Managing Data When Calls Start (Step 3/7)

September 18, 2018 | Jason Kay

The first real moment to use the data about the call, about your caller and from your customer databases is when the number is dialled by your caller. At this moment when the call starts, it is an event that can be tracked, and it is a great time to exchange data between your call and your contact databases. Use the data you capture to outline a personalized journey for the caller right through to the agent best-matched to their need at that time.

How to use the When a Call Starts section of the Caller Journey Worksheet

When any call starts, there is a trove of related data that can be made available for your caller journey:

It’s also a great time to update your other marketing and customer systems with information about the call and the caller that may benefit from information about a newly initiated inbound call. For example:

  • Lead tracking services: Send the “click”, identify the affiliate, source, offer, location of lead.
  • Analytics & reporting: Send the event “call dialed”, track the source, the city, segment.
  • Customer databases: Log the activity (“inbound phone call”) and contact details against the contact profile for known contacts, or create a new record for sales to follow up with.
  • Marketing automation: Enroll the contact in workflows or add them to lists.

All of these details are entered into the Caller Journey Worksheet under the section called When a Call Starts:

Add data to call from

Use this section to identify the sources and systems that contain the data you need for your caller journey, and note the data properties that need to be added to your call from each. Be sure to consider the data needed for agent matching, for reporting, and for automations you may trigger later in the journey.

Send call data to

Where does call information need to be sent? Who needs to have call context information and call data to do their job better?

Update these analytics

Identify the reporting and dashboard solutions that you need to update and identify the metrics that need to be aggregated in you your reports.

Data enables you to analyze and improve caller journeys and to calculate ROI. Remember to start using and capturing data in your caller journeys from the moment the call starts.

Next: Selecting & connecting Agents

Retreaver is a call tagging, tracking and routing service that enables marketers to do more with customer data on their inbound phone calls from the moment every number is dialed. To learn more visit retreaver.com or call us at 1-866-834-4880.

Identifying Call Sources to track (Step 2/7)

September 17, 2018 | Jason Kay

Calls that come into your organization will come from all kinds of sources – online, offline, business partners. It’s important that each of these are considered when designing your caller journey. What will the caller’s mood be? Will they have already started a conversation and be looking to continue it on the phone? What is the likely context in which they would be viewing one source versus another when they call?

 

When thinking about call source tracking for your caller journeys, it’s tempting to say “let’s just track everything”. However, if your journey is for a marketing campaign, the sources may just be the activities you are spending money and effort on to drive traffic to your sales team.  If it’s a sales effort, focus on the fact that leads are coming from email signatures, contact forms, or perhaps voicemails left behind. Marketers and agencies spend a lot of time tracking their efforts and spend, but when the resulting action by the prospect is a phone call – it’s important to identify and track where that call came from.

How to use the Call Sources section of the Caller Journey Worksheet

Call sources are any of the places that phone numbers are presented to allow your contacts, prospects and customers to call you and are the partners and systems that may transfer calls to your organization. Calls are initiated either by a person dialing the number or by a programmatic trigger from an action online. Consider all the sources that will lead to calls into your caller journey as you work through this section:

Online Sources

List the digital sources that are presented in tandem with HTML you have control over: Web pages, landing pages, mobile pages and apps, chatbots, AI bots. Online sources enable you to go deeper with both data integrations, and with following callers across your multiple channels before they get on the phone. Online allows you to display phone numbers to your contacts or enable calls to be initiated by a call-to-action such as a button (often referred to as click-to-call).

Add the relevant online sources that drive phone calls into the caller journey. Be sure to note how the source will trigger the call. For example, will it be a number that is dialed or will an interaction on your website trigger the call. Examples of Online Sources include: 

  • Web pages (include domain) + number in banner
  • Mobile pages + Button to “call now”
  • Landing pages (and which ads are they coming from ads or efforts are they coming from)
  • White-paper download form – call when they submit a form

Offline

Offline sources are those that do not have the ability to interact with your phone numbers. Traditionally these are the numbers you see presented on direct mail, signage, and business cards. Offline, in the caller journey sense, may also be digital in those scenarios where you have no control over the placed number when it’s presented to a contact. Email signatures, newsletters, online ads with a phone number as a call to action (vs landing page).  All these may trigger different experiences in your caller journeys as well, so be sure to think about where callers should find your number across your offline channels.

