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Is that the phone? UK businesses lose millions due to missed calls

New research has revealed that SMEs in the UK are losing £90 million in potential sales revenue each year as a result of failing to answer phone calls.

Businesses are perhaps placing too much emphasis on mobility and hot-desking and neglecting traditional methods of working.

Read more: UK SMEs are turning to the cloud for flexibility benefits and cost savings

A report analysing 1,600 IT leaders in SMEs and users of IT services supplier BT Business discovered that a single missed call results in an average loss of £1,200. Although many customers are reluctant to call back, if businesses remain unavailable for a full 24-hour period, the average loss rises to £9,000.

Managing director of BT Business Danny Longbottom believes firms need to utilise their IT departments more effectively to ensure they’re contactable at all times.

“Companies, especially SMEs, are becoming increasingly mobile – 77 per cent offer flexible working and 45 per cent hot-desking, according to the research – so getting calls to the right person is more difficult,” he said. “No-one cares about how a call is routed, especially the customer – they just want to speak to the right person.”

The study also highlighted that smaller businesses with less resources face the biggest impact when it comes to missed calls. The research found that the 63,400 companies with between 20 and 49 workers lost a total of £36,518,400 between April 2013 and March 2014.

The majority of CIOs, however, believe that having an increasingly mobile workforce has helped increase productivity, placing renewed emphasis on efficient call routing networks.

Read more: Report finds UK SMEs miss out on billions through digital ignorance

The report confirmed that “the need for agile call routing to avoid lost business” is greater than ever, particularly when four-fifths of those surveyed spend time out of the office and more than 50 per cent use three different devices to communicate during work.

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.