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The ultimate guide to inbound calls, Part I: 7 reasons why inbound calls are valuable to your business

You’d think that with the increasing amount of businesses operating online, the most successful marketing campaigns would revolve around email outreach, filling out lead forms and web chat software. However, as it turns out, the digital world still appreciates the benefits of the phone calls. What’s more, statistics show that they are more significant than ever for driving sales up.

As RingPartner’s Demand for Interaction Report has revealed, the average call time length has increased by 113% from January 2016 to January 2017, which has increased the calls’ value and proved that customers are generally more interested in having a conversation regarding a potential purchase.

The rapid expansion of the mobile market and the increased amount of phone calls businesses receive has resulted in inbound calls being 10-15 times more likely to convert than inbound web leads. This means that call are still extremely valuable for improving user experience and increasing your eCommerce’s revenue.

Surely, inbound calls are important for increasing your sales but what’s their impact on customer service and higher satisfaction rates? Is a phone call the best way to engage customers or has it turned into a dreadful way of communication for the digitally-literate?

Whether you’re considering implementing a call-only ad campaign, a click-to-call button or a web calling software to your business’ website, the top 7 reasons why inbound calls are valuable to your business will give you the answers you need.

1.Inbound Calls generate more sales - inbound calls drive more revenue than clicks, and, most often, the reason for it is that the customers who call are at a later point of their buying journey. Numbers show that people who call a company have already done their research and are at the purchase stage (62%):

It’s been proven that people still prefer voice calls over a chat option and value highly the opportunity to communicate with a person during a purchase. Therefore, by integrating a click-to-call button in your mobile search ads, you’re more likely to see your sales increase.

Over 70% of the people using a mobile device have connected with a business directly through the ‘call’ button displayed on Google’s results page, meaning that if you want to bring in more sales and engage mobile searchers with your brand, you’d need to offer them the option of a voice call.

2.They increase your lead conversion rates- inbound phone calls convert more leads than any other marketing strategy, as confirmed by 61% of businesses. To be exact- it’s been reported that the conversion rate of calls is between 30% and 50%.

Reason being- mobile users browsing the web are more likely to call a company for assistance since they’re already on their phones, and currently there are more than 4.7 billion mobile users in the world. Once having found a product that they like, people want to get information about it immediately, and that’s where inbound calls are most effective in converting leads.

With more and more people using their mobile devices to make purchases and surf the Web, the pay-per-call mobile ad campaigns, such as Google’s Call-Only ads, are becoming much more effective than AdWords’ Pay-Per-Click. Business owners can benefit from a Pay-Per-Call campaign by being able to target their chosen demographic and track offline leads by using certain phone numbers. Moreover, the Pay-Per-Call campaigns don’t require that big of an initial capital and their return of investment is greater than the potential profit from Pay-Per-Click.

However, if you decide to implement a Call-Only ad campaign, keep in mind that its purpose is not to redirect the customer to your website, but to connect them directly to an inbound call center agents. Therefore, with these campaigns, you should target the prospects with high purchasing intent who need quick answers.

3.Inbound calls help you understand the customer journey – phone calls are critical for the customer experience on every stage of the buying journey. Calls are essential for a first time interaction with a prospect, for sealing a deal and converting a lead or for when the client needs support and advice after making a purchase.

Inbound calls are valuable not only for customers but for business owners as well, who can optimize their lead conversion by call tracking and call analytics.

Gaining an insight on the way your customers behave is great- but can this translate into increased revenue?

Well, certainly, and this case study proves it: with inbound call tracking, businesses like Paychex and Hotel Grand Lucayan managed to increase the volume of received calls by determining exactly where the customers are calling from. What’s more, Paychex even reduced their cost per acquisition by utilizing the data on which marketing campaign was converting the most leads to their business.

By using this combination of data gathered by various call analyzing tools, known as Call Intelligence, marketers are able to gain an insight into their customers’ purchasing behavior, pain points, demographics and location. The acquired Call intelligence from recoding and tracking inbound calls is an effective way of understanding what the customers need, what problems are they experiencing and how to resolve them in an efficient manner.

The customer’s path starting at need realization, to research and purchase, all the way to post-purchase contact, must be carefully followed by your sales agents to ensure that customers don’t drop out mid-way due to lack of communication or misinformation.

4.Help you build a trustworthy brand image- despite the success of online retailers and ecommerce businesses, the majority of buyers (54%) still prefer to have human interaction when making a purchase. People want to be convinced and reassured that they are making the right choice, especially when making an expensive purchase and they’re looking to the agent to provide them with a piece of mind.