Transfer

If you work with partners or affiliates who send you leads, be sure to include these as call sources. They too can provide data and insight into your caller’s journey.

Other

New channels, apps, and services are being released every day into the Martech Landscape. Add any other channels driving calls into your campaign so they are considered in the following on stages of your Caller Journey planning.

Great work capturing all the sources of your calls, next let’s look at how data needs to flow from, and onto, calls when contacts dial in.

Next: Managing Data when the Call Starts

Retreaver is a call tagging, tracking and routing service that enables marketers to do more with customer data on their phone calls and track all the online and offline sources they use. To learn more visit retreaver.com or call us at 1-866-834-4880.

Setting Goals for Caller Journeys (Step 1/7)

| Jason Kay

The first step in creating your Caller Journey is to define the goal. Like any business activity, try to make your goals SMART, and consider whether it is:

  • Specific: What does the caller journey need to accomplish? Why is it important?
  • Measurable: How will the specific result be quantified? How will you confirm that the journey is a success?
  • Achievable: Do you have access to all external data and tools you need to execute the journey and measure those results?
  • Relevant: Does it align with the goals of your Customer Experience (CX)? Who is the Caller Journey appropriate for?
  • Time-bound: What is the target date for having the Caller Journey accomplish the goal?

How to use the Goal section of the Caller Journey Worksheet

Enter the goal of your Caller Journey into the top of the worksheet.

Write out your goal and then apply the SMART test. If needed modify your goal until you’ve confirmed it satisfies each criteria.

Here are some examples of caller journey goals:

Example Marketing Goal:

Increase conversion rates 10% by end of quarter across my marketing efforts by reducing the time leads who call spend in my IVR, and by providing my agents with better information about callers so they can deliver a more personalized phone-in experience.

  • Specific: Increased conversion rates 10%
  • Measurable: phone calls placed from sources, conversion rates, time callers spend in my IVR, time callers spend connected with agents.
  • Achievable: Yes, I have Retreaver to track and route my calls with data from email campaigns, ads, landing pages, and my direct mailers.
  • Relevant: Yes, one of our customer experience goals is to improve effectiveness and personalize interactions with our brand.
  • Time-bound: by end of quarter.

Example Sales Goal:

Increase demos scheduled by leads who download white papers by 15% by increasing the number of follow up calls that occur within 5 minutes of content download by 30% over the first 100 downloads.

  • Specific: Increase demo scheduled by 15% and increasing the number of lead follow-ups within 5 minutes by 30%.
  • Measurable: demos scheduled (conversion), # of leads connected on the phone within 5 minutes.
  • Achievable: Yes, I have landing pages with content that requires name, email and phone number to access, I have Retreaver to initiate calls to my sales teams and then to the lead.
  • Relevant: Yes, one of our CX goals is to seamlessly integrate our online content with outbound sales channel. This aligns inbound activity with outbound action.
  • Time-bound: The first 100 downloads.

Example Service Goal:

Reduce the average time spent in my IVR by 20% for all callers known to me / in our CRM over the next 6 months.

  • Specific: Reduce IVR time by 20%.
  • Measurable: time in IVR.
  • Achievable: I have CRM data accessible via API and Retreaver to help me leverage it.
  • Relevant: Involves personalizing caller journeys for customers with past interactions, so that supports my CX plans.
  • Time-bound: Over the next 6 months.

Once you set your goal you’re ready to continue designing your new caller journey.

Next: Identifying the Call Sources to track

Retreaver is a call tagging, tracking and routing service that enables marketers to do more with customer data on phone calls to achieve the SMART goals they set out. To learn more visit retreaver.com or call us at 1-866-834-4880.

