, frustrated... smug? Well, that last view was mine because I knew while I was networking at NRG, Verbatim would be answering any calls!

A quiz revealed the following revelations:

  • 33% of businesses fail to answer all incoming calls
  • 98% of people say that poor telephone handling gives a bad impression of a company
  • 80% of callers hang up when they hear an answer machine or voicemail
  • 69% of those will never call back
  • 15% of all incoming calls are missed by businesses
  • After traffic wardens and junk mail, automated call handling is the most hated aspect of business
  • 8 out of 10 executives has dropped a current or potential client because of failure to return calls, or being kept hanging on for too long.
  • 33% of executives sacked their suppliers because of constantly engaged lines.
We were then guided through some simple maths that reveals how with a little effort on managing the phone calls your company receives, you can have a dramatic impact on your revenue from catching those otherwise lost leads. There is a terrific tool on the Verbatim website that allows you to do this in confidence.

It was great to find myself sat next to Graham on an outstanding table when it came to the networking lunch that followed.

Also on the table were two of our guests - web guru and fellow Newbury Business Group member Adrian Scott from Companion Computers and David Rogers, the recently appointed Newbury Office Manager of Chartered Building Surveyors, Easton Bevins.

There was also business coach David Barkel from Pharos Performance, SEO expert Vernon Riley from KKSmarts and our table was kept in line by accountant Nicola Goringe Larkin, from Goringe & Co.

The mixture of businesses led to some fascinating networking and there was a good rapport between diners and across the table.

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