If agents from inbound call centers want to initiate a conversation with the customer that runs naturally and builds a relationship of trust and loyalty, it’s useful for the contact center to establish a conversation framework. The framework would ensure that each conversation works towards reassuring the customer and making them feel like they’ve made the right choice by contacting you.

In today’s customer service landscape, generating trust towards your brand is essential if you want your business to be competitive. The modern consumer is less likely to be loyal to a brand, unless that brand has made an effort to engage them in the purchasing process and to nourish their needs.

Effectively managing and integrating inbound calls will help with your business’ authenticity and will enable you to provide the consumers with meaningful, tailored experiences.

Building customers’ trust goes further than them purchasing a product- it involves consistent monitoring and modifying of the services you offer, making sure they respond to the needs of the consumers. That’s why it is essential for your inbound call center agents to keep in touch with your clients and maintain an emotional connection.

5.Enable you to provide better user experience- Nowadays, the best way to differentiate yourself as a trustworthy brand and rise above the competition is by providing outstanding customer service. Optimizing inbound calls allows you to focus on your customers’ needs and problems, rather than on your product.

After all- if the customers feel like they’re being neglected, who will buy your product and how are you going to make a profit?

Tracking and recording your inbound calls will give your sales agents a great advantage in improving user experience, identifying the hesitant customers and guiding them towards making a purchase. The more expensive the product or service you’re offering is, the more advanced your customer support service should be.
The data from tracking and recording inbound calls can be used by agents to provide customers with a seamless and satisfactory shopping experience on all buying channels. Customers prefer calling a company because they need a quick and concrete answer to their queries. Again, this is where you can put into use the inbound call center framework we mentioned previously- after you’ve identified the most frequently asked questions, you can incorporate them into the framework so that the agents are able to react quickly to customers experiencing the same issue.

Even if your business is thriving online, choosing to focus only on digital marketing strategies and ignore inbound calls would be a mistake, as you risk developing a blind spot when it comes to the customers’ expectations and on-site experience. Keeping in mind that 63% of people complete their purchase offline by making a call, you should consider prioritizing inbound calls not only as a main lead conversion strategy, but as a shortcut to realizing how to optimize your site for a better user experience.

6.Allow for the optimization of your mobile search traffic- it’s official- this year, mobile web usage and mobile searches have overtaken desktop (StarCounter), with a 92% mobile adoption rate for both men and women aged 18-29. Therefore, companies from various industries have had to re-adjust their business and marketing strategies to best optimize for smaller devices.
The increased mobile use has impacted inbound calls too, as over 48% of them come from mobile search. Therefore, by adding a click-to-call button to your website and AdWords campaign, you increase your chances of converting more leads and driving sales up.

And the best part? Through the ‘click-to-call’ option in the search results, mobile searchers don’t even have to enter your landing page in order to contact your company, eliminating one extra step in the conversion process. It’s been proven that the calls coming from ads are worth 3x more than web page clicks, hence why Google came up with their ‘Call Only’ ad campaign. Your business needs to adapt to the new requirements of a mobile-dominated world, and the sooner you implement calls into your selling strategy, the sooner you’re going to reap the benefits from it. Customers that call are customers wanting to buy- so make sure it’s easy for them to get in touch.

7.Increase your marketing ROI by tracking inbound calls-
While it’s indisputable that calls bring in a lot of customers, it could be a struggle to discover which of the implemented marketing campaigns brings in the leads.

If that’s the case for your business too, tracking your inbound calls would be the perfect solution. By using a call tracking software, marketers can utilize the newfound data to pinpoint where calls come from and how the customer found the phone number. Gaining this insight allows them to determine which advertising campaigns and strategies have brought in the most leads and which haven’t been profitable.

However, there’s more to calls than identifying their source and cost. The way calls are answered is a reflection of your brand and it’ll be a deciding factor on whether the person on the line turns into a customer. Tracking and listening to your inbound calls will ensure that your agents are working up to the set standard and, if they’re not, will provide you with an insight into the weak spots of your inbound call center.
By tracking inbound calls, you can eliminate the guess work out of building a marketing strategy that is not only effective but also tailored for the customers’ needs.
If you have to take away one thing about inbound calls, it’s that they enable you to have a realistic perspective on how your business is positioned within its field- are your profits big enough, is your sales team competent enough, are you optimizing all of the marketing channels at your availability? You can find the answers to all of these questions simply by paying attention to what your customers have to say.

The best marketing strategy is the one which constantly transforms according to the customers’ behavior and inbound call tracking will bring this flexibility to your marketing plan.