Designing Inbound Caller Journeys That Integrate with Digital Customer Experiences

| Jason Kay

Many marketers and agencies are familiar with how to create engaging, multi-channel, digital customer experiences. And as digital options for engaging with companies increase, the ability to share data across those channels becomes more critical to offering seamless, easy, frictionless and personalized experiences.

While the world of AI, live-chat, web pages, mobile apps, email and text messaging draw the investment focus of organizations – one channel still remains the most effective and engaging: the inbound phone call.

Source: Verint White Paper – The Digital Tipping Point

Inbound phone calls continue to be a necessary (and for some a new) channel for prospects and customers to communicate with their brands. “When interacting with a chatbot or an intelligent assistant, nearly 3 in 4 consumers want the ability to connect with a live agent.” (Source: Aspect Software – 2017 Customer Experience Index)

Most marketers ignore the human channel for communications in their digital experiences because they do not realize that phone calls provide as much data as any other online channel. Nor do they know how much information can be gathered from offline marketing efforts that deliver calls.

And when you haven’t before had to use call and customer data with inbound calls, it’s hard to know what needs to be considered in the design of complete and effective caller journeys.

It’s why we created the Caller Journey Worksheet as a tool for helping marketers, agencies and operations managers to design effective caller journeys that integrate with their overall customer experiences.

Download the PDF here.

The Caller Journey Worksheet provides a framework for identifying the data, the participants, and the system interactions that should be considered at each stage of your caller’s journey from Call Start to Call Outcome and beyond.

How to use the Caller Journey Worksheet

The Caller Journey Worksheet is a tool for gathering information prior to implementing new caller journeys with your inbound call tracking software.

Generally start working through the worksheet from top to bottom, trying not to limit yourself to the size of the boxes presented – it’s just a framework after all. As you complete later sections, if filling them out triggers new ideas for earlier sections, go back to those sections. This is okay and expected.

The objective of the Caller Journey Worksheet is to provide you with a roadmap for implementing effective Caller Journeys that seamlessly integrate with your overall Customer Experiences.  

Let’s get started with the first step:

Next: Setting the goal of your caller journey

Retreaver is a call tagging, tracking and routing service that enables marketers to do more with customer data on their phone calls. Retreaver has been powering effective caller journeys with data since 2012. To learn more visit retreaver.com or call us at 1-866-834-4880.

Upcoming Conferences!

September 7, 2018 | Jason Kay

The Retreaver team will be attending a number of conferences in the next few months! Let us know if you’ll be attending and make sure you stop by our booth to say hello. If you haven’t purchased your ticket yet, take advantage of discount codes available below at some conferences.

Check back for updates!

Startup Open House | September 27 | Toronto

MaRS will be hosting a fun and interactive evening where you can explore Toronto’s startup ecosystem and connect with remarkable people doing amazing things. Join us and discover experiences from startup insiders, like Retreaver. Learn more here!

LeadsCon Connect To Convert | October 3 – 5 | Boston

Visit us at booth 622 to learn about all the features performance marketers rely on to track conversions over the phone. Click here for discounted tickets!

Medtrade | October 15 – 17 | Atlanta

Medtrade is the largest home medical equipment trade show and conference in the US. Originally launched as the National Home Healthcare Exhibition, Medtrade has been connecting HME industry since 1979. Click here to learn more!

Internet Summit | November 14 – 15 | Raleigh

Internet Summit is the definitive marketing gathering focusing on the future of your company’s digital marketing and strategic success. Join the movers and shakers across the digital marketing spectrum — including national brands, agencies, service providers, technology pioneers, media, B2B providers, associations & nonprofits, startups, and so much more. Learn more here!

If you can’t attend any of the conferences, we’re still more than happy to answer any of your call tracking questions. Book a discovery call!

How does the sunk-cost fallacy affect hold times?

