With modern consumers valuing speed and convenience above all else, many marketers and service-led businesses have long been investing in online communication tools such as contact forms, social media, and chatbots to offer faster customer support.
Does that mean digital channels will totally eliminate the need for traditional phone calls when customers want to buy something in the future?
In short, no. Phone calls are still as important, if not more important for conversions, generating revenue, and ultimately, customer retention. In fact, a study by BIA/Kelsey showed that phone calls convert customers 10-15x more than web leads.
In this article, we’re exploring why human contact is still a key factor in converting customers for service-led businesses. We’re also discussing how call tracking software (a.k.a call conversion/attribution software or conversational analytics) can help you drive more phone leads, create more effective marketing campaigns, and increase overall revenue. Let’s go!
The positive and negative impact of digital customer support
First, let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of not digitizing your customer service, marketing, and selling processes through chatbots, email automation, social media, and contact forms.
- Gives customers a direct and quick response
- Builds profiles with data collection
- Provides personalized offers
- Serves as a lead magnet
- Makes marketing more targeted
- Chatbots can’t answer complex questions
- Some customers want to speak to a human
- Email responses can take longer to process sales
- Some customers struggle with technology
- Contact forms don’t offer a callback guarantee
The importance of phone calls for service-led businesses
According to a TCN survey, 7 in 10 respondents said they prefer talking to a customer service agent on the phone.
So, why do customers still prefer human interaction when looking to buy from service-led businesses and what are the benefits? Let’s dive into the advantages of phone calls for businesses below:
1. Shortens the sales cycle
Time really is of the essence when it comes to customer responses. And if customers want speed, they know that phone calls are the way to get it.
They might use email, chatbots, or social media if they don’t need an immediate response or are asking a more casual, simple question.
But if they want to make a purchase, need help getting specs about your product/ services, or are ready to book an appointment, they’re more likely to pick up the phone.
By talking to the customer directly over the phone, service-led businesses can qualify leads quicker and speed up the process from lead to conversion.
2. Builds trust and qualifies leads faster
When someone is making a large purchase, like investing in an educational course, car, or expensive holiday, they want to talk to someone who can reassure them that they’re spending their hard-earned money in the right place.
For service-led industries like health, financial services, legal services, and real estate, your customers may be in a more stressed state of mind or feel confused about complex processes. This is when talking to an actual human really helps put their minds at ease.
Human sales agents can answer almost any question, no matter how complicated and use their tone of voice to give the customer confidence in your business – something a chatbot simply can’t do.
By getting to know the customer’s concerns and needs better over the phone, your sales agents can qualify them faster and make sure they’re not wasting time on poor-quality leads.
3. Builds customer loyalty
By talking on the phone with one of your sales agents, customers are inherently developing a more personal relationship with them than a chatbot or email conversation.
Phone interactions help form strong, trusted bonds between your business and your customers, making them feel more comfortable purchasing from you again after having positive past experiences.
And if your sales agents remember them personally? That’s just another reason to go with you rather than start over with a competitor.
4. Makes closing a sale easier
While customers will still use digital channels for top-of-the-funnel (research, quick questions, price comparisons, etc.), when they call you, they’re initiating the buying process.
Phone calls are one of the main ways service-led businesses market themselves, qualify leads, and create revenue. They can also be the final push over the edge your customers need to buy from you.
When you run call-based ads and have knowledgeable staff to answer the phone, you inherently generate more revenue, as staff can connect better with customers to offer the package or service that fits their needs, increasing the likelihood of closing a sale.
5. Fulfils accessibility needs
While online customer support features are a fantastic way to respond to customers if you’re unavailable or they don’t have time to talk on the phone, not everyone will be able to use these technologies.
Some people may have trouble using computers, understanding how to use chatbots, or may not have an email address or social media account. They might also have a disability that makes using particular technologies more challenging.
Phone calls are usually the easiest way to satisfy a wide spectrum of needs, making it the most accessible channel to all users. Prioritizing phone calls in your sales funnel will ensure you’re not missing out on these potential opportunities.
Phone calls are the most foundational sales channel no matter your industry, because people sell best through conversations.
So you should maximize this channel’s potential by running call-based campaigns and measuring the results using conversational analytics or call conversion tracking software to make continuous improvements.
Are you tracking what campaigns drive customers to call you?
As a marketer or service-led business owner, you likely already do the following:
- Spend budget on ads
- Use contact forms
- Use “Call now” as a CTA
- Analyse campaign performance
- Track contact form leads
- Track your conversion paths
But are you using lead generation phone numbers and call tracking software to see if people are calling because of PPC ads, social media ads, searches for a specific keyword, or your website?
If you aren’t already doing this, you’re missing out on one of the most effective marketing tools in the box. Because using call conversion tracking software will:
Increase marketing ROI
By seeing what campaigns, keywords, and channels are driving the most phone calls, you’ll be able to increase marketing spend on what’s working best and stop wasting budget, effort, and time on campaigns that aren’t working.
The more call intelligence data you have on incoming phone calls, the more strategic you can be with your future campaigns.
Enhance customer experiences
By driving more calls to your business AND actually measuring them with call attribution analytics you:
- Understand your customers better
- Target them more effectively
- Improve how you sell (since you know your customer better)
- Increase lead qualification efficiency
- Gain better deal-closing insights
- Gain better revenue-attribution insights
- Capture conversions from every touchpoint
- Enable omnichannel conversions
- Optimize campaign performance for more conversions
- Stop wasting budget on ads that don’t work
- Re-invest budget in other campaigns/ business areas
By driving more phone calls to your business, you won’t have to rely on chatbots alone or other digital channels to do a good job at converting your customers.
Instead, you’ll be generating more high-quality customer service interactions that lead to satisfied, loyal customers.
Delight marketing customers
No matter what your marketing strategy, if you want to increase revenue from calls, you’ll need to prompt prospective customers to call in the first place with more contact forms, chatbots, call-based CTAs, and call-based ads.
For marketers, call analytics software is invaluable for showing your clients exactly where conversions are coming from.
When they can see the true amount of phone calls your marketing efforts have made, you’ll achieve higher customer retention and even get approved for higher budgets.
How can you take advantage of phone tracking software?
By using a super easy-to-use call attribution platform, like Nimbata!
Nimbata tracks call conversions similarly to how Google Analytics tracks click conversions, giving you a real-time dashboard full of the essential insights you need to know about every call that comes in.
Our platform is the perfect call attribution solution for marketing agencies and service-led businesses to collect, track, and leverage phone call data to optimise marketing performance, reduce customer acquisition costs, and grow revenue.
It takes just minutes to set up, doesn’t require any technical experience, and even comes with a 14-day trial so you can test out the software for free – no credit card needed. Just sign up, set up, and start call tracking! Get your free trial now.