Even with the rise of online customer service channels, contact centers still handle a growing number of the more complex customer sales and service interactions today. And with the growing volume of calls driven by mobile adoption, new and innovative marketing programs are emerging such as click-to-talk functionality, connecting web visitors directly with the call center, and performance-based call transfer programs.
Consumers often choose the distinctly human interaction of the voice channel to answer their sales and support issues; over 45 billion call transactions annually by some estimates. This is a huge marketing opportunity that smart enterprises are already taking advantage of. Remember, many studies show that consumers tend to respond well to human contact during the sales process. Though they may conduct much of their research online, many of these purchases still take place offline.
Greg Sterling, an analyst at Opus Research, told Business Week that “The naïve assumption that people made in the early days was that e-commerce was going to decimate other kinds of customer contact. When there’s a human connection, there’s a lot more that can be sold, and those customers are a lot more valuable inherently.”
Live, one-to-one interactions in the voice channel give enterprises greater insight into what the customer is actually looking for. There’s a give and take between caller and call center agent during phone conversations you simply can’t get with an online purchase. This is one of the primary reasons that the enterprise voice channel is still so powerful, especially from a marketing perspective. In the voice channel your contact center agent is in control of the customer experience (for better or for worse!) and can use that one-on-one time to address any customer service or sales concerns, build a stronger rapport with that customer, and even leverage some cross-selling opportunities in the conversation. The latest voice channel opportunities for marketing allow companies to leverage customer insights, demographics, purchase histories, etc. to drive added service and sales value for consumers and enterprises through company call centers.
Given the fact that call volumes into customer contact centers are growing driven by a mobile savvy consumer and new voice / data applications there is growing value and need for marketing professionals to leverage the enterprise contact center as an untapped customer engagement channel. For instance, live calls typically convert at a much higher rate than other advertising channels, such as web advertising alone. Enterprises that take advantage of the unique marketing opportunities to engage customers through their call centers stand to create a new source of revenue and improve their brand.