August 13, 2018 | Jason Kay

The “hold” button is the most hated feature in modern telecommunications technology. Callers get chained to their phones for an eternity while the contact center blazes through the queue. Many companies have trouble managing hold times, even with multiple agents working as fast as humanly possible. Bad elevator music and annoyingly pre-rolls just make things worse.

But something interesting happens during this delay. A survey of US callers discovered the 70% of respondents were willing to wait between 5 to 30 minutes on the phone before they hung up.

Why is that?

Escalation of commitment.

Escalation of commitment is a pattern of behavior where a person continues to commit effort, time and resources to a course of action despite repeated failures. Gamblers continue to play despite losing their money. A business will continue to invest in an underperforming venture in the hope of turning it around.

This behavior is also called a “sunk-cost fallacy.” In business parlance, a sunk cost is money that has already been spent and will not likely be recovered. Phrases like “throwing good money in after the bad” come from the concept of escalation of commitment.

How does this impact your contact center?

Customers don’t like waiting on hold. 60% of callers think that even one minute on hold is too long. But then again, the sunk-cost fallacy prevents them from hanging up and moving on to other things. Woe to the agent whose customer has been on hold for over half an hour.

This persistence also means that your customer queue is going to be packed. If your contact center can’t keep up with the combined new and waiting calls, your queue will just get longer and your team won’t be able to process all of the calls in a timely manner.

What can be done about it?

Call technology companies have tried to address long queue times for decades. Here are some of the most effective software-based solutions so far:

  • Offer a Return call. Certain IVR solutions allow the customer to reserve their place in the queue, then hang up in order to be contacted later. The system then returns their call when an agent is available. This relaxes the customer, as they don’t have to be forced to listen to a holding message for an extended period of time.
  • Call routing software. The more advanced call routing and tracking software solutions let you implement routing logic so that customers can be sent directly to an appropriate agent. Calls are resolved faster and wait times are reduced.
  • Automated response options. Many calls don’t need an agent to assist. Set up an IVR process that directs customers to pre-recorded responses. These options will quickly resolve easy calls and free agents up for more complicated cases.

Escalation of commitment isn’t necessarily a bad thing–it’s just something that happens as the customer is waiting for an agent. But our responsibility is to provide good customer service and reduce the hold times a customer has to endure.

Retreaver Tracking URLs are now Webhooks

August 1, 2018 | Jason Kay

Today we are pleased to announce that Retreaver Tracking URLs are now called Webhooks. While the functionality remains the same, this update necessarily acknowledges the evolution of how Retreaver customers, new and old, are integrating their call data with other web-based services and platforms in new and exciting ways.

The History of Tracking URLs in Retreaver

Retreaver first launched as CallPixels in 2012 as a call tracking platform for marketers. It allowed phone call outcomes to trigger pixels fires for the purpose of tracking call conversions. Retreaver delivered conversion tracking for phone calls the same way that tracking pixels were doing (and are still doing) for websites and landing pages, and like for those pages, “Call Pixels” were added to call campaigns using Tracking URLs.

Your Calls Now Drive More Than Tracking

By 2016 Retreaver customers were doing much more with call data than ever before. A change in company name to Retreaver saw a new emphasis on tagging calls with data, and tracking and routing calls with that data.

Retreaver Tracking URLs are no longer just for when agents answer or for when calls end. They are now being triggered when calls are dialed by consumers when agents are selected when they are connected and still when the call ends based on conversion outcome. It’s functionality that has created countless possibilities for companies looking to integrate inbound calls with their digital marketing workflows and services.

Use Retreaver Webhooks To Make Workflows Seamless

Retreaver Webhooks provide you with the ability to POST or GET with any system. Passing data right within URL parameters on those webhooks.

With this capability to send any of your call data to other systems, and to receive information back onto calls in real-time, Retreaver makes it possible to have your calls work with services such as:

  • Google Analytics 360 – Send information about your calls to Google Analytics including Valuetrack parameters from ads, custom dimensions, campaign details, even the answering agent. And capture this for each stage of the call. Read more here.
  • ClickSend – Send your agents answering the phone a visual heads by up using ClickSend text messages right before they answer the phone. Follow up with callers that have opted-in with text-message-based offers and thank you messages.
  • Zapier – Get inspiration about what’s possible by using Zapier to leverage the power of 800+ online services. Send our call data to Zapier to integrate workflows with most marketing and online services and return data to your calls for use in routing.

