October 30, 2018 Caller Experience

In today’s mobile-first world, consumers have access to a variety of information channels that can lead to a winding customer journey. They take advantage of the ability to access information across various devices based on what is convenient at the time. This includes visiting multiple channels before making a purchase. What starts as researching a product on a tablet before bed can turn into a smartphone search of a particular brand over morning coffee.

This behavior offers a complex web of touchpoints that marketers can use to personalize each interaction with their brand, both online and offline.

After all, channel-hopping consumers expect to not only be able to interact with brands across multiple platforms, they expect their experiences to be customized to deliver the exact information they are seeking.

To consistently influence quality leads and conversions, marketers need to own and personalize the entire omnichannel customer journey.

Digital Advertising Drives Calls

Smartphones and the explosion in mobile advertising have changed the way consumers interact with businesses. Marketers have not failed to notice this trend. In fact, mobile ad spending is expected to surpass all traditional media combined by 2020.

But customer journeys that begin on mobile devices often move offline. Many smartphone users that engage with digital ads or website content convert by calling. From 2014 to 2019, calls to US businesses from mobile ads have increased by more than 110%. The call channel is expected to influence $1 trillion in US consumer spending this year.

110% Growth in Calls to US Businesses, 2014 to 2019 Source: BIA/Kelsey

Callers Are Valuable Conversions to Businesses

Inbound calls are an important part of the customer journey within many industries. According to Forrester, “customers who initiate inbound calls convert faster, spend more and have a higher retention rate.”

Someone who calls a business usually has a higher purchasing intent and is further along in the customer journey than someone who fills out a web form.

For industries with complex, expensive, infrequent, or urgent purchases, calls are often the most valuable leads. These industries include but are not limited to, healthcare (where 88% of patients book appointments over the phone), insurance, home services, financial services, travel, automotive, and education. Consumers making a purchase or booking an appointment in these industries want to call and speak to a real person, regardless of the device they use to research a product or service.

Businesses with products or services that are complex, expensive, infrequent, or urgent want phone calls. 

Sources: Google, xAd, TravelClick, Kelley Blue Book, Sequence, DialogTech, McKinsey & Company

The Caller Experience Matters

Personalization is the idea that a brand can use signals from customers to deliver tailored, relevant ads, emails, website content, and experiences no matter how and where they interact, and consumers expect it.

62% of consumers said it was extremely important that they be able to call the business during the purchase phase of their decision-making process. 86% say a personalized experience plays a role in their purchasing decision.

Along with generating the call itself, marketers must now own the responsibility of ensuring a caller’s experience is equally positive, on-brand, and individually customized as interactions within other channels. In order to provide a custom experience, brands should know who their callers are, where they are located geographically, if they are a new or repeat caller, and the interaction with digital marketing efforts that generated the call.

Having access to this information in real time is essential to personalization and is the key to crafting a relevant, seamless call experience for consumers. The right call analytics solution can provide it for marketers. Once you have access to this caller information, you can offer your consumers a rewarding experience in many different ways.

 Capture information on the caller and what drove the caller and what drove the call

Automatically Route Calls to the Most Compatible Representative

By incorporating caller-specific data, marketers can set up rules and logic to automatically route inbound callers to the best location or agent. For example, Monroe Engineering, a leading distributor of industrial components, have sales engineers taking calls in offices throughout the United States. Based on predetermined rules, their call analytics solution automatically routes callers based on time of day and location. This ensures a Monroe engineer is always there to answer calls from digital advertising.

Another example would be an insurance company that routes callers based on the marketing source that drove their call. A consumer who calls after searching for “car insurance in Illinois” can get automatically routed to the best agent in the call center or local branch to assist them. Someone who called from their webpage on life insurance will be sent to the agents responsible for those products.Call Routing Options

Outside of influencing the caller’s path once they make a call, there are other tactics marketers can use to create a high-quality caller experience. Consumers hate to wait on hold and forcing callers with high-purchasing intent to wait, increases the chances you lose the customer. Call routing technology lets callers referred from a keyword or campaign with a proven track record of generating high-converting calls to  “jump the line.” They are placed in a priority queue reserved for high-value callers where an agent can assist them immediately.

Send Callers Through an IVR

Taking advantage of tools like interactive voice response (IVR) can help direct callers to the right department or salesperson within your business. An IVR allows callers to interact on the call via voice or phone keypad. They have cost- and time-saving benefits for businesses and value-adding benefits for callers as they help ensure the call is sent to the most helpful representative, saving the caller time and resulting in a more positive experience overall.

For example, mattress retailer, Sleep Train (purchased by Mattress Firm), uses IVR to qualify and route the more than 50 thousand calls its marketing programs and website generate each month. The Sleep Train marketing team uses IVR to determine if callers should be routed to one of their 300 stores or to their call center to make a purchase over the phone or get help with financing. By prompting callers to select whether they’d like to be sent to the nearest store, order directly over the phone, or learn more about financing, the brand saves time for its team and their callers.

