Is Customer Experience the Ultimate Brand Differentiator?

January 26, 2018 | Jason Kay

Customer Experience seems to be the latest marketing buzzword that supposedly makes or breaks a modern brand. But is customer experience as big of a differentiator as people say? Or is it just one more passing trend in a series of marketing fads? Let’s examine it in more detail.

What is Customer Experience?

Customer experience is often confused with customer

service, which focuses on solving customer needs and providing assistance—usually through phone, digital, or on-site support channels. Customer service is definitely a significant part of the customer experience, but it’s not the whole story.

Any interaction the customer encounters or experiences over the course of their relationship with your brand falls under customer experience. This includes everything from their experience with the product they buy to the marketing that lead them to you and everything in between.

Most brands struggle with customer experience simply because the scope is so vast. It’s difficult to keep an individuals experience personalized and consistent over so many channels and touchpoints. One customer might be turned off by something as simple as being put on hold for too long. Another might be overjoyed at how easy it is to shop in your digital store.

Brands must rise to the challenge and aim for consistent omni-channel customer experiences. Not just because it’s good for your customer (and it is), but because it’s going to be the differentiating factor in choosing your brand.

How big of a difference does customer experience make?

Multiple studies and surveys agree that customer experience is going to be the primary factor in a customer’s decision-making process, even more than price and product. This shift may happen as soon as 2020, according to a study conducted by Walker.

Businesses that provide better customer experience are more likely to be selected over their competitors, and they’re more likely to earn more per customer. The same Walker study found that 62% of buyers would pay more for improved customer experience, and it stands to reason that they would be more loyal as well.

Many businesses already see the change coming and are taking action. According to Forrester, 72% of the businesses they surveyed say that improving customer experience is their top priority. So how can you improve your own brand’s customer experience? Start with the most mission-critical area: customer service.

How do I improve my brand’s customer experience?

You could theoretically improve any part of your business and have it affect customer experience; but if you want the most bang for your buck, you should prioritize customer service and support. 60% of consumers have higher expectations for customer service now than they did a year ago, and yet 42% of customer service agents still struggle with resolving customer issues thanks to disconnected systems, archaic user interfaces, and multiple applications. Poorly-implemented contact center infrastructure ruins the brand experience and lowers employee morale.

Using call tracking improves contact center success

  • Capture caller intent and deliver it to the agents before they answer the call
  • Gather and use caller data to build more complete profiles for more personalized experiences
  • Use call outcomes to drive automatic follow-ups and re-marketing efforts
  • Route callers intelligently to minimize the time they spend on hold

Retreaver’s call tracking software layers on top of your existing agent tools to enable you to immediately improve your contact center’s success. Visit try.retreaver.com to discover even more benefits!

5 Reasons phone calls are more favorable than lead forms

December 20, 2017 | Jason Kay

Modern digital marketers have a lot of tools at their disposal when marketing products and services to consumers. While the digital age has brought with it impressive advancements in technology that aid advertisers and marketers, sometimes the oldies truly are the goodies. Online activity is increasing among consumers. That doesn’t mean that the human connection should be left out of the equation. When it comes to comparing phone calls (old school) to lead forms (new school), it’s really no contest. Here’s 5 reasons you should be spending more on phone calls than lead forms.

Better Lead Quality

Whether a consumer picks up the phone to call or fills out a lead form, that individual has interest in your product or service. However, the value of these two leads is significantly different. Lead forms are often used by those with lower interest or who are still in the early phases of their purchasing decision. Callers, conversely, are much more interested in getting answers and making a purchase.

This isn’t speculation either. MobileMarketer.com notes that lead forms convert customers in only 2% of cases. That compares to a conversion rate between 25% and 40% for inbound phone calls. This means that phone calls are turning consumers into buyers at a rate 10 to 12 times higher than lead forms. Callers are pulling the trigger to purchase and generating more revenue.

Optimized for Mobile

The mobile phone has overtaken desktop searching in many nations, and in most cases this change is permanent. More searching is taking place on mobile than desktop in 10 countries around the world, including the massive economies of the United States and Japan. This matters for your brand because mobile searchers are making phone calls based upon those mobile searchers. These consumers are reaching out to companies directly to complete purchases. Google notes that 71% of mobile searchers make a call to businesses right from search engine results. The inclusion of strong CTAs and click-to-call features increases the effectiveness of mobile phone call leads too.

