People are calling your business every day, and the impression they get from that phone call is pivotal in their decision to work with you. A virtual receptionist can insure your calls are answered with proper phone etiquette and provide basic information to clients to satisfy immediate needs. Here are six statistics that illustrate the importance of a phone answering service.

1. 80 percent of business is conducted over the phone.

With such a large portion of business happening on telephones, it’s important to have a competent, trained receptionist on the other end. A phone answering service can handle routine business matters and send important calls directly to internal staff, ensuring every caller receives professional service.

2. Approximately 72 to 80 percent of callers will hang up without leaving a voicemail if their call isn’t answered.

If many of your calls aren’t answered, you lose business. People will find another company when they can’t get a hold of you, but you can’t always be at the phone. Outsourcing call reception lets you solve that problem without sacrificing other tasks you need to accomplish.

3. 71 percent of clients will end a business relationship because of poor phone etiquette.

An untrained or ill-informed receptionist can drive away clients and prevent you from making new ones. By contrast, when you use a phone answering service, the person who answers is trained to be well-spoken and use good phone etiquette. They probably aren’t also dealing with in-office tasks and walk-up customers at the same time, as an in-house receptionist might.

4. 80 percent of callers prefer a phone conversation to an email.

The sound of a real human voice makes a client feel like they’re getting personal attention, so having someone who can answer their questions on the phone instead of sending an email builds your relationship with the customer.

5. 69 percent of customers say they chose not to do business with a company because of their lack of phone skills.

When a phone call is handled poorly, it reflects badly on your business. You want a business reputation for excellent customer service no matter how many calls you receive. Customized virtual reception services let you achieve that.

6. 60 percent of customers expect more from customer service than they did one year ago.

With customer expectations rising, it’s even more important to have people on the phones who know what they’re doing. All customers want to be treated like VIPs, and a good phone call gives them that feeling.

These stats all point to the need for a phone answering service, especially for small businesses that can’t always man their own lines adequately. The right service helps you make new clients, keep the ones you have and increase productivity in your office.