Why the Phone Provides High-Value Leads

Recent research by BIA/Kelsey predicts that annual calls to businesses from smartphones will reach 162 billion by 2019. This number is a dramatic increase—more than double—over the 77 billion calls generated similarly last year. Much of this traffic is due to the proliferation of mobile ads that merge with the scrolling feed-based interfaces of social apps like Facebook and Instagram.

Also, as I mentioned in a previous post, customers with more complex issues are being driven to the phones. After having tried and failed at previous attempts for issue-resolution, usually via Web chat or text messaging, customers now use the phone as something of a last resort. As a result they may be frustrated or angry—and inclined to provide feedback—on whatever drove them to place the call in the first place.

With these two facts in hand, it’s safe to say that phone calls, more than any other mode of communication, can tell us a great deal about our customers.

The ability to gather information from phone calls is a competitive advantage that offers invaluable insights about potential and current customers. Understanding which marketing campaigns are driving phone calls is key to your marketing strategy. Similarly, being able to gather the complex feedback arising from a distress call can be used to inform everything from product development to quality of service to customer preferences. The significance of knowing why people are calling, where they’re calling from, and what they need cannot be understated.

Does your call center have the technology tools necessary to make the most of your phone calls?

Turning phone call information into actionable data requires call-tracking software. But before jumping in, make your goals concrete. What information is your business partner looking for? What information would be valuable if tracked? You can enhance the value of your services by working closely with your client to determine which of the following insights would be most valuable:

  • Keyword information. Some call-tracking software enables you to find out what keyword search led to the discovery of the company’s mobile ad. Keyword searches that lead to contact, and then paying customers, are high in value and can be used for future marketing purposes.
  • Caller location. Customer demographics such as this one can be used to identify patterns linked to purchases.
  • Marketing campaign effectiveness. Unique phone numbers placed strategically on different web pages can be tracked to determine which campaigns were the most effective, or which locations proved most fruitful.
  • Call duration. Too long or too short varies by business, but once a reasonable standard has been defined, it’s good to know what’s happening in reality. Calls that take longer than the defined standard may indicate root problems that need to be addressed, either on the part of the business or the call center.
  • Identify your best customer. Listening to calls and learning more about what customers are looking for enables businesses to visualize their ideal customer, so they can direct their efforts appropriately.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.

Predicting Customer Service Success: The Importance of Data Analytics

I think most would agree with this suggestion:  consumers expect customer service agents to know how to efficiently solve any and every problem at hand. Due to the fact that agents aren’t mind readers, supplying your contact center with the right tools to better identify future customer inquiries is critical in reaping full ROI.

Recent research suggests that advanced business intelligence directly improves customer experience as well as contact center services ROI. According to Dimension Data’s “2015 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report,” 57 percent of companies relate improved customer service experience levels to ROI, while 75 percent of contact centers can now pre-identify and segment their customers. It’s evident that contact centers’ improving ability to predict customers’ future behavior and, in turn, offer a catered experience to each segment is an important correlation.

Guarantee your agents are prepared for any type of customer by instating these three forms of business analytics:

Predictive Models: Foresee the imminent behaviors of particular customers by compiling past transactions to create a customized model. Learn from past consumer actions by using those experiences to better prepare for the next. The customer is bound to appreciate the personalized attentiveness of an experienced Communicator.

Market Segmentation: Use your contact center’s abundance of incoming data to organize your consumers. Grouping certain consumers based on personality and historical tendencies saves time and money. This allows for improved Communicator assignment, as the agents most experienced with specific groups can be strategically assigned in order to ensure the best customer experience.

Customer Profiles: The ways in which we are able to use data are nothing short of incredible. Contact centers receive massive amounts of information about customers through inbound customer service calls and/or outbound calls to prospective non-profit donors. Leverage this data in order to create customer profiles based on the similar attributes detected in specific groups of consumers. These profiles will give businesses an edge in predicting future behaviors.

Hiring mind readers isn’t a realistic goal, but we can provide our employees with top notch business intelligence for a best-in-class customer experience. Learn more about business analytics strategies that can help augment your contact center services ROI.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the American Teleservices Association (ATA). He also donates his time to serve on several University boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s higher honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.

Big Data: What’s All the Fuss?

Big data seems to be among the most popular jargon emerging from the tech industry as of late. Sure, you know what it means. But are you aware of how it can be applied across markets and platforms to improve contact center services ROI for both B2B and B2C companies?

