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The average day on the phone at Steambrite

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  • The average day on the phone at Steambrite

    You emailed us to return your phone call but... I am sorry but we are not going to call for three reasons. First, we work 24 hours a day and have now way of knowing when you are sleeping what time zone you live in and second, your answer would not be posted in a bank of carpet cleaning questions, during phone answering times the phone never quits ringing to be able to dial out. This in turn creates all our customers asking the same question over and over again and insures we are not getting any work done because instead of improving the website we are just answering phone calls. This might be hard to envision but the phone creates a viscous loop of not getting any work done. For example when are are answering phone calls, on average an phone operator will be on the phone a 8 hour shift answering questions and only take one to three phone orders. The average operator will take between 10 to 30 calls in a shift and only 10% will generate a phone sale. Customers do not realize that 99% of all the questions being asked are already asked and answered on the website or inside our forum. Here is a summary of an average day of answering the phone at Steambrite:
    Over 90% of all phone calls will never turn into a sale of any type.
    Each call will last between between 30 min to one hour. This makes my chuckle a bit under my breath because most of our phone calls start with "I have a quick question for you." Or "I am ready to place an order with you but I have a quick question first" and these are by far the longest calls of the day.
    I will say that that in an average week of 40+ hours on the phone I am only asked one question a week that does not already have the question and answer already posted on our site. In other words, with 200 plus, 30 minutes or longer calls and only one question and answer that I am not repeating myself.
    Here are some more statistics: When you go to WalMart, on average you will tie up about one second of labor per item sold with that WalMart employee. Here at Steambrite each item has over 30 minutes of labor tiled up in it because, even for all the items we sell on line without a phone call, we spend so my many hundreds of hours on the phone everyday it negates any reasonable profit. I think this is way many companies have resorted to only selling on ebay or amazon as it eliminates the phone and the customer is forced to email for any customer service issues.
    Now I will address: "during phone answering times the phone never quits ringing to be able to dial out." Many times I receive a message that a customer wants me to call them back. It is hard to envision but on the average day the phone is ring so much that it is hard to get up to go to the bathroom and impossible to even eat. I cannot pick up the phone to return a phone call until we turn on the answering machine. I turn the answering machine off and I will already be on the phone with another caller. This always makes me wander how come when you call you are not glad you have a live operator and just ask your question or place your order? Why does it have to be only one person that can can help a caller? I have had many callers even state "I left a message for ... and he never called me back yesterday." I am thinking "how could he, if he had time to call you back, he would have gone to the bathroom or tried to stuff something down his mouth to eat."
    These statistics have been generated from thousand and thousands of phone time over the last 30+ years we have been helping carpet cleaners. We have not quite sure why this is but for some reason most callers must be dreaming about performing a function or duty but ultimately never do it.
    PS. When I read your email and you ask me to call you, it was 6 am Saturday morning Central time. This is 4 am in California or even way earlier in HI or AK.
    You might ask, "How come we do not just add more phone operators and more phone lines?" Answer: We have about 50,000 items on our site and each item is the cheapest in the world. The average profit on that item is only 2%. This means a $200 sale has $4 profit in it and we probably spent more that 30 minuets of labor on the phone selling these $200 of product to you. This means after the labor we are upside down in the transaction. The only way to make a profit is for on line orders that customers never called. We do feel having a phone customer service is important so customers know we are here to help them in the best way we can. But I do see a trend that I see more and more websites every year removing their phone number as prices are continued to be driven downward by internet competition. Thanks for the question.