How Marketers Can Effectively Report on Inbound Calls During the COVID-19 Crisis

Kayla Hammersmith Senior Content Marketing Manager, DialogTech

With so much uncertainty in the world, it’s important to turn to what provides you with clarity and knowledge right now and share those insights with your stakeholders.

There’s no playbook for how to be a successful marketer during a pandemic. While there isn’t a roadmap to follow, there are steps you can take to adapt to the crisis. To echo this Swydo post, communication is key. Whether you work for an internal marketing team and report to leadership or you’re at an agency and report to your clients, how you communicate updates on your marketing efforts and how calls are impacted during this time is vital. 

In light of the COVID-19 crisis, you want to know how current events are impacting call volume and conversions, which marketing channels are driving call conversions now, how volume to locations is affected, how these locations are handling calls, and how the conversations themselves are changing. Through call tracking and conversation intelligence technology, you can visualize these insights in reports and dashboards. 

Of course, tapping into these learnings and making optimizations yourself isn’t enough. After all, every business is worried about how the current crisis will impact them. That’s why it’s so important to show that your work is helping your company or your client right now. By communicating insights from inbound calls and your marketing efforts effectively to stakeholders, you improve relationships, establish trust, and ultimately give your team the information they need to pivot successfully. 

That’s why we’re sharing tips on 1) how to effectively communicate with your team and/or clients during this time, and 2) specific reports you can leverage during the COVID-19 crisis.

4 Tips on Effectively Sharing Updates and Reports During the COVID-19 Crisis 

1. Adjust Your Updates for What Matters Now

While you might be used to sending out a certain marketing source report or checking in on specific KPIs, make sure you adjust your KPIs, dashboards, and reports for what matters to your business during this crisis. 

For example, if you’ve paused paid media efforts and shifted your focus to SEO, you should adjust your customizable dashboards to highlight how the organic channel is driving calls. Or, if you don’t frequently report on how calls to locations are fluctuating, now might be the time. 

Over the past month, everything has shifted — so your reporting updates should shift accordingly. Sticking to the same scheduled dashboards and automated reporting updates would be a disservice to your work and your stakeholders. Take a step back, evaluate how you can adapt your reporting to suit your efforts now, and make adjustments. This will not only make conversations with stakeholders more productive, but these updates will also ensure that you’re accurately tuning into the marketing data from inbound calls that matters most right now.  

2. Don’t Rely Solely on Automation — The Human Element Matters Now More Than Ever

Sending out automated reports isn’t enough. Yes, sending out a daily or weekly dashboard displaying call volume, calls by marketing channel, and call conversion rates is important. However, having more frequent phone conversations or casual email communication with stakeholders along with these reports makes you a trusted partner during a crisis. 

It doesn’t matter if you communicate to an internal team or to a client; you need to invest in demonstrating that you’re dedicated to helping the business weather this storm. You can try making yourself more available by offering up your personal cell number. You can also add more of a personal touch to virtual interactions. Start off each call or video conference with warm greetings, ask how participants are holding up during these challenging times (maybe even provide some Netflix recs!), and facilitate an open and constructive conversation.

3. Be More Proactive with Your Updates — But Don’t Over-Communicate

Now more than ever, your stakeholders need to know how your calls are impacted by the crisis, how you should adjust your marketing efforts accordingly, and what you’re doing about it. Sending proactive updates ensures that your stakeholders know you’re on top of your work.

However, since everyone is experiencing a constant flood of information, you should keep your updates simple and streamlined. Strike a balance between clear, proactive updates and sending too much information too often. 

Try establishing a “new normal” cadence during this crisis. If you’re used to a biweekly call and a weekly email, increase your frequency — but try to keep this new cadence consistent. Perhaps you send an automated dashboard to stakeholders daily with a high-level KPI overview, you host one update call a week, and you send email updates every Monday and Friday with more context on what’s changed and what’s coming next. There’s no perfect formula here — customize this for your needs, your business, and your audience.

4. Above All, Be Nimble and Flexible

The only certainty right now is more uncertainty. The world is changing rapidly. While you might see a spike in calls one week, you could see a sharp drop the following week. You could have an influx of calls on one topic, then a totally new deluge of callers asking about something new. Get used to making quick pivots with how you look at your data, how you make marketing optimizations, and how you communicate these updates to your stakeholders. 

For more insights into the importance of client reporting and communication, check out this post from Swydo

5 Call Analytics Reports to Leverage During the COVID-19 Crisis 

Because COVID-19 is impacting every business differently, you need data-driven insights into how the virus is impacting your calls, your consumers, and the phone conversations themselves. Like we mentioned in the first tip for effectively communicating to stakeholders above, you need to adjust your updates for what matters now — and using reports that are specifically tailored to the COVID-19 crisis helps you do that. 

The following reports leverage a new COVID-19 KPI in our AI-driven phone conversation analytics product; this KPI detects when callers mention the virus or COVID-19-related terms and visualizes that data in a variety of reports and dashboards.

1. COVID-19-Related Calls Overview 

Since this new KPI detects when callers mention the virus and other related terms, the report below makes it easy to visualize how many calls you’re receiving that include references to COVID-19. At a high level, you can see what time of day you typically receive the most COVID-19 related calls, how this compares over a certain time period, and a breakdown of how many calls from each channel are related to the virus.

2. COVID-19’s Impact on Call Volume 

With the report below, you can easily see how the volume of calls you’re receiving related to COVID-19 is changing. In addition to just evaluating COVID-19 call volume, you can also compare these calls to calls that don’t mention coronavirus-related terms.

3. COVID-19 Calls by Marketing Source 

This report digs deeper into what the COVID-19-Related Calls Overview Report above illustrates. You can see how your marketing sources are impacted by COVID-19-related conversations — and even drill down into the specific channels, ads, keywords, webpages, and more. This report is especially helpful for making decisions about how you’re pivoting your marketing strategy right now. For example, if the majority of your PPC-driven calls are related to the virus, you might want to adjust your strategy so you’re not wasting budget driving calls that aren’t going to convert. 

4. COVID-19’s Impact on Phone Leads and Conversion Rates

It’s not enough to just see the quantity of COVID-19-related calls you’re getting. You also need insights into how these calls are going. Are they quality leads? Are these calls resulting in conversions? The report below includes COVID-19 calls by source with sales opportunities, sales conversions, and lead score. 

5. COVID-19 Calls to Each Location or Franchisee

Though everyone’s feeling the impact of the current crisis in some way, that doesn’t mean all of your locations or franchisees are experiencing the same impact on COVID-19 call volume. The following report illustrates if certain locations are being affected more than others. This information can help you make data-driven marketing optimizations, as well as better equip your agents with the information they need to help callers now. You can also use location insights to inform your IVRs and call routing

Learn more about the new COVID-19 KPI, what you can do with these reports, and other ways DialogTech can support your business during this crisis in this post.