To learn more about how Retreaver Webhooks can help you to Do More With Call Data™, send us a message at support@retreaver.com or call 1-866-898-7878.

How to Track Online and Offline Campaigns Effectively

May 25, 2018 | Jason Kay

Want to know a secret?  

Marketing sometimes feels like the blind leading the blind.

It might be a strange thing to say in today’s uber-connected, metric-obsessed electronic age, but there are still areas where marketing has a hard time getting insight. I’m referring to offline mediums like print, broadcast, and the telephone. These channels aren’t naturally integrated into the digital sphere. So marketers have to work harder and develop more innovative solutions to know whether a campaign succeeded or failed.

One such solution is called call tracking.

What is call tracking?

Call tracking solutions allow businesses to attribute calls to different traffic sources. One way to do this is by generating a series of unique phone numbers that can be assigned to a specific marketing asset. Example: direct mail, newsletter or online ad. 

Advanced call tracking solutions can leverage more detailed call data in the forms of tags, which allow companies to associate unlimited amounts of data to specific calls and callers.

But what can you actually do with all of this data?

Identify omnichannel customers

Customer don’t behave like they used to. They don’t follow the old, straight-line journey from the top of the funnel to bottom of the funnel. They bounce around from stage to stage and from offline to online and back again, makiing them difficult to track.

However, call tracking alleviates that by capturing the identity of a caller and tying them to their records in your CRM (or creating a new entry if they’re not there already). You can identify prospects as they jump from channel to channel. Without call tracking? You never would’ve known that the same person who opened your email a month back called today to order your product from an agent.

Track customer journey

Now that you know who they are, you’re better equipped to track their journey. You’ve already got all digital interactions like email, website visits, and downloads covered through other specialized tracking tools. That leaves one blind spot left—the phones.

Call tracking ensures that you’ve got as many major touchpoints covered as possible. You can’t afford to miss any interaction with the customer, especially now that the stakes in marketing are so high.

Deliver immediate insights

Call tracking technology automatically updates you with who is calling, why they are calling, and who they speak with when the call connects. This is critical for marketers to be able to respond in a timely manner to any shifts in the market, changes in customer mood, or problems with your campaign.

This only happens if the call tracking solution you’re using is integrated with your CRM, and if you have the right marketing analytics processes in place.

Contact us to find out how to maximize campaign effectiveness using call tracking technology.

 

Why You Should Pay Attention to Your Lead Response Times

May 15, 2018 | Jason Kay

How quickly do you respond to web-generated leads? A day later? Maybe a week?

It’s tempting to let the response time slide in favor of hotter or more urgent leads. After all, they already expressed interest by filling out a form, right? So they should still be interested by the time you get around to contacting them. However, “more than half of B2B companies still aren’t following up with leads-at all.

Insidesales.com conducted a study on web-generated leads and how to get optimal contact and qualification rates. Lead response time was by far the biggest and most surprising factor in a sales team’s success.

Why 5 minutes is the cut-off for lead response time

According to the study, your odds of successfully contacting a lead decrease by over 10 times within the first hour, and the odds of successfully qualifying them decreases by over 6 times within the same time period.

That figure is already shocking enough, but there’s more.

The odds of contacting a lead in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes drops 100 times, and the odds of qualifying a lead in the same situation drops 21 times. That 25-minute gap makes an incredible difference in your chances of converting a lead.

It all boils down to the speed of response. 90% of all companies didn’t respond in under five minutes. But just wanting to isn’t enough. You have to put the right people, processes, and tools in place if you want to perform at that high a level.

