Why marketers shouldn’t underestimate the phone to win and retain customers

With more online interactions such as email, live chat, and form fills, it’s easy to understand how some companies may not see the true value of a conversation using the phone. However, we all know customer service is paramount to every business, so it’s important to make sure every interaction a customer has with your company is a positive experience, not just the online ones.

In many businesses, the phone channel is still the primary method for increasing sales, generating repeat business, and retaining customers.

The value of direct conversation hasn’t diminished, but the way those conversations are initiated has changed dramatically. Call tracking can record a range of data that can offer better insights into what people want, where they came from and how they interact with your business. Meanwhile, call monitoring and recording can still be used to provide quality assurance on customer service experiences.

For brands looking to improve their phone call service, the path to improvement is based around a few key metrics that should be established to paint an accurate portrait of how customer satisfaction is ensured.

Key metrics from call monitoring

These metrics could cover simple things from call duration, abandoned call rate, and missed calls, to the full customer journey through the website and the call journey. With these metrics in place, you can establish best practices to optimise phone call experiences and raise the standard for customer service.

The value of call tracking

The source of your phone calls shouldn’t be ignored as a performance metric. The ability to track consumers from an online action to an offline form of engagement makes phone calls as trackable as clicks on a web page, which is uniquely insightful for an offline channel.

What improves the customer experience?

Before the customer calls, they have already formulated an opinion of you based on your phone number, so it’s very important to select the right number:

  • 01 / 02 – Geographic local presence numbers shows them you are a local business and, depending on your business offering, may give them feeling of comfort and familiarity.
  • 03 – Non Geographic 03 numbers give the impression that you are potentially a larger UK-wide business. Calls to 03 numbers are generally charged at the same rate as the local 01 / 02 numbers
  • 0800 / 0808 – freephone numbers such as 0800 / 0808 are great for all businesses that want to encourage customers to call them. Customers are often put off by calling more expensive numbers such as 0844 or 0870, so offering a freephone number that your clients and prospects can call you on for free can increase the number of inbound enquiries.

Once a customer has decided to call, they expect great customer service. This starts even before you pick up the phone. The way that your call system is set up speaks volumes about your business. Call tracking systems not only allow you to monitor your customers, they also provide a whole myriad of call features that can improve the experience:

  • Call whisper – this is a short phrase that’s played to call handlers before connection and prompts them to the nature of the call. This can be used to let the agent know where the customer has called from, allowing them to be fully prepared.
  • Call recording – listen to your inbound and outbound calls for quality purposes and to ensure that your call handlers are promoting your business in the right way.
  • Call scoring – call handlers can categorise and rate their calls both during and after the call.
  • Missed call alerts – receive an email within minutes of missing a call from a customer. This enables you to easily identify and capture the customer details and call them straight back.
  • Received call alerts – identify and listen to key calls immediately and act on urgent and business critical calls
  • Connect – route calls based on the time of day, allow calls to move around the business effectively using hunt groups, or even apportion calls between a team based on a % split.
  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR) – an automated voice menu system that quickly routes calls to the correct department resulting in the customer receiving the right resolution first time.
  • Mailboxes – if you’re not able to pick up the call, mailboxes allow you to receive an email with the caller’s message the moment the call finishes.

Closing the loop with CRM systems

Call tracking providers can easily integrate with CRM systems, and the data gathered from call tracking provides excellent insights into the customer journey immediately within your own CRM software. This allows you to close the loop on how your customers interact with your business.

Conclusion

Ensure you know how you are driving customers to contact you. Set metrics that you want to monitor to ensure that when customers do take the time to call you, they are happy all the way through the process. Adding layers to a client journey can slow down the process; keep it simple and if you do identify any issues, make small changes and continue to monitor.

If you would like further information or advice on how Mediahawk can help you achieve anything mentioned here, please get in touch.

About the author

Author: Colin Hudson

Head of Operations at Mediahawk with over 25 years of experience in the technology sector, leading operational teams and improving customer satisfaction.

Related blog posts

Hold the phone! Why your number could be putting customers off

Have you ever needed an emergency plumber, searched on Google, then scrolled down the list of results until you’ve found one that…

Top 10 Tips: How to improve call handling

Marketing and advertising doesn’t come cheap. And you often only get one shot at impressing prospects. So, when you’ve got an amazing…

How to display telephone numbers

The Week magazine has a wonderful column called ‘boring but important’ – which does exactly what it says on the tin.