Man holding phone looking confused

The customer’s path to purchase is complex. 

We all know this because, whatever our job, we’re also all consumers. 

The choices available to us time-short, tech-savvy shoppers are constantly in a state of flux. With a plethora of communication channels and devices at our disposal, it’s little wonder the job of a marketer, striving to get a handle on the latest piece of marketing tech, is tough. How can you measure with any real authority how people are interacting with your brand? 

Making sense of big data

Invariably, the goal behind every piece of marketing activity is to leverage and make sense of big data, to obtain the feted single customer view. That’s why marketers use an arsenal of swanky digital tools in an attempt to optimize journeys, improve engagement and increase conversions.

Marketers are retargeting to speed up the sales cycle, using social outreach to boost loyalty, and hooking up various analytics and automation platforms to make the buying experience as personalized, relevant and efficient as possible.

That’s all great. 

  • But then the customer decides to pick up the phone and make a call. 
  • Wait, what?
  • What happens then? 

The phone is more alive than ever

Figures suggest that by the end of 2017, 4.77 billion people will own a mobile phone – two thirds of the world’s population. It’s safe to say we’re hooked on these miniature super-computers we all carry with us all day long (and some of us all night too). 

This goes some way to explaining why a staggering 85 billion calls are made to businesses, globally, every year, as we explored in our Game of Phones blog piece. 

The popularity and convenience of ‘click-to-call’ technology when browsing Google via a mobile device, can at least try to rationalize this vast figure – in fact, call-to-click spending is predicted to grow to $13.7bn by 2020. 

Of course it would be naive to suggest that call tracking – or even Call Intelligence – is the answer to all single customer view issues.

Consumer psychology has a role to play too, especially among millennials. ResponseTap research has found, for example, that whilst 64% of millennials do all their research online, they value speaking to someone over the phone to verify information prior to making a purchase.

This perhaps also outlines why inbound calls have been found to convert 20% higher than clicks, according to Hubspot research from 2014.

It must be noted, however, that online and offline behaviors are not mutually exclusive, so nor should they be viewed in isolation. But the seemingly ‘untrackable’ gap of the dreaded phone call needs to be bridged. More marketers need to be able to link clicks to calls. 

Yes, digital metrics may be easier to measure and report on – often, the insight that stakeholders demand can be produced in minutes. But call-related data needn’t be any different. 

Intelligent call tracking

In its simplest form, call tracking is the technology that helps unravel a website visitor’s online session before they called, revealing what ads they clicked on, which pages they visited, at what point they called and even, in some cases, the call outcome.

By understanding what made the phone ring, marketers can then attribute sales revenue and other objective completions, to a specific marketing campaign, with the aim of improving ROI.

This in itself is a largely untapped area of marketing tech, currently utilised by fewer than 5% of the businesses that could benefit from it. But rather than passively relying on data to make inbound call improvements in retrospect, marketers can now optimize the experience in real time, with the aid of machine learning. 

At ResponseTap we define this step-change as Call Intelligence.  

What is Call Intelligence?

Call Intelligence gives marketers powerfully rich insight into the customer journey by connecting it to the phone call. 

With the ability to integrate visitor level call tracking with second-party data sources, such as CRM purchase history, and third-party data from platforms such as Google Marketing Platform, Call Intelligence also gives marketers the knowledge to make decisions based on all sales.

By plugging these rich and varied data sets into one central hub – and tracking a user’s journey across multiple devices, sessions and channels – we are one step closer to creating a more accurate and detailed single customer view.

Algorithmic modelling can route the call to the most suitable agent based on the intent or profile of the caller, the marketing source, their conversion history and any other relevant data.

This personalization allows for immediate, proactive action to be taken whilst the customer is still on their journey, in turn heightening their buying or brand experience. And, when the interaction is complete, that data can be fed back into the ‘machine’, to help predict the outcome and value of future calls. 

Making calls relevant

A call usually represents a high-intent consumer action, whether the intention is to make a purchase or a complaint. So, why keep call center advisers in the dark?

Why not empower them with actionable insight to perfect that customer experience? Why not use this insight to attribute and refine the ROI from wider marketing spend?

We’ve all experienced the pain of awkward IVR scripts when we just want to speak to someone. Marketers – and their tech providers – should be striving to make every call as relevant, contextual and seamless as possible.

Tracking visitors rather than campaigns, using multi-touch attribution models and integrating call intelligence with existing marketing platforms, will go some way to achieving this.

Of course it would be naïve to suggest that call tracking – or even Call Intelligence – is the answer to all single customer view issues. And, it isn’t relevant for every brand.

But when the telephone does form an important part of the buying cycle, it helps join up more customer journey data points that, at present, are largely overlooked. 

Find out how you can make every call count with Call Intelligence from ResponseTap now.