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Solving Marketing Problems: Low Phone Lead Conversion Rates

Blair Symes Senior Director of Product Marketing, DialogTech

In this installment of DialogTech’s Solving Marketing Problems blog series, we are tackling a common and frustrating problem for digital marketers and agencies: low phone lead conversion rates.

If your call centers, locations, franchisees, or clients (if you work at an agency) aren’t converting enough inbound calls to sales or appointments, don’t worry. This article explains how to identify, diagnose, and solve the problem using the DialogTech conversation intelligence platform.

About the Problem: Low Phone Lead Conversion Rates

Phone calls to businesses are an important part of the customer journey for many industries, including healthcare, insurance, financial services, home services, automotive, travel, retail, and B2B. Consumers often call to ask questions, request quotes, book appointments or reservations, place orders, and more.

If you’re a marketer in these industries, driving phone leads is critical to your success, but it’s only the first step in driving actual appointments or sales. Your call centers, locations, or franchisees still have to do their part to convert those callers to customers — but are they?

Call center managers, locations, and franchisee owners often blame marketing when they aren’t generating enough customers. They say you aren’t sending them enough good leads. But is this really true? What if you are actually sending them a high volume of phone leads and the real problem is that they are failing to convert them to sales or appointments? What can you do about it? That’s the problem we are going to cover in this article.

Step 1: Identify the Problem

First, marketers need to have a clear view of their entire inbound call channel. You should be able to easily review how well your marketing is delivering not just calls — but quality phone leads — to your call centers, locations, franchisees, and remote agents and how well they are converting those phone leads to appointments or sales.

The DialogTech conversation intelligence platform provides marketers with this data. It combines AI-driven conversation analytics with call tracking to attribute and analyze every call your marketing generates and the resulting call experiences and conversations, visualizing the insights and results in a wide variety of reports.

For the problem of low phone lead conversion rates, begin by reviewing the DialogTech scorecard report. It shows you the number of total calls your marketing channels sent to each location within your selected timeframe, how many of those calls were answered, how many were sales leads, how many were successfully converted by the person answering the call, and if any customer experience (CX) issues occurred on the call.

Sample DialogTech scorecard report — not actual customer data

I recommend reviewing the DialogTech scorecard report regularly to proactively identify issues in your call channel. You can also pull it up any time one of your locations, franchisees, or sales agents claims you aren’t sending them enough good leads. If the report confirms that you aren’t sending them a sufficient volume of phone leads, they might have a valid complaint and you should make changes to your marketing campaigns to address it.

However, more often than not you will see the opposite — that you have sent the location/agent a high volume of not just phone calls, but actual phone leads — and the problem is that they are not converting them to appointments or customers (or whatever a conversion means to you) at a high enough rate compared to your other locations/agents.

Step 2: Diagnose the Cause

Once you’ve identified that a location/agent is having a problem converting phone leads, you should diagnose the reasons why.

To do that, first examine the other data for that location/agent in the DialogTech scorecard report by looking at:

  • Total Calls: Are you sending them an unusually high volume of calls compared to other locations/agents? If so, they might be overwhelmed, and the high call volume is impacting their ability to assist sales calls correctly.
  • Phone Lead Percentage: Is the percentage of calls that are actual sales leads very low compared to others? Then the location/agent might be spending too much time dealing with non-sales calls, which could also impact their ability to assist actual leads correctly.
  • Unanswered Calls: Are too many calls going unanswered? They could be missing out on sales leads by not answering the calls you are sending them.
  • CX Issues: What about the percentage of calls containing a CX issue? That is often a good indicator that something is wrong with how callers are being assisted by that location/agent.

Next, you should log into the DialogTech conversation intelligence platform to review the call recordings and transcriptions for the calls you sent to that location/agent during the given timeframe. Recordings and transcriptions are the ultimate source of truth for your call channel, and DialogTech makes it easy to filter call recordings and transcriptions by location, day/time, marketing source, caller intent, call outcome, and more.

DialogTech makes it easy for marketers to filter and review call recordings and transcriptions

Start by pulling up a list of every phone lead to that location/agent that didn’t result in a conversion and review a selection of those call recordings and transcriptions to see where problems occurred. Maybe the people answering the phones aren’t following the right scripts, answering caller questions correctly, or mentioning the right promotions. Maybe they didn’t ask the caller if they wanted to get a quote, place an order, or schedule an appointment. The call recordings and transcriptions will show you the reasons why your phone leads aren’t getting converted.

Sample DialogTech call recording and transcription — not actual customer data

You should also review recordings and transcriptions of phone leads that did convert and compare them to non-converting calls to see the differences. Finally, look at your calls to that location/agent with a CX issue. Was the caller irate, and if so, was it something the location/agent did or didn’t do? Was the location/agent able to fix the caller’s issue and convert them? Irate callers often leave bad reviews if they aren’t assisted properly, and those reviews can cost you business. You don’t want these CX issues in your call channel going undetected.

