Freespee

Q&A With Alice Lamy: Freespee's Resident Data Analyst

Data analysis is defined as a process of inspecting, cleansing, transforming, and modelling data with the goal of discovering useful information, suggesting conclusions, and supporting decision-making.
At Freespee we process and manage a significant amount of data from our significant client pool. Data is our bread and butter. Therefore to sort through our cache, we have Alice Lamy, our resident Data Analyst.
Alice was born in Montreal, Quebec — a province nestled in the Great White North (Canada). She then migrated to France with her family at ten-years-old.
Since then, she completed a Bachelor’s in Communication Science at the University of Montreal and a Master’s degree in Persuasive Communication at the University of Amsterdam, focusing mainly on consumer psychology and different modes of persuasion in advertising and health communication.
We caught up with Alice in Freespee’s London office to touch on the inner workings of data at a cloud communication platform like ours.
Freespee: Hey Alice, so what does a Data Analyst do?
Alice: Hey! I analyse data to gain useful insights on both Freespee and our customer’s behaviour and performance. We work with statistics in our own platform, but also use external tools like Tableau and plain Excel to develop different variables from which we pull numbers to produce relevant information.

Freespee: How do you turn data into concrete and useful information?
Alice: I think the most important thing to have before you start analysing is a hypothesis to achieve the right calculation. The way it works is that you have a dependent and some independent variables. If you have an idea of what could be the relationship between these variables, you can start to do your analysis.
For example, if a customer wants to understand what drove people to call their business, I can look at what might have influenced a good or bad performance. It can be many things from business hours, business days, online advertising, click to call to the different regions or countries the call is coming from.

Freespee: How important is customer data to the growth of a company?
Alice: I think it’s essential because it helps you understand more about the consumer lifecycle, and it definitely helps the customer success team offer up advice and ideas to solve business problems more creatively.
Internally, it also helps us manage the business, and get an idea of where we stand as a company and how we are performing with our customers so we can evolve and become more aware of their needs.

Freespee: Would you say it’s a great predictor of behaviour?
Alice: Yes, it’s really insightful. It is a way to give very good insights on consumers’ wants and needs, but it has its limits. We can predict what will drive them to call your business, but there are always going to be inconsistencies in behaviour. What is so interesting about humans is that you can never be 100% certain what they will do, need or want next.

Freespee: How do you define big data?
Alice: Big data can be a confusing term in my opinion, as I think there are so many ways you can define it and it depends on the context. At university, for example, we were using Python to do some “sentiment analysis” derived from Twitter posts during Donald Trump’s election. Big data can, therefore, be a lot of things, and you can find many tools to analyse it.
In the context of Freespee, big data is handy for us to know more about our customers: analysing performance and trends thanks to the use of our platform (CTR, which campaigns drive calls, what people call about, etc.). This kind of data helps us understand how to solve our customers’ business problems better and how our service can enhance sales performance or brand awareness.

We also use big data to know more about where Freespee stands thanks to Salesforce: how sales are growing, how we are taking care our current customers, how we are dealing with prospects, etc.
So big data is a collection of data from different sources that allow us to discover and analyse so many different sides of our business.

Freespee: What is the hardest data to analyse?
Alice: To me, the analysis part is probably the most natural part of the process of using data. As long as you know what your research question is, and what you want to verify, it is quite straightforward. However, collecting and cleaning the data can be a pain, and you need a lot of patience to end up with clean and easy-to-use data.
No one can deny the importance of data in our lives, sometimes however it can overwhelm us. Luckily we have professionals like Alice to make sense of it all.

Thanks Alice!

The Google/Salesforce Collab Brings Omnichannel To Life

Creating a singular data pool containing the entire online to offline customer journey is something big brands struggle to achieve (a topic we touched on in a previous blog). However, the multinational tech giant that is Google seems to have discovered the last piece of the omnichannel puzzle and is intent on closing the loop in attributing offline sales — taking CRM platform Salesforce along for the ride.
After announcing their official partnership in November, Google and Salesforce released the first of many integrations to come this week. “Sales pipeline data from Sales Cloud (e.g., leads, opportunities) can now be imported directly into Analytics 360. So any marketer in a business that manages leads can see a more complete view of the customer’s path to conversion and quickly take action to engage them at the right moment,” wrote Google in a press release.
This collaboration is a way to gain a foothold in an arena previously ventured by Google competitor Microsoft, “This partnership offering gives customers another choice in the market and is targeted towards the traditional Adobe – Microsoft buyer,” Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research told TechCrunch.