Save Callers’ Time

Connecting the caller with the right agent is one thing—knowing what to say is another. By passing caller information about what drove the call to agents, a more seamless experience is created.

Real estate brand Sotheby’s has agents taking calls on the go. When they answer, agents hear a message before the call is connected relaying the marketing source and property the lead is calling about. For example, an agent might hear, “call from Zillow for 24 Winding Lane.” By knowing which property the call is about, the agent can better understand the value and quality of that lead.

Understanding the Context of the Call

Crafting a rewarding and ROI-driving caller experience is not just about what happens at the beginning of a call—it’s also about what is said throughout the call duration. Conversation analytics provides a wealth of information on callers, their intent, and the value of calls from each marketing source. For example, marketers can learn:

  • Which ads, keywords, and programs drive the best sales calls
  • If ad messaging and promotions are resonating
  • What questions callers needed answered before finalizing a purchase
  • If calls converted and why (or why not)

Analyzing how calls are handled helps marketers and sales leaders detect and correct issues that negatively impact ROI, measure which percentages of calls are not answered at each business location, and how individual agents perform at converting callers to customers.

The most efficient and scalable method of implementing conversation analytics is the deployment of AI technology to analyze and report on each phone call coming into a business. AI algorithms analyze calls for you, scoring conversations and delivering insights in easy-to-understand reports.

Comfort Keepers, one of the nation’s leading providers of in-home care for seniors has more than 450 franchise locations. Phone calls make up 70% of their marketing conversions, so they use AI to automatically analyze calls they drive from each franchisee to determine lead quality, providing insights on how many new customers marketing efforts bring in.

Marketers can also use this information to inform the brand’s content marketing approach. The leading wholesale distributor of foodservice equipment, Central Restaurant Products, mines conversations to improve SEO and website conversions. Inbound calls make up 56% of orders and 81% of total revenue. Its marketing team analyzes calls from a specific product’s webpage to see what questions callers are asking, then use that intelligence to update the details of the specific webpage.

Drive Action by Knowing Your Customer and Using Learnings as Fuel for ROI Growth

The way to further success in marketing is analyzing what has been successful in the past and applying those learnings to current and future marketing efforts. By understanding the types of customers who have converted via phone calls and which channels, ads, keywords, and website interactions drove their call, marketers can predict the actions of future callers.

The first step to knowing your customer is understanding whether or not they’re a quality sales lead. Was the caller referred from a marketing channel or activity that has historically generated revenue-driving calls? An analysis and application of which marketing initiatives are driving the most revenue can send ROI soaring.

Agency Roger West works with Roy’s, a chain of upscale restaurants with more than 20 locations, on paid search and display marketing. By analyzing the which paid search and display ads drove calls that resulted in a reservation, Roger West is able to optimize for the channels, ads, search keywords, days/times, and devices that convert the most customers. By knowing what drives reservations, Roger West and Roy’s were able to increase reservations by 434% and decrease cost per reservation by 38% within the first seven months of their call analytics program.

Another critical insight is knowing whether or not the caller converted and how this affects future interactions between them and the brand. For callers that do not convert, marketers can provide a personalized online experience as a result of the call by serving the caller a custom retargeting ad offering a special promotion. For those that did convert, they can be added to the most relevant upsell or cross-sell ad or email campaign. Their caller data can also be used to build lookalike campaigns to extend your reach and find new leads resembling the lead you know converted.

How digital and calls work together to drive marketing ROI

Have a 360-Degree Customer Journey View

For a holistic view of customers, marketers can integrate call data into existing marketing platforms to measure and optimize against the full customer journey and develop a more complete picture of customers.

By adding attribution and analytics data on calls to marketing and sales tools, brands get a complete view of customers—both online and over the phone—that allows an understanding of what’s truly working within their marketing program.

This allows better targeting, the ability to create a more personalized consumer experience, and in turn more efficient and impactful marketing.

Call analytics can have a profound impact on how customers view brands and how effective your brand is at acquiring and keeping customers. It also provides an essential basis for marketers to connect their online and voice marketing initiatives in order to drive ROI and revenue and create more satisfied customers.

To learn more about how marketers can create a rewarding, revenue-driving customer journey, download our free ebook—The Digital Marketer’s Playbook for Voice Analytics.

Want learn more about how marketers can create a rewarding, revenue-driving customer journey? Download our free ebook — The Digital Marketer’s Playbook for Voice Analytics.

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About the author:

Louise Thompson

Content Marketing Manager, DialogTech

As Content Marketing Manager, Louise helps tell the DialogTech story through informative, engaging content. She has a background in public relations, e-commerce, social media, corporate communications and brand content, and has a passion for strategy. Louise is an alumnus of the University of Tennessee and spends her free time traveling, baking and watching documentaries.

See more posts by Louise Thompson

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