Performance Marketing Trends: Driving Conversations in the Digital Age
Mike Williams, President at RingPartner shares the findings of the analysis that RingPartner conducted for thousands of inbound calls on their exchange made to businesses each month to learn how organizations can make the most of these crucial conversations with consumers and leverage novel performance marketing data
With research indicating that 162 billion customer calls will be made to companies by 2019, there are important lessons to be learned about the crucial role these conversations can play in making or breaking the success of your business. Because RingPartner currently delivers over a million of these inbound calls each month, we are in a unique position to gather performance marketing data within the Pay Per Call niche.
We recently analyzed hundreds of thousands of these conversations to better understand how today’s consumers want to engage with brands over the phone. As a result, we discerned how various industries throughout North America fared during 2016 and beyond based on the volume of these interactions. We assessed not only which industries enjoy the highest call and conversion rates but also when these dialogues are most likely to take place, ultimately leading to some intriguing takeaways in the form of best practices every marketer needs to know.
Here I have outlined some of the more fascinating discoveries from our 2017 Inbound Call and Marketing Campaign Data report and what they mean for your brand:
1. People Still Need People
In an increasingly digitized world, the assumption is often made that consumers only want to communicate with companies online. But our research is contrarian to that school of thought, indicating that plenty of buyers still want to reach out and touch someone for answers to their questions about potential purchases:
- Average Call Time in January 2016 = 119 seconds
- Average Call Time in January 2017 = 254 seconds
- Increase in 2016 to 2017 Call Times = 113%
While email and chat features to reach customer service representatives remain valuable options to offer, your organization cannot ignore that consumers of every type are actively increasing their offline interactions with brands. That said, 66% of customers will switch companies because of poor customer service calls. It is therefore your responsibility to ensure this a painless process. Easy-to-find phone numbers and a knowledgeable, friendly staff ready to provide customers with the information they need becomes an immediate selling point that will enhance the experience for those who prefer making personal connections with your brand.
2. To Everything, there is a Season
Most organizations have an idea of when their “busy season” occurs, but our data may tell a different story. We found that call lengths generally fluctuate based on the time of year, with the largest changes occurring between winter and spring:
- Average Call Time During Q1 in 2016 = 107 seconds
- Average Call Time During Q2 in 2016 = 162 seconds
- Call Time Increase from Q1 to Q2 = 51%
This means that as the weather heats up, so does the activity at call centers as people are willing to spend more time on the phone with businesses during warmer months. Companies that rely on phone sales as part of their business plan would be wise to consider these tendencies when determining how to staff their customer service departments, especially given that a whopping 75% of consumers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent and 67% of customers have hung up the phone due to this frustration.
3. Phone Calls are for Closers
Ultimately, the success of your inbound call campaigns can be determined by your conversions, and certain sectors typically enjoy very high rates:
Top 3 Industries with Most Conversions in 2016
- General Legal: 58%
- Doctors: 42%
- Student Loans: 35%
Top 3 Industries with Most Conversions in 2017
- Real Estate Lawyer: 55%
- Life Insurance: 51%
- Bankruptcy Lawyer: 51%
If you don’t see your industry on these lists, that doesn’t mean you’re in the wrong business. On the contrary, this merely indicates that it’s time to evaluate how well your staff handles inbound inquiries. By analyzing quantitative data through the wide variety of customer service analytics options now available, your company can identify issues to be addressed or opportunities for improvement that can help you reach these enviable conversion rates.
As the digital consumer experience continues to evolve, businesses of every size must keep in mind there will always remain a place for phone conversations with customers. It has been estimated that these calls influence $1 trillion in consumer spending and by applying the best practices gleaned from our recent Inbound Call and Marketing Campaign Data report, you can ensure your company is getting its share.