Blog & News

Retreaver is a technology company devoted to phone call innovation. We help the world’s top companies harness the power of telephony for positive customer experiences, intuitive sales, and better ROI in marketing operations.

Designing Inbound Caller Journeys That Integrate with Digital Customer Experiences

September 17, 2018 | Mark Lesiw

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 | Marija Sekularac

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 | Marija Sekularac

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 | Mark Lesiw

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 | Marija Sekularac

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 | Marija Sekularac

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 | Marija Sekularac

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.

Static vs Dynamic Call Tracking Numbers: What’s the Difference?

April 19, 2018 | Marija Sekularac

Call tracking allows marketers to track calls from a dedicated number through to the outcome of each call. It’s a great tool for tracking the source of calls. One number in a newspaper ad, another on a social media advertisement, another elsewhere. Each of these static phone numbers provides simple insight to the source of calls.  When the source of a call is digital, call tracking software allows marketers to utilize dynamic phone numbers to take their analytics and segmentation to an entirely new level.

What are Dynamic Phone Numbers?

A dynamic phone number is displayed on a website or landing page and changes depending on the data associated with the caller’s context and journey. For instance, if a user finds your landing page via organic search, they see Phone Number A; if they click through an ad to the same landing page, they see phone number B. The process of substituting numbers automatically on web pages is called Dynamic Number Insertion (DNI).

Why call tracking with Dynamic Phone Numbers Is Better Than Static Numbers

The reasons why marketers choose to apply dynamic phone numbers over regular static ones:

Attribution and Tracking

Ads and emails deliver great conversion data when prospects click through and are taken to a landing page, but you lose that visibility when they call a static phone number listed on that page.

Dynamic phone numbers enable the same website or landing page to be used for different ads without sacrificing the metrics you get with a campaign-specific phone number. This is perfect for campaigns that need to be tracked separately and have the same messaging.

Localization

Local numbers help businesses with a local presence be more attractive to certain customers. It is why many businesses list multiple local numbers on their contact page.  When the number of locations get’s large (5 or more) it becomes harder for visitors to know which number they should call.

Dynamic phone numbers automatically present phone numbers aligned to a prospect’s context. That means if local numbers are what you need, present just the local number aligned to the user’s geographical area. It’s more efficient and scalable than juggling dozens of phone numbers and landing pages.

Number Recycling

One other little-known benefit of dynamic phone numbers is how it helps you to manage and recycle unused phone numbers. Marketers using call tracking software to generate campaign-specific phone numbers tend to get carried away and create more than they need—or create a large volume of numbers, use them once, and forget about them.

The better call tracking platforms allow marketers to pool and recycle available numbers and reintroduce them into new campaigns. It saves you from buying new numbers and keeps your inventory of phone numbers more manageable.

Ready to explore dynamic phone numbers in more detail? Contact us to discuss how to maximize your call tracking software.

Why Call Tracking is an Important Tool for Agencies

April 13, 2018 | Marija Sekularac

You might get confused at first at how call tracking relates to marketing and advertising agencies. After all, agencies exist outside the client company and have nothing at all to do with their operations. They aren’t involved in what happens on the contact center floor. Why would you care what kind of software the client uses to manage their operations?

Call tracking is one of the most important tools an agency has at their disposal. It’s a marketing tool for agencies to track campaign success, obtain customer insights and drive strategic and tactical change.

Here’s a closer look at how call tracking accomplishes all this:

Track advertising campaign success

Phone calls are traditionally an offline channel, and as such, are historically a blind spot when it comes to metrics. Fast forward, and modern agencies are using call tracking to remove that blind spot. At a basic level, call tracking generates a series of unique phone numbers, each associated with the data you need – campaigns, demographics, and even neighborhoods (if you’re doing a direct mail campaign for example). 

These unique numbers make it easy for call centers to identify the marketing efforts resulting in calls, and more importantly, sales.

That ability to measure the impact of ads on conversions and sales means no more underestimating campaign success!

Collect customer insights

Curious what a customer thinks? Then ask them a few questions if you already have them on the phone.

The best call tracking solutions integrate with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms (i.e. HubSpot) so contact center agents immediately see the customer’s marketing history (how and when they’ve encountered the brand in the past), while being able to update the CRM with information. Knowing more about the customer makes it possible to create more targeted and more valuable experiences for your client.

Drive strategic and tactical change

With call tracking data completing the attribution picture, you are now armed with information to answer hard questions: Should you and the client shift focus to a different demographic? Do you need to change the voice or wording of the ad? Is the value being clearly presented to callers?

All these answers affect the next version of whatever marketing assets you’re using and can even change overall strategic direction. It allows you, the agency, to stay agile and adjust client marketing strategies with each new insight.

For more information on how call tracking assists marketing and advertising agencies, visit https://try.retreaver.com/

How to Gain Consumer Insight

April 5, 2018 | Marija Sekularac

Successful businesses prosper when they know what the customer wants. That’s why organizations spend so much time and money gathering data and asking questions. They want to ensure that they are providing the right value to the right customers.

But market research alone isn’t enough; companies also have to collect and act upon consumer insights to be sure they’re on the right path.

The difference between research and insight

Traditional market research involves gathering facts, figures and statistics. Researchers then attempt to discover trends and look for generalities among the data. This is extremely valuable for business attempting to penetrate new markets.

Consumer insights have a tighter and more intimate scope. Instead of looking for the overall picture, it looks at the rationale behind a situation or action (not just a purchase) and attempts to build a narrative out of the data.

Consumer insights allow companies to create more personalized marketing campaigns and more tailored brand experiences. You don’t just know which of your products sell; you know why they want it. You don’t just know that you have a defect in your product; you know why that defect matters to customers in the first place.

What makes a consumer insight valuable?

By understanding the primary motivation behind a customer’s actions, organizers have a much higher chance of responding in the correct manner.

Nike is a brand that did consumer insights right. Its “Find your greatness” campaign for the 2012 London Olympics sprouted from the insight that most of Nike’s consumers were everyday athletes who wanted to push beyond their own individual limits.

Coca-Cola (specifically New Coke) is a brand that got consumer insights wrong. Market research and product studies had shown that people like Pepsi better in blind taste tests. This data convinced Coke that they had to change up their flavor to be more like—or better than—Pepsi.

Unfortunately, they hadn’t asked the customers what they thought. People hated New Coke. They didn’t want Coca-Cola to change, and sales of New Coke tanked.

Think about how else consumer insights can help your business. It can help you improve your customer service, open opportunities for new products and improve existing ones.

How to gain consumer insight

As mentioned before, consumer insight is similar to market research in that they both require facts and metrics, but insight can only be gained through deeper questions and thorough comparative analysis of the data.

Observing customers’ buying habits is one sure-fire way of developing customer insight. This can easily be done if you have the right tools to capture and measure buyer activity, such as website cookies, tracking URLs and web submission forms. You can easily use these to assemble a consumer insight picture of buyer intent and motivation.

All this collected electronic data is great, but there’s no better source of insight than the buyer himself. Contact centers are in a unique position of being able to talk directly to the customer and ask them the right questions. When you combine this with call tracking software like Retreaver, which helps agents identify the caller, the reason for their call, and what led them to reach out, and you are well on your way to picking up valuable consumer insights about your brand and product.

Contact us today to find out how your call centers can help you gain key consumer insights.