By Christie Huber
Consumers today do most of their research online — often on their smartphones — and by the time they call, they want specific assistance from a live person, and they expect it quickly. According to a Google study, 61% of mobile users call a business when they are ready to purchase; 57% call because they want to talk to a person, not a computer or an automated call system.
But too many of those phone calls end with a resounding click! That’s the sound of lost sales (and wasted marketing spend) as prospects grow frustrated waiting on hold or being bounced around from agent to agent to get the help they need.
Consumer Reports research revealed that 75% of survey respondents found it “highly annoying” when they could not get a live person on the phone. When you tell customers that their call is “important” while you ask them to “continue to hold,” you’re essentially telling them the opposite: that their business isn’t important to you.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. And it shouldn’t.
Source: Consumer Reports
The key to promptly providing consumers with the help they need to become customers is arming yourself with the tools that will allow you to use your customers’ online journeys to optimize their offline experience when they call.
Many marketers invest tremendous effort and significant budget on creating personalized digital ad campaigns to generate leads, appointments, and customers. But many fail to prepare for what happens next. What happens if these customers—as is common for major or urgent purchases, such as a car, exterminator, insurance policy, vacation, business technology, or mortgage — prefer to pick up the phone to ask questions, book appointments, and make purchases instead of filling out a web form?
Customers may lose interest if their calls are sent to agents, departments, or business locations that have no idea why they are calling and can’t help them — or even worse, if they are sent to voicemail. They certainly will not feel that you’re catering to their needs. And in this marketplace, where customers highly value personalized interactions, you may be missing an opportunity to convert. According to a Zendesk survey, 72% of customers faulted companies for bad customer service if they had to explain their problem to multiple people.
The good news is that you can create a better experience for your sales prospects that will increase conversions, marketing ROI, and build brand loyalty by seamlessly continuing their online journey as they move offline and call.
What if, instead of long hold times and unhelpful agents, your interactive voice response (IVR) system knew exactly what product the customer had been studying—let’s say replacement windows on a building supply website—and greeted the customer by asking, “Do you have questions about our window products?” That individualized process anticipates the customer’s concerns, personalizing and streamlining the customer experience.
Imagine if the agent who then answered the customer’s call knew which pages the customer had already interacted with on your website. Or they knew where the person was located and what Google search led them to your website before calling. This is all analytics data marketers can leverage to improve their campaigns, and it can be used to personalize the caller experience.
Now imagine if that agent getting the call specialized in precisely the type of products this consumer was considering and was in the correct regional office for this prospect’s location. Now, the sales agent’s informed and localized assistance leaves the caller feeling as if your company understands and cares about his or her needs, which increases your chances of making a sale. This level of personalized call routing is essential for a frictionless caller experience.
If the customer doesn’t convert on the call, you can still use the information you’ve gathered about their online journey and offline voice interaction to retarget them with the most relevant emails and search, social, and display ads to get them to re-engage and become customers.
By studying customer interactions and determining the marketing channels, ads, search keywords, website interactions, targeting strategies, and caller experiences driving the best results, you can not only optimize to drive the most revenue, but also eliminate friction for your current customers and build a repeatable, scalable process that draws in and clinches future prospects.
Connecting the dots between the customers’ online and offline journeys is the key to more conversions—and technology such as call tracking, AI conversation analytics, and IVR makes it easier than ever to gather deeper insight into consumer decision-making and purchasing. To learn more, download the eBook, The Digital Marketer’s Guide to Personalizing Caller Experiences.
The experience when consumers call your business impacts marketing ROI. Learn 7 marketing strategies to personalize call experiences and convert more callers to customers.Get the Guide →
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