As a business leader, excessive amounts of data can be overwhelming if you’re uncertain of how to sort the information to your advantage. However, as Jonathan Shaw wrote in Harvard Magazine, “humans are far better than computers at seeing patterns.”  If you can break those intimidating piles of data into smaller samples from which you can spot patterns, you will be able to pinpoint the key elements you need for a successful marketing campaign. Customer service now has the ability to become customized service with the helping hand of big data analytics solutions.

At InfoCision, big data, or Business Intelligence as we call it, is used to advance contact center services ROI. Here are two solutions we use to identify customer and market patterns in order to capitalize on ROI:

Customer Profiles: Each time a consumer purchases a particular product, the specifics of the transaction are stored away. Based on that information, organizations can more effectively target consumers in the future. For instance, perhaps our customer’s target demographic is women aged 18-34; however, our Business Intelligence data tells us that they should be marketing for women 25-54 instead. Customer profiles can help the company effectively redirect its marketing campaign, which will in turn maximize ROI.

Demographic Scripting: Collected data helps our Communicators deliver scripts tailored for specific demographic groups based on what has been proven to work in the past. Communicators are able to personalize marketing messages and increase the likelihood of connecting with a customer or prospect. In other words, demographic scripting lets you speak to consumers in a language they will understand.

Big Data: it’s a phrase that is here to stay. So, take full advantage of its presence like we did here at InfoCision. Click here to read even more about contact center services ROI.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the American Teleservices Association (ATA). He also donates his time to serve on several University boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s higher honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.

 

Stop Wringing Your Hands Over Data Analytics

Everywhere you turn, you hear it. Big data is the future. Big data can do wonders for your business. Big data is transformative.

And all of these statements are true, which is why 87 percent of enterprises believe big data analytics will redefine the competitive landscape of their industries within the next three years, according to a recent survey from Accenture and General Electric.

But for some business leaders, trying to organize and make sense of the mountain of information they have at their fingertips has done nothing but cause them anxiety and cost them valuable time. Analytics may not be your organization’s specialty, so creating value from big data isn’t as easy as it’s sometimes portrayed to be.

That’s where a partner that offers multichannel marketing solutions—and business intelligence that helps you make the most of those solutions—can be a major help.InfoCision, for example, offers a number of analytics solutions that help you uncover the truly valuable nuggets of information hidden inside your company’s big data.

At its core, making big data valuable is a scientific exercise, and InfoCision treats it as such. For instance, we can create extremely accurate customer profiles based on attributes like age, gender, geographic location, lifestyle and values. Those profiles can be used to more effectively target consumers with the marketing tactics and channels most likely to be effective.

Those profiles can then be combined with predictive models that can anticipate consumer behavior, allowing organizations to tailor offerings based on customer needs and preferences. By using big data to gain greater insight into how customers think and feel, organizations can increase marketing ROI and drive actionable responses.

Whether we’re helping organizations provide best-in-class customer service through our Communicators or offering big data solutions, InfoCision understands that companies need help in areas outside their core competencies so they can focus on growing their business. If you’re interested in learning more about our business intelligence and data analytics solutions, click here for more information.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the American Teleservices Association (ATA). He also donates his time to serve on several University boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s higher honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.

Get to Know Your Customers Better in 2015

You know your loyal customers’ names and contact information, but do you know them on a truly personal, customized level? For example, when an individual contacts your company, do you know over what channel that interaction took place? Do you know what channel your customers prefer to use when communicating with your service representatives? Do you have information handy about their buying habits, preferences and behaviors so that you can better guide them during the purchasing process and create future offers based on that information?

As the new year quickly approaches, you should be thinking of ways both big and small to bolster customer engagement within the contact center. Strengthening customer engagement should be a recurring goal within your service facility, both within and beyond your trusty customer base .This all starts with investing in the right tools and technologies. For example, the following solutions can not only increase customer engagement, but can also lift your contact center services ROI:

Multichannel marketing solutions: Do you want to make 2015 the year you start addressing customers by name in email marketing messages as opposed to “Dear valued customer?” How about increasing upselling and cross-selling in a way that speaks personally to customers as opposed to just pushing a random product? Advanced multichannel marketing solutions let you reach customers via inbound and outbound telemarketing, email marketing, social media and direct mail, enabling you to connect with customers on a more individualized level.

