Total Direct Energie Benefits from Voice Data

Total Direct Energie Workshop

At VoiceTech Paris yesterday, Total Direct Energie gave a fascinating talk explaining how they have been using voice data over the last four years.

François Rommel, Head of Analytics at Total Direct Energie explained how combining voice data and website data has given them a greater understanding of customer behaviour.

This follows on from the great presentation Amina Chaabane, Head of Digital Sales B2B and Caroline Launois-Beaurain, Head of Global Omnichannel Sales Tools at Club Med, gave “Phone: The Best Sales Channel for Club Med.”

Visibility of Customer Journeys

Total Direct Energie could use traditional web analytics tools to see how customers came to their website, the pages they visited, and online sales conversions.

However, over 50% of sales were completed during phone calls, so Total Direct Energie were only able to see part of the picture. 

By tying every sales call into a web visitor session, they were able to understand:

  • Which digital advertising campaigns were driving sales calls.
  • The overall customer experience for online and offline.
  • Deeper insight into customer behaviour.

Between 2015 and 2019, more and more people became aware they could easily switch energy providers and the market became much more competitive. During this time the number of Total Direct Energie customers rose from under 1 million to 4 million.

Transformation Journey

François Rommel led the process through a number of stages, each time using data to guide the way forward.

To get full data visibility of online and offline behaviour, he implemented Freespee with Google Analytics integration. Since then, they have progressively improved visibility into customer journeys and enriched their audience targeting.

A/B Testing Increases Calls 10%

An early experiment challenged the effectiveness of the special 4-digit phone numbers that Total Direct Energie typically used in marketing campaigns.

Common sense would suggest that dialling 4-digits is going to be easier than dialling a regular 10-digit phone number. But after some careful A/B testing, François Rommel proved that regular phone numbers actually boosted calls by +10%.

It is thought that some people were reluctant to dial an unusually short phone number.

Identifying High-Quality Sales Calls

Identifying which web visitors were calling proved useful, as there were many cases where looking at web analytics data on its own could be misleading.

For instance, it may seem that a web visitor had lost interest and exited. But really, they had just switched channel by picking up the phone and calling Total Direct Energie.

This often happens when customers have lots of questions or feel the purchase is complex. Speaking to a human is fast, efficient, and reassuring.

Understanding there was a call is useful. However not all phone calls are equal.

Customers will call on many issues including support calls and for simple, quick questions. Careful analysis revealed the types of call that were ‘good’ calls:

  • How long was the call? If it was too short, it could not be a successful call.
  • What drove the call and which web pages did they visit before calling?

Knowing which calls were high-quality sales calls meant Total Direct Energie could more accurately:

  • Predict people’s intent before they even called.
  • Identify and optimise successful marketing campaigns.
  • Build more effective retargeting audience.
Read “Predicting Caller Intent” for reasons why more companies are looking to understand caller intent before the call.

Using Offline Revenue for Online Targeting

Total Direct Energie use sophisticated digital marketing for customer segmentation, including segmenting customers before they visit the Total Direct Energie website.

They develop lookalike audiences to identify people with similar characteristics to previous customers, so they know which advertising campaigns are most likely to be effective for them.

Where the customer journey is purely digital, they can use cookies and digital ids end-to-end to tie visitors to advertising platforms, web visitor sessions, and conversions on Total Direct Energie’s internal systems.

To make this work for all customer journeys, Total Direct Energie needed to integrate offline phone call data into their online data, by:

  1. Tying customer transactions in Total Direct Energie’s CRM system to the specific phone call with that customer. 
  2. Tying that specific phone call to the digital ids used by the sophisticated range of marketing and advertising technologies they use including Google Ads, Google Analytics, and Content Square.

By ‘closing the loop’ Total Direct Energie can optimise their marketing to focus on the campaigns and audience that drive the most revenue.

Using Content Square enables a much richer understanding of the customer’s journey and how to improve the usability experience. This helps improve the effectiveness of the website for the customer types likely to purchase, encouraging them to sign up online or over the phone.

You can read through the presentation Total Direct Energie gave here, in French.

Experiment: Does “Click-to-call” Improve Call Quality?

call quality

The customer is in the insurance industry and website visitors are invited to call an agent in their contact center.

What would you expect to happen:

  • Will the number of calls go up or down?
  • Will the call be more valuable or less?

On the one hand, it would seem obvious that adding an extra step to reveal a phone number adds friction. So surely that would deter some people and reduce the number of callers? Maybe the people who do call are more likely to buy.

On the other hand, psychologists tell us that people making micro-commitments are more likely to follow that up with a bigger commitment. So maybe that means visitors will be curious to see what is behind the button, and then — to be consistent — call that number.

Let the data decide.

The Experiment

The customer’s original call to action just displayed the phone number. This was our control that we compared to three alternative treatments. The treatments hid or partially hid the phone number until the visitor clicked on a button.

The experiment ran for a week and 11,600 unique website visitors sessions were randomly and evenly split across the four versions.

Result 1: Call Quantity

Hiding the phone number, increased the number of calls over 1 minute by 11%. Partially hiding the phone number, decreased the number of calls by 24%.

Result 2: Call Quality

The customer knew that calls over 1 minute were people most interested in buying. So we analysed the calls over 1 minute as a way to measure call quality.

Partially hiding the phone number, had almost no effect on the number of calls over 1 minute.

Hiding the phone number, increased the number of calls over 1 minute by 32%.