Step 3: Solve the Problem

There are several solutions marketers can employ to fix the problem of low phone call conversion rates, depending on why they are occurring and the destinations your business has for calls. Here are several to consider using the DialogTech conversation intelligence platform.

Solution: Help With Call Coaching

You can use call recordings and transcriptions from DialogTech as call coaching tools. Provide your location managers, franchisee owners, or call center managers with examples of calls that converted and ones that didn’t. They can see specific areas to correct and work with the people answering calls to improve their performance and conversion rates.

It’s a solution that is helping many DialogTech customers improve call conversion rates, including:

  • 1st Family Dental: “DialogTech call recordings help me evaluate the performance of call center agents and ensure they are providing prospective patients with the best experience. I also have agents listen to their non-booked call recordings for self-evaluation and improvement.”
  • Action Urgent Care: “DialogTech gives us complete visibility into what happens on the phones. We can look at call volume to any location and compare it to appointments. If there is a gap, we can pull up call recordings for that clinic in DialogTech to diagnose why calls aren’t turning into appointments and make corrections at the call center level to fix it.”
  • 1000Bulbs.com: “With DialogTech we can see why calls aren’t converting and which product categories are performing poorly. We can train our call center staff to better handle those callers. Using conversation analytics from DialogTech, we’ve increased call-to-sales conversion rates by 18% this year.”

Solution: Retarget Unconverted Phone Leads With Special Offers

Just because a phone lead didn’t convert on the call doesn’t mean they never will. You can use DialogTech to create audiences of callers who were good leads but didn’t convert that you can then retarget with ads and special offers across search, social, and display. Consider paying more to target these leads you know have high purchasing intent, as well as broadening your paid search keyword list for them to ensure your ads are visible when they search.

DialogTech customers like Comfort Keepers are seeing success with this solution. Comfort Keepers uses DialogTech’s AI to automatically segment each caller into the best audience in Google Ads (sales lead, job lead, sales conversion, job conversion, other, etc.) based on the content of their conversation. They can then tailor bids and messaging for each audience to more effectively convert good leads, find new lookalikes resembling their best callers, and eliminate wasted ad spend on irrelevant audiences.

Solution: Route Calls From New Sales Leads Differently

You don’t have to route all callers to your business the same way. If your locations/agents aren’t converting phone leads at a high enough rate, consider changing how callers are routed based on whether or not they are an actual sales lead. You can use a DialogTech IVR to qualify if the caller is a new or existing customer, then route them to the best group of agents based on their response.

With this solution, your sales agents can spend their time converting phone leads, while support-related calls can go to your support agents. And if your locations aren’t staffed to properly convert new sales calls, you can also route those calls to your call center to assist.

DialogTech customers that use this solution to improve call conversion rates include:

  • C2 Education: “Our marketing campaigns generate high volumes of calls from prospects. We want those calls — and only those calls — going straight to our call center where agents are trained to convert calls to actionable leads. Conversely, when current customers call to reschedule their child’s appointment, we want them sent to the tutoring location nearest them, not tie up call center resources.”
  • RMI: “By enabling our call center agents to focus on legitimate sales calls, DialogTech has helped RMI improve our call center sales conversion rates by 21%. We are extremely happy with the results, and so is our client.”

Solution: Answer Your Most Valuable Callers First

Don’t risk losing your best phone leads by keeping them on hold for too long. Use DialogTech reports to see what characteristics make up your most valuable callers, then set up call routing rules in DialogTech to have callers with those characteristics sent to a priority queue to get assisted immediately.

For example, an insurance provider uses DialogTech to ensure callers from certain high-converting ZIP codes get answered first. This strategy has increased call-to-policy conversion rates and generates several million in additional revenue each month.

Solution: Send Alerts When Good Phone Leads Don’t Convert

Sometimes if you call back a phone lead that failed to convert, you can win their business. DialogTech can send email alerts to location managers or franchisee owners when good leads don’t convert using our lead alert technology. That email includes a link to the call recording/transcription and information on the caller, including their phone numbers, giving the email recipients all the information they need to try to win back the lost opportunity.

Solution: Reroute Their Calls to Better-Performing Agents/Locations

If you see that after trying to help your underperforming locations/agents they still aren’t improving, you can use DialogTech to reroute all their calls — or any percentage you choose — to your better-performing agents or locations. This solution can also help if one of your locations gets slammed with too many calls to handle properly. Simply set up a rule in DialogTech to reroute a percentage of calls during high volume periods to other locations or call centers to assist.

Don’t Let Low Phone Lead Conversion Rates Hurt Your Marketing ROI

If your call centers, locations, franchisees, or clients (if you work at an agency) aren’t converting enough inbound calls to sales or appointments, you need to know — and you need to take action. Issues in your call channel will impact your marketing results, so the sooner you correct them, the better.

For DialogTech customers, you can use the reports and technology in the DialogTech conversation intelligence platform to help you identify, diagnose, and solve the problem. If you aren’t a DialogTech customer, you can request a demo of our platform to learn more.

Learn how marketers can improve sales operations and call channel performance by downloading The Digital Marketer’s Playbook for Unanswered & Unconverted Calls.

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