Demographic scripting: In 2015 you should be focusing on facilitating calls between Communicators and customers so that they are tailored to meet specific needs, wants and interests. After all, a 65 year-old man living in the Midwest will require a different message and conversation flow than a 26 year-old woman living in New York City. Call scripting is vital for establishing these individualized connections.

Data analytics and predictive modeling: The more customer data you gather and analyze, the more insight you have into how consumers are behaving. Predictive modeling takes big data to another level entirely by actually predicting future behavior based on past occurrences. Using this technology, your business can determine which customers are most likely to be interested in a specific offering.

Customer profiles: Customer profiles are created using data that has been collected about a customer over multiple interactions with your brand (e.g., purchasing a product, responding to a phone call, etc.). A customer profile is a hand-crafted asset that provides deeper insight into each and every customer as well as enables you to more specifically market to your existing customer base.

Customer loyalty is the ultimate sign of a stellar company, but you need to be showing your devoted customer base why they should remain dedicated to you. Make a concerted effort to get to know your customers better next year and you’ll find a world of opportunity waiting for you.

Click here to learn more about how InfoCision can help you better know your customers through demo scripting, customer profiles, market segmentation, business intelligence and analytics and more!

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the American Teleservices Association (ATA). He also donates his time to serve on several University boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s higher honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award

One-to-One Marketing: Fact or Fiction?

By Steve Brubaker, InfoCision Chief of Staff

If you’ve heard about one-to-one marketing and are still a little skeptical, I understand. After all, it’s difficult to believe that it’s possible to deliver such personalized attention to each individual customer or prospect. Even if you’ve heard that your competition is engaged in one-to-one marketing, you may not yet be convinced that it is truly possible. The fact is, however, that today’s technology makes it a reality.

For instance, InfoCision offers multichannel marketing solutions that can help your company target consumers individually based on a wide variety of characteristics. Using our business intelligence and data analytics solutions, we highlight meaningful information that enhances your marketing campaign. We achieve one-to-one marketing using tools like:

  • Predictive Models that use customer data to predict future purchasing behavior
  • Customer profiles created by using data to determine similar attributes of people who take specific actions
  • Market segmentation, or the process of taking a list of people and grouping them together based on shared attributes
  • Demographic Scripting that presents varied messages to consumers with different interests and needs based on factors like age and geographic location

Combining these powerful business intelligence tools allows your business to make sense of mountains of data and hone in on customers in a way you might not have thought was possible. And when you partner with InfoCision, you’ll never be short on prospects to target as our Consumer Database contains over 200 million records, as well as demographic (attributes such as age, gender, geographic location) and psychographic (attributes such as lifestyle, values, preferences) data.

The more personal your marketing efforts feel to customers, the more likely they are to feel that you understand their needs. Establishing that personal connection between your company and the customer is what helps create loyalty—something that benefits any business.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the American Teleservices Association (ATA). He also donates his time to serve on several University boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s higher honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.

Moving Beyond Your Trusty Customer Base

Customer loyalty is the ultimate sign of a great company. Consumers that continue to do business with you—especially with so many competitors constantly entering every sector—don’t just like your product or service: they trust it, which is an even bigger accomplishment.

The problem with a loyal customer base that isn’t growing, however, is that it will shrink over time, regardless of what you do. Some people will move away, others simply won’t require your product or service anymore; as customers begin to trickle away, the dent in your bottom line grows deeper.

Staying viable for the long term requires you to bring in new prospects, particularly younger consumers that can stay with you for years, even decades. Of course, that is easier said than done, which is where a partner that can help you implement multichannel marketing solutions can be invaluable.

Outsourcing some of your marketing to a partner that offers years of experience and top-of-the-line technology can help you expand beyond the consumers who already know and love you. A company like InfoCision, for example, can help you market more personally to those demographics that you covet with tools like:

  • Customer Profiles created using data from consumers who take specific actions (like making a purchase or responding to a promotional email) to determine what offerings may pique consumers’ interests in the future. Or, you can gain insight into their preferred channel for future contact.
  • Grouping them together based on shared attributes, a tactic called market segmentation. By targeting the right people, your organization can increase cost efficiency and drive response.
  • Tailoring your marketing script or message to different groups of people with different needs, wants, interests, etc. For example, you can create a different message—for the same product or service—for a 22-year-old recent college graduate than for a 55-year-old professional.

Building a loyal customer fan base is often the hardest part of running a business, and the good news is that you’ve already done that! Now with a little help from a marketing partner, you can ensure success far into the future.