For this insurance customer, adding a “Click-to-call” button is beneficial. There is a very high level of confidence that both the quantity and quality of calls are higher.

There is an additional benefit. Only showing Freespee dynamic phone numbers to visitors that click the button is much more efficient. Numbers are only allocated numbers to the visitors who have shown an interest in calling.

Your results may vary. Even if it seems counter-intuitive to you, try this experiment for yourself and see for yourself what effect “Click-to-call” will have.

The one common channel that most marketers have yet to master

From social media to email to live chat (to name but a few) marketers have become experts at tracking and managing their users’ activity across many channels. But there’s one that marketers still find challenging: the phone.
Yes, the good old phone. The device that half of us carry with us constantly and check three times or more each and every hour*.
Whether your business is an automotive, insurance, banking, real estate, travel or marketplace company, your call centre receives thousands of calls every day.
These phone calls carry important data about your customers’ interests and feedback.
So how can you integrate your calls into your customer journey to leverage these golden nuggets of information? How can you action your call activity to provide the best customer experience possible?
Well, Freespee lets you do just that…in the most efficient way there is.
Our recently upgraded integration with Salesforce empowers your agents to deliver a “feel-good” phone experience. Our technology updates your database in real-time ready for you to power your marketing campaigns, increase that user satisfaction score and ultimately bring more revenue.
So, are you interested in leveraging the power of your Salesforce capabilities with your phone call activity? Find out how today, contact one of our conversation cloud specialists.

About Freespee
Freespee is a real time conversation cloud for marketers that places every phone and text conversation into its digital context. Marketers use Freespee to monitor, manage and personalise the experience of every customer that wants to have a conversation with their brands through their desktop web, mobile web and mobile apps.

*52% of smartphone owners check their phone a few times an hour or more. Source: Gallup. 

Q&A with Freespee co-founder & CTO Tobias Lindgren

Monday 7th November was the day the news broke of our series B investment where we raised €9</strong..25 million, led by Ventech.
To help our customers and potential new customers understand what this investment means for Freespee, we have sat down with our co-founder and CTO, Tobias Lindgren, to get his take on our recent funding.
HL: What does this funding mean for you and your team?
TL: I think the most exciting part of the funding is that we can now afford to innovate and try new ideas in a way not been possible before. We’ll have the freedom to have more fun and creativity in the business and ultimately develop new communication products throughout the next 12 months.
The funding will also give a different pace, a new tempo to the engineering teams here in Uppsala. We have the opportunity to grow and build on what we’ve got already. We’ve got so many ideas and now we’re in a position to bring them to the market.
I think we’ll also see a change in the positioning of the business from an infrastructure point of view. The additional funding will give us the possibility to have a more consultative approach with our existing and future clients. We’ll be able to work closely with them, to work out their issues and challenges and then figure out how they can use the Freespee conversation cloud to solve these problems.
HL: Thinking in broader terms outside of the Freespee proposition, do you think this investment has a wider meaning for our market?
TL: I definitely think the funding shows that the conversation market is maturing. We’re seeing a shift in the way that brands are able to talk to their customers and prospects. This significant investment shows that our investors recognise this opportunity and share our vision that brands need a solution to manage and personalise the communication experience of their customers regardless of the inbound channel.
Consumers and brands alike are starting to use new communication solutions through AI-bots, chat-bots, SMS, and messaging to build a relationship and achieve mutually beneficial goals, and this investment will bring more attention to this shift.
We have the opportunity to combine existing solutions with new ideas and we’re excited to be considered as pioneers in this evolving industry. We want to be at the forefront, educating the market to say that we can connect every conversation to improve the end customer’s experience – and it can be done, we are doing it now for our customers.
HL: Looking into the past slightly, what spurred you and Carl to create Freespee?
TL: Carl and I have an interesting working relationship – we complement each other with our different knowledge and ways of looking at a product.
Carl and I share the same enthusiasm and excitement for solving customer issues. We want to use new technology to make the consumer’s journey better.
It helps that we worked together previously, we trusted each other that we would work well together again. We both know that together we can bring an idea to the table, build it and sell it.
We also both really enjoy the pace and tempo of a start-up – its quick moving and things are constantly changing and evolving. I think that really motivated us to work together and create Freespee.
HL: Over the past 4 years would you say the business still holds on to your original mission statement or has the business vision changed?
TL: Our business vision has always stayed the same, as it’s the reason we started Freespee in the first place. We want to offer online businesses a way to communicate with their customers that is more human.
It’s more that the route we have taken to achieve this has changed many times – this is all part of being an agile start-up. The business needs to be flexible, to try new things and throw ideas out if they aren’t worth pursuing.
Our culture has also (and will also) stay the same. Then again, as a company grows, the culture kind of grows itself, which is what is happening at Freespee. We have a typically Swedish ideology and we try to make sure this permeates through the whole company.
HL: What are you looking forward to the most over the next 12 months?
TL: Honestly, I think I’m most excited about being able to grow the team and watching the company mature.
My role is already pretty customer-centric but I’m also super excited about being able to meet new customers and to watch us enter new markets and areas with these customers.
There you have it, we hope it was useful.
Stay tuned for tomorrow – we’ll be posting our interview with Carl Holmquist, CEO, on what this funding means for him and the future of Freespee.

Freespee at github

github logo

Here at Freespee we love free and open source!
Our products are built using popular components, such as AngularJS, and we try hard to invest back into the community where possible.
Recently, we opened a Freespee github page, where our customers can find ready to use clients for the Freespee API in order to  get up and running quickly.