How to minimise lost calls and maximise sales

‘Lost calls’ is an umbrella term for any call that terminates before the interaction between the customer and your business is completed.

Whether that’s because the customer hangs up the phone before someone answers or because the call was terminated due to a technical error.

Missed calls – Essentially a missed call occurs anytime that a customer is unable to speak to your business, this is usually due to poor team availability and long queues.  This could be due to a poor setup that just allow does not manage call flow properly.

Abandoned calls – An abandoned call occurs when the customer hangs up before reaching an agent. This can be due to a change of heart, but most of the time, the reason lies with long waiting times and frustration. Abandoned call rate should be as low as possible and if it exceeds 5% of calls you should look to change your call flow.

Dropped calls – These are calls that are disconnected due to a technical issue. For example, calls from mobile phones often fall into this category due to poor signal or a busy network. If your dropped call rate is very high, there might be a fault in your system and you should investigate further. (If you are experienceing issue with dropped calls speak to our support team today on 0330 175 9968 or send us a message via our contact form)

Why do these happen?

Missed calls and abandoned calls are mainly due to poor queue and call management, which is why a high lost call rate in these two instances should be unacceptable. After all, every lost call is a lost opportunity for your business.

Take for example a sales team – every time they lose a call, they could be losing out on a new customer.

When your technical support team doesn’t pick up a call from that customer, they’ll be looking for help elsewhere… maybe your competitors?


IVR (call routing welcome message) – Direct calls to the correct team or person with a professional welcome message. You may have heard these before “Press 1 for sales, Press 2 for customer support…”. Customers love them as they speak to the correct person quicker and your team will love it as they will not need to answer calls meant for other people.

Teams – set up groups of users to take a specific type of call i.e. a “Sales Team” too take all inbound sales calls. If one person id busy, someone else in the team can take the call.

Redirect unanswered calls – if a team or person is busy, redirect the call to another person or team that may be available.

Voicemail – a simple but powerful tool! Set a maximum ring time and if you cannot answer, direct the caller to a voicemail. that way you can call them back or prompt them to call again at a better time.

Reduce ring times – many businesses will allow their phones to ring for too long before an action happens. Reduce ring time to 15/20 seconds and if unanswered direct to another user/team or voicemail.

Check your data – discover when and why calls are being lost, there may be a simple fix for example adding more people to specific teams during peak times.

Manage expectations – the main reason for call abandonment is the call not being answered in an acceptable timeframe from the customer. It may not always be possible to answer the call at that time or the customer may have a very fast expectation. The best solution is to manage their expectations with a call queue announcement. Letting them know their number in the que or the expecting time until answer will keep them on the call for longer.

It’s an emergency!

For more urgent queries you may wish to utilise some of these options:

» Have an emergency number, separate to your main phone number directed to a large team
» Set up an emergency option on your welcome message to goes to a larger team
» Redirect emergency calls to all users is unanswered » Set up a knowledge base on your website
» Offer different channels of communication besides voice
» Implement intelligent routing and VIP queues


Respecting your customers’ time and solving their issues as soon as possible is key to delivering a good customer experience.

Lost calls can mean poor customer satisfaction and a loss in revenue.

While there will always be some calls that go unanswered, there are plenty of features and strategies that can help you reduce this number to a minimum.

Whether it’s using your teams more effectively, direct calls more efficiently or simply adding some queue announcements while your customers are on hold, every little step will help deliver a better service and to ensure your customers get the help they need, when they need it.

Start with the data and make regular amendments until you get it right

Your customers, and your employees, will thank you for it.

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