While you’re analysing online, what’s happening on the phones?
Businesses of all sizes track and analyse the performance of the channels they use for marketing, advertising and customer handling. The rise of digital channels has created a world of data, and with it more opportunities for behavioural analysis.
Businesses of all sizes that market and sell online are taking advantage of web analytics. While this is important, equal attention should be paid to phone interactions. Voice endures as a significant inbound and outbound channel. Without phone analytics, companies can miss out on valuable customer insights from telesales and marketing efforts.
Communications service providers (CSPs) still manage a great deal of inbound and outbound customer contacts through the voice channel. With an in-depth understanding of these customer interactions, CSPs can optimise customer contacts, improve efficiencies and cut costs, says Carl Di Cicco, managing director of EMEA, IOVOX.
Phone analytics can provide insight into which customers call, when and for what purpose. Through this, call handling can be improved and call management optimised to resolve each query through the best, and most cost-efficient channel.
Customers have more choice than ever when it comes to purchasing decisions and ties to service providers, not least CSPs, are not as strong as they used to be. Simple service switching makes it more important than ever to hold onto customers and in the battle for market share, strong customer insight provides a significant advantage.
If the same level of analytics that companies invest in to understand their online channels isn’t applied to the voice channel, there will be a huge blind spot in customer information. Web analytics may reveal how customers found your information and what they looked at, but what happens to the trail when they pick up the phone and call?
As part of a phone analytics solution, unique, trackable numbers can be assigned to marketing campaigns and media channels to provide insight into customer response rates. With this information, marketing can optimise the channel mix for the best return on investment.
It’s true that online channels have generated more ways of managing customer contacts than ever before. Self-serve and virtual call centre solutions provide convenient means for businesses to resolve customer queries more quickly and cost-effectively.
But as customers have embraced these options, the voice channel has emerged as the way to resolve more in-depth, complex queries. Phone interactions with customers therefore, provide the opportunity for higher quality conversations than those carried out by webchat or other digital contact methods.
This gives businesses the opportunity to capitalise on the voice channel to provide great customer service and cross-promote products and services. By gaining insight into the topics of conversation through the voice channel, the right type and level of training can be provided to contact centre agents for continuous call handling improvement. Not only that, but product development can benefit from an understanding of the features and services customers are asking about.
Despite the rise in online customer channels, the phone call – and how it is managed – still matters a great deal to businesses. CSPs complementing their own service portfolio by offering phone analytics can therefore provide a more rounded telephony offering to their business customers.
By giving small businesses valued tools to track their own return on investment and to gain greater insight into their customers’ phone behaviours, a CSP can gain the edge it needs to stand out in an overcrowded market.
With an ever-growing list of channels where businesses can spend their advertising pounds and the pressure on to demonstrate marketing return and provide a range of data on customer contacts, businesses cannot afford to forget the voice channel. Doing so means gaining only a part of the total picture of customer interactions and misses out on the opportunity to continually improve contact handling through a critically important channel.
The author of this blog is Carl Di Cicco, managing director of EMEA, IOVOX.
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