Enhancing Customer Service Capability

Lead forms are often mismanaged by companies, routing to the wrong individuals within the business. Trends in Personalization study states “virtually all (96%) marketers agree that personalization advances customer relationships. Eighty-eight percent say they’ve realized a measurable lift in business results from their personalization campaigns.” Integrating phone calls more deeply into your marketing campaign improves the customer service you provide to your consumers. They get answers more quickly and can gain more detailed information as well. Phone calls ensure that customers have a better experience when dealing with your brand directly.

Less Steps to Close

Lead forms haven’t changed much in the digital age. Customers fill in basic information and hit send. What type of response they get varies from one brand to the next, but it all feels rather cold. Companies aren’t utilizing the form submission leads in a timely manner. “In fact, they take 46 hours and 53 minutes to pick up the phone and respond to a lead. And the sales rep who does call, only makes 1.3 call attempts before giving up and moving on. And recent research shows it is getting better, but only slightly” states Forbes.

Data, Data, and more Data

One of the most important reasons phone calls outstrip lead forms is data. With the advent of  call recording and call tracking platforms, you now get a better overall picture of how your consumers are interacting with your brand prior to contact. Did they see a mobile ad that made them call? Was it a search results ad? Or were they hooked in by social media ads? You can use call tracking platforms to gather data that tells you which ads were viewed, when they were seen, and then adjust your marketing campaigns to continue targeting consumers through the most valuable sales funnels.

If you want more information on the value of phone calls and just how much of a difference the right call tracking software can make, feel free to reach out to us. We can help you turn a flood of incoming phone calls into the most effective leads in your marketing arsenal.

 

The phone hasn’t died, it’s the missing link in personalization

December 15, 2017 | Jason Kay

The most popular trend at the moment in marketing is personalization. This tactic enhances the customer experience by delivering relevant content when it is most desired by consumers. It can also help close the gaps that exist in your marketing scheme. For digital marketers in the 21st century, the biggest problem many face is connecting the dots between offline interactions and online conversions.

Arguably the biggest channel overlooked by businesses in various industries is the telephone. Whether landline or mobile, businesses have overlooked calls from customers in favor of online purchases, lead forms, and other solely digital interactions. However, ignoring the phone can result in lackluster personalization that actually hampers your digital marketing efforts. Rather than continuing to ignore the phone, learn to embrace it as a part of your personalization efforts for target consumers.

Consumers are Still Calling

It’s hard to imagine why businesses have abandoned the telephone in modern marketing. BIA/Kelsey reported by 2019 consumers would place 162 billion calls to business from smartphones. Mobile advertising has taken off, and the vast majority of consumers are now interacting with brands through a mobile device. While smartphones are often first thought of as Internet-enabled devices, they are still at their core devices used to make a direct connection. Think with Google states that “70% of mobile searchers have used click to call to connect with a business directly from the search engine results page.

Closing the Offline-Online Gap

Click-to-call technology is the key to helping businesses close the gap between the offline behaviors of customers and their online conversions. Forrester reports, “ads that prompt customers to initiate a phone call see higher engagement“, making calls more valuable than clicks. An individual that places a call or uses the click-to-call feature is in the mood to purchase, and “those who initiate an inbound call spend an average of 28% more.” Phone calls help connect that online or offline behavior with an action. Miles of distance or pages of web content can’t keep your sales team separated from a customers that opts to call with questions, to set an appointment, or complete a purchase.

Enhance Personalization with Data

Phone calls are critical to modern digital marketing because, like other online behavior, phone calls deliver a treasure trove of data. Marketers rely on analytics to make data-driven decisions to current marketing campaigns and to learn how to optimize future rollouts. Phone calls deliver a variety of useful analytics that can help you target your customers better in the future. Examples include:

  • Geographic data: Where are the majority of your calls originating from? Are these consumers delivering higher conversion rates?
  • Timing of calls: Is there a particular time of day that your ads generate more calls compared to other blocks of time?
  • Duration of calls: How much time do you really need on the phone to convert customers?
  • Conversion data: Which channel, campaign and/or ad drove the consumer to call?
  • Customer journey: At which stage of the journey did the consumer call?
  • Caller History: How many times have they called you before and was it a good call?
  • Capitalize with Expert Call Tracking Software