Forging A New Digital Path

In this day and age, understanding the motives of a customer as they move from touchpoint to touchpoint is a brand’s ultimate goal. However, most brands see significant disconnects between their online properties and local stores, so when the data doesn’t quite add up they see wasted marketing budget.
In fact, “eConsultancy reports that 66% of all companies believe that the siloed data within their organisations prevents them from making the most effective use of their marketing,” according to The Drum.
Connecting the dots in the digital path usually involve deterministic or probabilistic matching using data onboarding platforms like LiveRamp. The omnichannel identity resolution provider generally uses people-based data to help brands reach consumers.
What could set Google and Salesforce’s partnership apart in this instance is the use of Analytics 360 which will provide a more complete picture of the conversion path through the integration of Big Query, Google Cloud’s enterprise data warehouse.
The emergence of this trend means brands will have to lean closer to implementing their omnichannel strategy to keep up with the competition. Something Google definitely seems in favour of but with a different strategy to LiveRamp.

The Omnichannel Debate

Some say it’s too open-ended, others think its development isn’t happening fast enough, and that legacy tech-reliant brands are holding back the pace. The debate over “omni-channel” is ongoing, but with Google’s backing, it should start finding its way into the mainstream tout suite.

What is omnichannel? The term “is what’s used to define how retailers are using technology to become customer-centric and creating a seamless… experience for consumers between the mobile, the web and brick-and-mortar channels,” says PYMNTS.com
Buyers of the future are changing how they shop, that fact remains. More than half of shoppers use multiple channels when placing orders over £100. Therefore, It’s safe to assume that a cohesive experience is expected across all touchpoints.
With an array of Google and Salesforce integrations coming our way aimed at just that, 2018 could be the year we bring it all together. Stay tuned.
Via: TechCrunch, Google, The DrumPYMNTS.

IVR To AI: What CX Could Look Like In The Future

“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.” – Bill Gates

Frankly, IVR or Interactive Voice Response has become inefficient, mostly due to a changing of the technological tides. “If a caller has a bad IVR experience, more than 80% won’t ever use that company again,” writes Conversational Receptionists. 

As customer’s standards evolve alongside technology, so does their impatience and lack of interest in waiting in call queues. Since companies are unable to sufficiently engage their callers while they wait, alternative technologies like cloud contact centre solutions are quickly replacing them. While IVR has been in the social consciousness since the seventies, can it provide what the modern customer now requires?

The answer here may entail a handover from legacy tech like IVRs to more adaptive AI and cloud systems, where there’s more potential for personalised experiences.

“Companies are finding that systems meant to last decades can’t sufficiently handle the pressures of a next-gen, digital business ecosystem. AI has opened the door to vast new CX capabilities, yet most companies struggle to realize the technology’s full potential because of a dependency on legacy hardware and hierarchical architecture,” says Avaya.

CX before Siri

Computer telephony integration hasn’t been in existence that long as it was only in the eighties that IVR hardware became affordable for most companies. In the early 1990s, CTI quickly replaced DTMF signaling. By the 2000s, it was common to expect a robotic direct, open-end or mixed response prompt at the other end of a customer service call.

Historically, one of the most prolific users of IVR has been banks, as they rely on the system for customer engagement within a 24/7 cycle. However, the wait on the phone while being blasted with music has become the bane of many banking customer’s experiences. This has led to banks enacting a move into bot-based interaction.

“For customers, chatbots are a faster, more hassle-free way to accomplish necessary banking tasks like getting account updates. For banks, chatbots reduce the number and length of customer service calls, leading to reduced customer care costs,” writes Keith Armstrong from Abe AI.

 

The future of CX

These days a successful customer experience is inextricably linked to increasing revenue for brands in the race for customer loyalty.

As IVRs lose their competitive edge, largely driven by their contribution to higher abandonment (more than 40%), alternatives have risen.

In a world where we speak to virtual assistants named Alex and Siri, customers and now brands expect the same level of dynamic tech elsewhere.

So what does the future look like for CX? Firstly, IVR is probably not going to make it. While it served its purpose and segmented the masses, it is unable to deliver the kind of personal touch that cloud platforms, with a bit of help from AI, can produce. These days customer data is as good as gold and brands need concise analytics to reach that quarterly goal. Features like multi-database analytics, trigger messaging and predictive routing all fall under the umbrella of cloud communication, but are far beyond the capabilities of the IVR.

