September 04, 2018 Call Management

This article was originally published on LSA Insider.

According to Salesforce’s 2018 report, 56% of B2C customers said a tailored experience based on past interactions is very important to winning their business. In addition, just over two-thirds of B2C customers said their standards for good experiences are higher than ever. Clearly, companies who personalize the customer experience will gain a major advantage in this climate.

B2C and B2B customers value personalization now more than ever

However, in many cases businesses are not living up to these expectations — 53% of B2C customers said most companies fall short of providing great experiences.

Most B2C and B2B companies are missing the mark on personalization

Though personalization is typically thought of as a B2C marketing tactic, Salesforce found that 72% of B2B customers expect personalized experiences as well. In addition, nearly three-quarters of B2B customers said that their standard for the customer experience is at an all-time high.

Today's B2B customers place a premium on personalization

Still, many B2B companies are also failing to deliver experiences that make customers feel valued and known. Only 27% of B2B customers say companies generally excel at meeting their standards for overall experience — clearly, there is ample room for improvement.

Whether you’re a B2C or a B2B company, the value of personalization has never been higher. Below are some personalization best practices to help you acquire unsatisfied customers from competitors while retaining your own.

1. Capture Marketing Analytics on Calls

A recent Economist survey found that, by 2020, 86% of CMOs and senior marketing executives plan to own the full end-to-end customer experience. This, of course, includes the inbound caller experience, which is often a blind spot for marketers. Because many marketers lack the necessary insights into their callers, the call experience is often the last engagement marketers optimize, if they do so at all.

In order to personalize the caller experience, marketers need to capture data on each caller in real-time. This includes: who they are, their geographic region, and if they’re a new or repeat caller. You’ll also need to capture data on the marketing source that drove the call. By having these insights available when calls come through, you’ll be able to route callers to the relevant agent and arm that agent with relevant information on the caller.

2. Use an IVR to Qualify Callers and Capture Additional Data

An IVR, or an interactive voice response, is an automated system that callers interact with by giving information via voice or phone keypad. By asking a series of simple questions, IVRs are able to determine caller intent — for example, they can determine which callers are valid sales leads, which callers need a support agent, and how best to route them.

By automating the routing process, IVRs eliminate the need for your staff to spend time manually qualifying callers, increasing efficiency and lowering overhead costs. In addition, IVRs serve as a 24/7 barrier to filter out junk calls and robot dialers.

In addition to their routing functionality, IVRs can serve as an additional data layer, capturing additional information directly from the caller that you might not be capturing from your call analytics solution (from the previous section). For example, mattress retailer Sleep Train (a subsidiary of Mattress Firm) uses IVRs integrated with their call analytics solution to determine whether callers should be routed to one of their 300 stores or to their call center, where they can make a purchase via phone or receive assistance with financing. With over 50,000 inbound calls a month, the IVR is an essential tool to ensure each caller receives efficient routing.

3. Pass Call Analytics to Salesforce

Salesforce already tracks the marketing sources that are driving online leads to your business; however, this is just a fraction of the customer journey. To uncover the whole picture, you should also track the channels, ads, search keywords, and campaigns that are driving inbound calls, as well as the outcome of each call — whether that’s an appointment, demo, or sale. This will allow you to determine both the quantity and quality of leads driven by your campaign.

By integrating call data into Salesforce, you can view conversion rates, sales pipeline, and marketing ROI for every source, enabling you to understand the entire customer journey and determine the most seamless approach to move leads through your pipeline.

4. Analyze and Optimize How Calls Are Handled

You should also analyze how calls are handled, to ensure each customer is receiving a frictionless, tailored experience. Analyzing voice interactions between consumers and your business locations enables you to see how many calls go to voicemail, if agents are following the right scripts, what time the best leads come in, who the highest (and lowest) performing agents are, what branches are performing best, and what issues are negatively impacting the caller experience.

Using this data, you can update your sales scripts and determine a set of best practices to implement across your organization. Additionally, you can provide coaching to underperforming branches or agents to improve the customer experience.

5. Use the Results of Each Call to Retarget or Exclude Callers from Campaigns

By analyzing the results of inbound calls, you can determine which prospects converted to customers and which did not. Using this information, you can set up targeting campaigns personalized for each specific caller.

If your business fails to convert a caller, you can use the intelligence from that conversation to target them with the right search, social, or display ads. For example, if you’re a home services company, you can target these non-converting callers with an ad that offers a 15% discount for first-time customers.

If a caller converts to an appointment or customer, you can target them with a relevant upsell campaign — continuing with the home services example, you can target  customers who bought lawn aeration services with ads for lawn fertilization services. Or, alternatively, you could exclude converting customers from seeing future ads altogether to avoid wasting spend.

You can put callers who converted into your lookalike campaigns to find similar audiences to target with ads that are proven to work.

6. Provide At-Risk Customers with a Personal Touch

Call analytics can also help you assess the attitude and intent of current customers. By analyzing what your customers are saying on calls, you can identify those who are frustrated or could potentially churn.

Your business can then reach out and provide an extra touch of personal service to these at-risk customers. For instance, you could have a sales manager provide them with a special loyalty discount. As a result, your customers will feel valued and known, raising your retention rate.

To learn more, download our eBook, The Digital Marketer’s Guide to Personalizing Caller Experiences.

Check out our eBook, The Digital Marketer’s Guide to Personalizing Caller Experiences, to learn more best practices.

Instantly Download My Guide →
About the author:

Derek Andersen

Copywriter, DialogTech

Derek is a copywriter at DialogTech. He graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a degree in Marketing and Creative Writing. He enjoys running, playing guitar, and staying up to speed on the latest news in marketing and technology.

See more posts by Derek Andersen

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