The phone is far from a dead medium. Businesses ranging from insurance firms to travel agents, hospitality companies, and even retail rely on phone calls to drive conversions and generate revenue. Our call tracking capabilities can help you analyze the data in each call so you better understand how your ads are resonating with consumers, what is making them pick up the phone to call, and how you can tweak your campaigns to continue driving more calls in the future. This might be the digital age, but the telephone still has a vital role to play in marketing. Discover how the missing link can help your business by contacting us today or creating your free account here!

 

Are bad caller experiences costing you?

November 3, 2017 | Jason Kay

Are bad caller experiences costing your company money? For many businesses this just is not an option. However, it’s very common. In today’s digitally connected world, consumers form their opinions about companies from the small bits of communication they have with the company. Phone calls are one of them. Just one negative experience creates a bad first impression and a lasting poor reputation. But, there are steps you can take to minimize it. It starts with understanding what’s happening on the phone.

What’s happening on those calls?

Organizations need to have a way to manage caller experiences. When mistakes are made here, it costs companies money. You cannot spend a lot of time on the phone listening to your customer service reps. And you do not have the funds to hire someone to manage them. You don’t have to take that step, though. With the investment in tools such as call tracking, it is possible to reduce much of this unknown factor.

When you use call tracking and call routing tools, you streamline the way people communicate and you track them. It gives you an inside look at the customer journey. Without a tool like this, there is no way to know why your customer didn’t come back for a second purchase or wrote that poor review. It’s common that companies will never hear from the customers that are more likely to be loyal but have a bad experience and never return. Yet, with all tracking software, your customer experience becomes clear and easily tracked.

You can see when poor experiences are impacting your customers.

Was the representative too harsh?

Did they not communicate key information?

Did they fail to gather information that can help you avoid future instances like this?

All of this contributes not only to improving customer service but also to building your business and creating repeat, loyal customers.

What happens when you manage the caller journey?

Information is invaluable to companies. With the use of call tracking, it becomes possible to look inside the caller journey so that you can make changes going forward. Here are some ways this can directly impact your company’s profitability.

  1. You can track marketing campaigns more effectively. And, you can do this throughout all channels. You know why someone is calling, how they made the decision to call, and what marketing efforts led them to that point.
  2. You can monitor not just where they come from but also where they are going. For example, you can determine how many people call and then end up purchasing after a good customer experience. How many don’t?
  3. You can provide more personalized customer service to your clients. This can help to increase your brand awareness and help your business to scale. It is all about providing personalized attention to consumers. Providing this level of interaction helps you build a better brand image.
  4. You can train your sales agents more effectively. This includes retraining those that may be making mistakes and tapping into calls to use for training of new employees. You can use the data points from these calls to give you an idea of what your employees need from you.

These are just a handful of the ways you can enhance the caller journey with an effective call tracking system in place. Not implementing this will cost you customers and money because there is no other way to know why your customers are not purchasing. An inexpensive, highly effective tool like this boosts customer experience and gives your company the support it needs to grow and compete on a more efficient level.  To get started today, visit try.retreaver.com!

4 Times Your Customers Prefer to Call You

October 19, 2017 | Stan Pavlovsky

When do your customers call you? Think back over the course of the last few weeks and ask yourself this question. How much time have you spent on the phone? And, of those calls, how many led to a direct benefit to your company? When it comes to providing good customer service, it’s always essential to provide your customers with a way to speak to you no matter why they call. But, it is also important for you to recognize when those calls may not be what you need to spend your time on.

Why Are Your Customers Calling You?

With the help of call tracking and call routing, you can get on the phone to handle the most important calls while allowing your team to handle situations where they may not directly need your attention.

First, let’s discuss why they call. There are four times when customers call – in these situations email, text messages, and even chatbots will not work. They want and need a real person to talk to. These are instances in which your clients need to reach out to you.