What you need to respond to leads in under 5 minutes

You’ll never be able to respond to web-generated leads effectively if you don’t have enough of the right people in place. Assess your team’s size and workload. Are they able to drop whatever it is they’re doing or have enough time between calls to respond to a web lead? If not, you may have to expand your team.

Also, take a look at the process for handling web-generated leads. Who receives them? How does the team know there is a lead in the first place? You want a process that has as few bottlenecks as possible so that the lead can flow smoothly from form to agent.

Let’s also talk about technology. There are many tools available that help sales reps respond promptly to web-generated leads by automating emails. When your business relies on calls (and should since calls convert higher), Retreaver’s Live Agent Call Initiation closes the response gap to less than 1 min. When your web lead enters their phone number and submits a form this initiates a call to your team of agents. When one is available and answers, they are prompted that a lead has submitted the form, and what their name is, and then connected to the visitor using their provided phone number. The only thing your agent needs to do is pick up the phone.

The studies show 5 minutes is the critical timing, and that may sound intimidating, but it’s very much possible—even easy—if you have the right tools in place.

Contact us if you’re interested in knowing more about Live Agent Call Initiation.

People, Integration and AI: The Future from MarTech 2018

May 7, 2018 | Jason Kay

If MarTech’s 2018 conference in San Jose proved anything, it was that this fledgling industry has grown into a tech powerhouse—and has yet to grow even further.

Just look at the Marketing Technology Landscape infographic created by Scott Brinker, Chief Editor of chiefmartech.com: the industry has grown from a mere 150 brands in 2011 to nearly 7,000 martech solutions in 2018. Marketing technology shows no sign of slowing down.

The MarTech 2018 conference was chock-full of brilliant presentations and innovative insights, and it would be impossible to cover all of them with the depth they deserve in a single blog post. But there were definitely key threads that run through the entire program:

People-based technology stacks

Over two days companies like LogMeIn, Meyer, and VMWare shared how they built their marketing tech stacks and the thought process behind their creation and refinement. The individual tools all differed based on need: LogMeIn, for example, ran heavy on content creation and team collaboration tools while Bedrock Data focused on a single content-focused tool and focused its effort on data collection, management, and reporting solutions.

But the key unifying theme of these martech stacks was an emphasis on people. What would make life easier for an employee to do their job? What would make it easier for the customer to connect with the brand? Nearly all the martech stacks presented went out of their way to ensure employees could rely on the tools to help them do their jobs effectively and efficiently, no matter what the back-end looked like.

And that leads me to the next point:

Integration

The average tech stack at MarTech 2018 ran from 10 to 20 software solutions, each specializing in their own niche function. That’s a dizzying amount of data, interfaces, and features to keep track of. How can an understaffed marketing team be expected to keep track of it all?

The answer lies in integration. Most modern martech solutions use an open API to connect with other tools and expand their functionality. There are also solutions like IFTTT and Zapier that help simplify the process of integrating with other tools.

In one presentation, Tony Ralph, VP Marketing Product for Walmart eCommerce, shared that the ideal way to build a consolidated marketing tech stack isn’t to buy an all-in-one solution, but to assemble a diverse collection of tools that are each the best at what they do (for you), but connected via API or other integration methods. This allows you to swap out or upgrade individual technologies without you having to replace the rest of the set.

AI

Artificial Intelligence can be a hard sell to jaded marketers just because it’s so much of a buzzword. But Adelyn Zhou, CMO of TopBots, and Dejan Duzevik from Concentric were on-hand to show MarTech 2018 attendees just what the future held.

The most visible sign of AI’s progress in martech is the emergence of chatbots—those automated response boxes where customers type in questions and get useful responses. We are seeing a sharp rise in companies that offer these solutions, and machine learning is getting very good at picking up natural language, to the point that it can be hard to tell who’s a real agent and who’s not.

Machine learning also makes a significant contribution towards predictive analytics, customer sentiment analysis, and data management. It can tackle higher levels of complexity than a human administrator can.  

Over time, more martech solutions will appear, grow, and evolve. But there is one thing they’ll never do:

Go away.