Have you ever phoned a company at the top of a web search page to hear an engaged tone, voicemail or just had the phone ring out? It happens more often than you think. As a potential customer, you probably do what everyone else does and call the next company until you get to speak to a human. That first company you called has not only missed out on your business but possibly your repeat business, the odd referral and 5-star review for impeccable customer service. In short, that first missed call has a value and it’s costing businesses millions. What’s the margin? Most businesses spend good money on a website, advertising, and marketing. They work very hard and dedicate all their time and money to channel those customers to their virtual door and nearly a quarter of these aren’t even spoken too! So how much damage does this cause? I know you wouldn’t divulge your margins to the man on the street or a competitor but you know what it is. If you know your conversion ratio of inbound sales calls, then you can work out how much that missed call just cost you in purely financial terms. Either way, with pay-per-click prices going through the roof and so much marketing noise out there, each and every call should be nurtured, screened and treated as your number one priority. How much do missed calls really cost your business? Is it all about ROI? It’s not just the raw ROI of new sales.. Nothing is more infuriating than calling a company with a question or issue and have the phone ring out or go to voicemail. It feels unprofessional and your faith in that company rapidly declines. Your company is then on the back foot and we all know what happens next. Online reviews Everyone with a smartphone is only 10 seconds away from typing your company name in a web search followed by the word "review". They then have an instant snapshot of what your customers think of you. Often this is not always representative of the truth because who leaves reviews when you get good service? If you have good reviews then you can breathe a sigh of relief, if you don’t then the best way you can rectify this is good customer service and this starts with answering your calls. The fundamentals Before concentrating on the fluff, the "arty" web design, the wizardry of SEO and online advertising, get your calls in order. This will give you the biggest return for the lowest investment and that’s just good business practice.