Out to Lunch!

British businesses could be losing millions of pounds in orders because they don’t have enough people answering their phone lines at lunchtime.

That’s the finding of Voice4IP, a subsidiary of network distributor and broadband wholesaler NetServices plc, which today revealed that many organisations are underestimating the level of demand from consumers calling their offices and shops during their lunch breaks.

Voice4IP has identified that between 12pm and 2pm the number of calls going unanswered at British businesses increases substantially. Although the exact number varies from company to company, typically the number of missed calls at businesses serving the general public doubles compared to other times of the day.

The research is based on more than 100,000 calls, and highlights the importance for businesses to closely monitor their telecoms infrastructure and call patterns. Companies can also use Voice4IP’s up-to-the-minute reports, which are supplied to customers of the company’s voice over IP solutions, to identify other business issues such as employee misuse of the phone.

However, companies operating in the business-to-business arena do not share the issue – and indeed in many cases quite the opposite is true, with the number of calls going unanswered falling considerably while staff are taking their lunch breaks.

“The information we have uncovered shows the difficulty that many people are having in doing business with companies at lunchtime,” said Voice4IP’s managing director Phil Wedgwood. “Today, consumers want everything ‘yesterday’ so these firms are likely to be losing new business and frustrating any existing customers calling their offices.

“The research also shows how detailed intelligence on telephone calls into and out of the office can help managers to identify issues in their business, either across the enterprise or with individual departments or employees”.

Voice4IP provides fully managed voice over IP (VoIP) technology. Among the features of the system, is the ability to obtain a report showing where missed calls have come from so that the customer can be contacted later in the day.

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