#1: Your customer has an emotional investment they need handled

This is when you want to be on the phone. It is always important for companies to create this type of emotional connection with their clients. It means they are invested in you. They want to succeed with you. Customers have emotional dedication to your company and they will come to you to meet all of their needs. Your customers call you in these times because they have concerns, needs, opinions, or other emotional-driven factors that are causing them to need to connect with you right away.

#2: Your customer has a financial investment

Money matters to most people, especially when it is an investment or an important transaction. Today, you will find that people view the phone call as the time when they need fast answers, and they need real information. They can log into their account, but when they want clarity and confirmation they are going to pick up the phone. And, again, when a customer calls you, for this reason, you need to react and be able to answer them. If you fail to meet this need when it is so important to them, your customers will turn to someone else to solve their problem.  61% of consumers find it extremely/very important to be able to call a business during the purchase phase of their decision-making.

#3: There’s some type of complex situation that needs immediate attention

Sometimes, it is just easier to talk about something than to write it down. It’s complex, challenging and it’s worrying them – and these are key reasons why your customer is going to call you to get information rather than send a message through your website. It is also important to have well-trained customer service to help not only answer their questions but also to provide a simplistic answer to the concern.

#4: Your customer wants to complain

It’s true. Customers can be noisy about their situation when they have a bad experience. They want to complain. They want to tell you how much you’ve disappointed them. It does not always need to be something that you’ve caused to occur. If they are unhappy, they need you to know about it. Sometimes, this is the ideal time to turn things around, too. This is when you can finally fix their problem and build a better relationship.

Sure, email and chatbots can help to speed up the process of providing information to customers. Yet, they cannot replace true customer service over the phone. When you realize that you still need to provide an avenue for these types of situations, you’ll see the value of adding call tracking and call routing services that make it easier for you to meet their needs. To get started visit try.retreaver.com!

3 Things Missing in Your Digital Marketing Campaign HINT: Call Tracking

October 11, 2017 | Jason Kay

Why call tracking? Your digital marketing campaign is smart and responsive. You’ve geared it for your mobile users, because you know 60 percent of your customers are accessing your site. Your customers can call you from your site with a tap of their finger, and you’ve made conversion as easy and appealing as possible. But you’re still missing something in your digital marketing campaign. 

Does your customer offline experience match the online experience that you’ve honed so well? Do you know which channels and ads your customers are responding to the best?

With call tracking, the answer to these questions is yes. Adding call tracking to your digital marketing strategy lifts your marketing campaigns to a new level. Take a look at three reasons why:

 

1. Call Tracking Enables A/B Testing In Campaigns

A/B testing lets you know which elements of your ads and marketing are connecting with customers. It tells you how to adjust your ads for better performance. Call tracking is a primary tool in providing the data you need to make these adjustments.

Use call tracking to make constant modifications in your content and layout. As you run one marketing page connected to a unique phone number, you can make a small change — change the color of the click-to-call button, or add an emotional photo to the copy, for instance — and connect that to another unique phone number.

Each change helps you hone and optimize your marketing efforts. You know exactly what’s working, and you have the data to back it up. No more stumbling in the dark and guessing how to connect to your customers. With call tracking, you have the answers you need.

 

2. Call Tracking Enhances Customer Experience

Every time your customer is put on hold or transferred to another agent or department, you take a 20 percent risk that the customer will hang up. Not only do you lose that particular conversion, but you also run the risks of losing that customer forever and even having them spread poor word-of-mouth about their experience with your organization.

Call tracking helps put an end to the frustration and annoyance your customers can feel when their calls are endlessly re-routed, and they have to repeat their information over and over.

With call tracking, you can route calls to the correct department instantly based on the geographic information provided by caller ID. You can send repeat customers to agents they’ve dealt with before, or you can tie their calls with the data you already have about customers from your online contacts with them. Customer experience is enhanced because you do away with hold time, re-routing, and endless menus, and customer satisfaction goes up.

 

3. Call Tracking Provides Data on Ad Performance

Get the granular data you need to understand how your ads are performing with call tracking. By tracking keywords, you can know which ads, which keywords, and which of your overall campaigns are converting. You’ll know which ads and keywords generated calls, and you can match conversions to ads to understand what your customers are responding to.

Integrating your ads with tools like Google AdWords paired with call tracking lets you follow each unique visitor’s interaction with your site, gathering the level of data you need. Now you have the data you need to pull underperforming ads and put your marketing budget to better use.

