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SUNNYVALE, Calif., Nov. 06, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ooma, Inc., a smart communications platform for businesses and consumers, today announced results of a survey on how robocalls hurt the bottom line of small businesses. The survey of 500 business owners and managers in the United States, sponsored by Ooma, found that 84 percent get robocalls every day, with 54 percent receiving five or more per day, at an average cost of $9.46 per call*. Yet 76 percent say they feel obligated to answer every time the phone rings – unlike most consumers – because they don’t want to risk missing a customer call.
To appreciate how these costs mount up, consider a small business with multiple lines that receives 50 robocalls per day: The annual impact in lost productivity is $118,000.** Despite this painful burden, the survey found that fewer than 16 percent of small businesses have tools in place today to block robocalls.
The scourge of robocalling, or automatically dialed junk calls, causes a wide range of problems for small business. The top concerns of survey participants:
Indeed, a recent survey by Consumer Reports found that 70 percent of U.S. residents say they have “stopped answering my phone if I don’t recognize the number of if the caller’s number is anonymous.”
Robocalls reach into every corner of small businesses, with survey participants saying the hardest-hit departments are:
But the situation is not hopeless. Small businesses can easily set up a firewall between themselves and robocalls with services such as Ooma Office.
Ooma Office (https://www.ooma.com/small-business-phone-systems/) is a cloud-based internet phone service designed to help small and mid-sized business owners reduce costs and run their businesses more efficiently. The service is just $19.95 monthly per user with no contracts required.
The most powerful feature of Ooma Office for managing robocalls (https://www.ooma.com/small-business-phone-systems/products/) is the Virtual Receptionist. This automated attendant will answer the phone with a custom greeting 24 hours a day, seven days a week, guiding legitimate callers to their destination with one push of a button.
For example, the virtual receptionist can say, “Welcome to Anytown Motors. Press 1 to talk to our sales team, press 2 to talk our service team, press 3 to talk to our finance team for easy terms on your next vehicle, or press 5 to talk with Jane Doe, the general manager.”
In effect, this stops robocalls cold, because robocallers aren’t capable of responding to the virtual attendant’s options and they almost never leave messages.
In addition, Ooma Office offers anonymous call rejection and number blocking, also known as blacklisting, to help push back on unwanted calls.
“Robocalls are an annoyance to everyone, but – as our survey shows – the cost is especially high for small businesses that rely on the phone to maintain relationships and bring in new customers,” said Ken Narita, director of business marketing at Ooma. “We’re working hard to make Ooma Office a powerful ally for small businesses in reclaiming the lost time wasted on robocalls.”
About Ooma, Inc.
Ooma (NYSE: OOMA) creates powerful connected experiences for businesses and consumers, delivered from its smart cloud-based SaaS platform. For businesses of all sizes, Ooma provides advanced voice and collaboration features that are flexible and scalable. For consumers, Ooma’s residential phone service provides PureVoice HD voice quality, advanced functionality and integration with mobile devices. Ooma’s innovative smart security solution delivers a range of wireless security sensors that make it easy for anyone to protect their home or business. Learn more at www.ooma.com
* Robocall cost of $9.46 for the average company is calculated as follows: Time to answer the phone and dismiss the call as unwanted – 1 minute. Time to recover from the distraction and become fully productive – 23 minutes (https://www.ics.uci.edu/~gmark/chi08-mark.pdf). Total time lost to one robocall – 24 minutes (1 minute plus 23 minutes). Average hourly wage in U.S. businesses – $23.65 (https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/wages). Percentage of an hour lost to robocalls – 40% (24/60=.40). Cost of a robocall – $9.46 (40% of $23.65).
** Annual impact of $118,00 for a business receiving 50 robocalls per day is calculated as follows: Cost per work day is $473 ($9.49 per call times 50 calls per day). Work days per year are 250 (260 weekdays per year minus 10 holidays). Cost per year is therefore $118,000 ($473 x 250 days).
Mike Langberg at Ooma
Matt Robison at Ooma