 

As the artificial integrates into every moment of our lives, keeping up with the pack is necessary for brands to grow exponentially — no-one likes being the last one in the queue.

Via: Conversational Receptionists, Abe AI, Avaya, Forrester. 

Freespee strikes a major classified ad partnership

We are proud to announce a new strategic partner in Germany – mobile.international GmbH, owned by eBay.
Through the company’s AutoAct ad management system, Freespee’s call and leads management tools are now available to 36 000 car dealers who advertise on mobile.de and 22 other classified sites and car search engines AutoAct has direct access to.
Our platform is now fully integrated into AutoAct, making life easier for everyone – just how we like it!
Please see our press release below and contact us for more information!

Read more

Freespee vs. Call Tracking

If all this buzz about Call Tracking, Call Metrics, Call Analytics, etc. gets you confused, you are not alone. As with any other emerging technology, the terminology for Call Tracking  is constantly developing.
Freespee focuses on helping our partners to track, prove and monetize the phone call traffic through various advertising channels. As the European leader in the industry (18 000+ advertisers trust us to power their inbound call marketing) we are trying to find the right words to describe what we do, in order to make it clear to everybody.
So here we go, definitions:
Call Tracking – Measuring inbound phone call traffic from various sources

  • This is the most widely used term to describe, how many phone calls an online or print listing, campaign or website generates – or from the advertisers’ point of view, answer the question: Where do the calls come from?
  • When Freespee talks about Call Tracking, in the same breath we always remind people that this has actually existed for a long time – however, a modern Call Tracking platform is cloud-based and allows real-time number allocation and provisioning, operator-grade call mediation and connectivity, as well as a full API to integrate with various content and ad-management systems, marketing performance dashboards, and CRM software.

Call MetricsCall statistics from a single source

  • Typical statistics include total number of calls (by hour of the day, day of the week), average call length and the ratio of answered/missed calls.
  • A term made popular by Google with their launch of AdWords Call Metrics in November 2010 – allowing advertisers to get statistics on how many phone calls an AdWords ad unit generates.

Call AnalyticsComplete picture of call traffic

  • Call Analytics is less common term, as it has a different meaning in the call center and telecom industries. In inbound call marketing, what we mean by Call Analytics is that it’s like web analytics but for calls. This includes tracking calls from multiple sources, advanced call metrics and phone leads information – such as measuring the number of unique callers, their geographical origin, displaying the phone numbers of the callers, analyzing the phone lead quality and identifying answering patterns to increase sales conversion rates.
  • In call center business Call Analytics can also mean recording of calls, and the analysis of voice data itself – either by automatic transcriptions or manually listening – to find out qualitative information such as inquiry details or consumer sentiments. We are seeing this type of analysis coming to cloud-based platforms as well.

Now, what does the big picture look like, and what does the Freespee platform offer?

Do you like the terminology? Want to share your opinion? Join the discussion on Quora!

Analytics launched in Finland

Today we our announcing the launch of Freespee Analytics in Finland with two pilot partners, media agency Dagmar and online analytics specialist Snoobi.
This is also an important milestone for Freespee, as our new Freespee Analytics application is now available for a wider advertiser and marketer audience through media agency and analytics partners.
During the trials Freespee Analytics was used for example by a major telecom operator for their B2B marketing campaign: A Freespee Number was attached to print ads in a dozen of the leading business magazines and newspapers, which enabled both the media agency and the advertiser to measure the incoming calls received from these ads.
Going forward they can optimize the campaigns by selecting the medias that work the best, page numbers, call-to-action wording and number placements in the ads – information that is extremely valuable for any advertiser!
You can read our full press release on CisionWire in English or in Finnish. The story was already picked up by the leading advertising industry publication in Finland, Markkinointi & Mainonta.

Freespee@EADP

I am happy to announce that Freespee will bring our next generation Call Analytics solution to European directory publishers at the EADP conference in Palma de Mallorca.
We have successfully expanded our reach in Europe and we are currently working with four of the leading directory groups, in eight!! different countries.
Being at Palma de Mallorca (lovely conditions for Swedes…) enables us to meet with our European customers and introduce our next generation Call Analytics solution. Freespee Analytics 1.5 is the result of our experience in running large scale traffic visualization solutions for some of the biggest directory publishers for two years, with 0 minutes downtime.
We plan to launch in at least two additional European countries over the next two months, offering Call Analytics solutions to directory publishers, B2C classifieds and media agencies that all work with phone savvy business.