Find out more about how call tracking can benefit your marketing campaigns today, visit try.retreaver.com.

Our Thoughts on Google’s Report: The Role of Click to Call In the Path to Purchase

October 6, 2017 | Jason Kay

Source: The Role of Click to Call In the Path to Purchase

The importance of providing consumers an easy way to call your business remains crucial in the age of mobile search. While marketing feels like it’s moving away from phone call call-to-actions, often this is due to a perception that attributing conversions to the calls is hard. In “The Role of Click to Call In the Path to Purchase” Google shows with data why calls are still an important part of your marketing mix, and with call tracking, companies are able to:

  • analyze which marketing campaigns drove the highest calls which resulted in sales
  • understand the online to offline customer journey and when the purchase was made
  • view stats on your highest and lowest performing salespeople and understand which keywords are closing transactions

In the Google / Ipsus-Reid survey of 3,000 mobile searchers who recently made purchases, the role that click to call played in their purchase process was analyzed, with insights delivered such as:

  • 70% of mobile searchers have used click to call to connect with a business directly from the search engine results page
  • 47% of mobile searchers say that if a business does not have a phone number associated with their search results, they will be more likely to explore other brands
  • 61% of mobile searchers state that click to call is most important in the purchase phase of the shopping process

Need more information about why calls are as important as ever? Read the full article here. Need more insight into how call tracking helps you align phone calls to your multi-channel marketing efforts and tracking? Get in touch here.

Budget Season: Why Marketers Need to Make Room For Call Tracking in Their Budget

October 3, 2017 | Jason Kay

When customers approach your business online, you can capture their information easily. You can even use analytics to hone your marketing campaign based on the data you gather. But what do you do with customers who call your business? They’re probably even further along in the conversion process than visitors to your website, but their information — including their needs and how they found you — seem to be out of reach.

The answer is call tracking.

What Is Call Tracking?

With call tracking, each of your marketing campaigns is assigned a different phone number. You can assign numbers to both online and offline campaigns. Your customers call those separate numbers, which all forward to your main business number so they don’t require separate staff for answering.

Call tracking lets you compare the phone traffic that comes in on each dedicated line to determine how your marketing strategies stack up against each other. You can also gather actionable information on individual calls, aggregating the data to help determine the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.

Benefits of Call Tracking for Your Business

Call tracking is vital to marketing campaigns. It’s not difficult to add to your marketing strategies, and it can even help improve customer experience. Take a look at some of the top benefits of call tracking:

Monitor Your Current Marketing Campaigns

Through call tracking, you can monitor the success of your ads and marketing. A/B testing is easy to check and quantify, since you can measure factors including time of calls, length of calls, location of calls, volume of calls and that all-important metric, conversion rate.

Keep an Eye on Your SEO and Keywords

Yes, you can monitor keywords even from phone calls. More than ever, your customers are calling from mobile devices and starting from landing pages, Google call extensions, and other trackable starting points. Call tracking can capture and tally this data.

Evaluation of your Sales and Marketing Teams

You know those recordings that say “This call may be recorded for quality assurance”? That call recording can be part of a call tracking program that provides you the data you need to understand how your individual employees are performing. You can also use the data to tweak the questions that your sales teams are asking, since you’ll know what approaches are closing sales. In addition, this data is invaluable when designing training programs for new sales and marketing employees.

Improved Customer Experience

Use your call tracking to route calls to the appropriate agent or department quickly. As part of this, call tracking can populate the appropriate data to the sales or customer service agent, speeding up the process of helping your customer. Your employees are then empowered to provide personalized customer service aimed precisely at meeting the customer’s needs. As a result, you end up with a happy customer.

Evaluation of Advertising and Marketing Channels

Where are you running ads? Are you spreading your ad budget across online venues, social media, newspaper, radio and even local TV? By using call tracking, you can track which channels are producing conversions and which are lagging behind. That data helps you allocate your marketing budget wisely, so you put effort and dollars in the most productive places.

Call tracking is a valuable tool that can help you optimize your marketing efforts. Best of all, it doesn’t affect what you’re already doing; it just provides the marketing analytics you need to increase conversions and sales.  To get started visit try.retreaver.com