The Role of the Phone in the Customer Journey
More and more people are shopping online these days, with over two thirds of people using the internet to look at products and go on to buy them. With digital so dominant it may be easy to write off the phone as something no longer useful to a business; the unsexy cousin of the click*, however, statistics will show that the phone is still an essential touch point and a great way for you to form a relationship with your potential client.
ResponseTap’s study ‘Off the Grid’ in 2013 demonstrated that both businesses and customers still want the phone call in their life:
65% of businesses still consider the phone their strongest lead source; giving them the opportunity to cross and upsell as well as establish a rapport.
64% of people get frustrated when they can only interact with a company online
60% cite the phone as their preference to seek help.
It’s official that people still want the reassurance of some human interaction but how can you make sure that you’re giving your customers what they want and need as well as a voice on the end of the phone? There are plenty of smart ways to optimise the customer journey and make sure your call centre and handlers are giving the best impression. Integrating your online marketing with Call-based Marketing Automation gives you a number of ways to show your customers you care about your relationship:
• Call routing – based on what they’re looking at and how they found you, route them to the best possible person to handle their call. For example if you are a travel company that sells both all-inclusive holidays and self-catering and a browser is looking at all inclusive holidays, when they call put them through to a department or individual best placed to answer their questions.
• Integrate your calls into other systems including your web analytics, CRM and call centre infrastructure. This means that when a potential customer calls your call handler will be able to see all previous interactions; what products they have been looking at online, what previous calls have been about, drivers and obstacles. This cuts back on the amount of time a caller will have to spend explaining the reason for their call, streamlining the customer journey.
• Use analytics to improve interactions in the future. You can look at metrics such as the number of missed calls, which will enable you to better manage your resources. You can see which leads are converting and which are not, and you can use tools such as call recording to monitor and improve call handling processes in general.
We see the phone as an increasingly important business tool and far from something becoming obsolete. People browsing online will always have questions to ask and by making the most of this tool you can not only increase sales and ROI, but streamline your customer journey for happier clients.
*Phone Leads for Local Businesses: The Unsexy Cousin of the Click by Micheal Boland – StreetFight