7 Ways To Have An Impactful Conversation With Your Consumers

These days, consumers arrive from an array of digital channels during the path-to-purchase journey, but more often than not there is a moment when human interaction is necessary, especially when something goes toes up or for larger purchases such as real estate or a car.

According to Google, “47% of those they surveyed described feeling “frustrated or annoyed” or “more likely to explore other brands” when a call wasn’t picked up. The advent of click-to-call is causing an influx of call volumes, a whopping 70% of prospects hit the call CTA.

Once the button is pressed and an offline interaction begins, the quality of conversation or rate of pick up can make or break a conversion, which is why we have a few suggestions for transforming your communication strategy that will guide your callers to the final stage of their journey and beyond.

1. Follow up

Following up is not chasing or harassment, its courtesy and can improve upsell potential. A post-conversation chat should be filled with a knowledge of the customer (based on their history) and also questions that can help gauge a greater understanding of what they want in their own words.

2. Speed up decision making

Automated workflows can speed up how a caller lands on the right agent based on their context. If a specific answer is required, understanding a prospects movements on a brand website can give the agent a headstart to finding a solution before they even answer the call.

3. Remove friction

Take away the multiple delays associated with IVR systems, no one likes friction in CX especially when the purchase is of high value. Remove pain points for callers by cascading or sending them through a quicker route to the conversation they really need to have.

4. Know the trends

Analyse, analyse, analyse. Conversations with consumers these days come with a ton of context behind them as the research phase almost always starts with a browsing history. Tracking every key measure from these touchpoints can be a useful way to understand the bigger consumer picture and make conversations less about interrogation and more about connection.

5. Understand their data

Knowing every granular detail of where/how/why a consumer has arrived at your doorstep is vital. In some cases, a PPC (pay-per-click) caller is more of a priority than someone who didn’t visit a higher value page or is just casually browsing.

6. Bring them back

B2C industries like automotive and travel know that a missed call is a missed opportunity, especially when considering their high-profit margins. If a consumer’s call isn’t acknowledged it can be detrimental to both company reputation and the bottom line. For mobile workforces, a simple solution is using just that, their mobile.

Missed call notifications in email or SMS form have a knack for dropping call abandonment rates by nearly 80% while ensuring sales teams value callers and proactively pursue them. Sending a callback request SMS to a missed consumer is always favourable on their end if a call isn’t picked up, data from Software Advice shows that 63 per cent” of consumers surveyed preferred callback.

7. Be a human!

This brings us to the last and final point of any consumer-facing conversation, be a human being! Personalisation is the bread and butter of CX lately, we may think we want to speak to robots but the need for just the right amount of empathy is currently outweighing the convenience of chatbots.

A happy medium is the best bet in this scenario, use technology to make the process of getting to the human help easier, now that’s impactful.

Via: Google, Software Advice

The Underestimated Value Of Conversational Data

Taking a buyer from browsing to highly engaged is the goal of most marketers out there. Increased customer engagement represents a revenue increase of 23% for a brand, but in the age of tech-savvy prospects utilising multiple channels, how do you keep them coming back?

Of course staying ahead of the technological curve is a priority, according to Marketing Tech, “a survey of Fortune 500 marketing professionals carried out by LiveWorld, 52% of respondents thought that advances in technology would allow them to engage in meaningful two-way conversations with their customers.”

However piquing the interest of a buyer is something that requires a strategy of both personalisation and modern tech, which is where the often undervalued power of conversational data comes in. Conversational data is an indicator of how a brand’s customers are engaging with a conversational interface, be it chat, text or call.

Its value lies in the fact that it analyses real-time interactions – “with conversational analytics, for example, you can single out a target demographic or user to see whether they’re talking to a bot or application, then view every step of the conversation as it’s happening,” says Chatbots Magazine. It’s a key segmentation tool, enabling a brand or marketer to understand their buyer base on an intimate level. Thanks to data pioneers like Google, any business from large enterprises to small startups can access this bounty of information, evening the commerce playing field.

The Google Analytics Shift 

By far, a leader in the data game. The platform is now integrated into more than half of the websites on earth. It’s also altered how many marketers perceive their purpose — taking them from brand developers to keen data analysts and innovators. Google has done more for the planet than just bring us the Google Doodle. It has also brought the buyer to the forefront.
Where Google Analytics particularly stands out is in its endeavours to create an omniscient view of the customer journey, providing concrete evidence of their digital path, using Analytics 360 which includes features like enterprise analytics, tagging, site optimisation, data visualisation, market research, attribution, and audience management. Google claims to consider the current multi-screen environment that both marketers and their pool face.

Check out more about Freespee’s Google Analytics integration here. 
Despite this reputation, It has been accused in the past of disregarding offline channels and providing inaccurate information that, none-the-less, marketers have come to rely upon.

“Rightly or wrongly, the startup world cares mainly about direct-response metrics — and that is reflected in the “Goals,” and “Events” triggers in Google Analytics,” wrote TechCrunch contributor Samuel Scott.

Thanks to its recent collaboration with CRM platform Salesforce, that critique is now somewhat silenced. Whether naysayers like it or not, by the end of last year, “tablets and smartphones comprised 87 percent of the globally connected device market,” meaning that to keep ahead of the pace requires an understanding of the online sphere and a greater focus on the customer’s say so, especially concerning their interactions with the brand both online and offline. Google seems to be onboard with this by coveting the data gleaned from those buyer encounters and with this partnership, there is no doubt that ‘offline’ conversational data, namely call data, is aimed to become a hot commodity.

The advent of web analytics tools like GA has arguably done more to help than hinder the ecosystem, though some would disagree with its intention. Still, the way in which we communicate continues to elevate and technology seeps into our every day. Hopefully with Google’s help, the monetary power of conversation will continue to rise in value.
Via: TechCrunch, Chatbots Magazine, Marketing Tech, City Segment

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
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.

Conversational commerce, now, in the Google stack

Telling and selling is over, the conversation arrives
So with conversational commerce and the scene set let’s take it back a step and place this into a deliverable context that’s available right now. How can you be making the most of your customers conversational data for marketing.
Three huge areas…. being blunt.
Display advertising, Search advertising and Website analytics, and we have three plug-and-play real-time integrations with Google for you.

Google Doubleclick – Supercharge your display
Our users take advantage of our plug and play Doubleclick real-time integration to make sure they see any customer conversation event alongside their display and video advertising campaigns. We help our customers make sure Doubleclick can act on any type of customer engagement, i.e checkout, chat and phone calls. Freespee data offers businesses the ability to prospect for new audiences on more than just the traditional checkout event, and delivers re-targeting of customers that showed high purchase intent through chat or the phone.

Google Doubleclick Search – Enhance every campaign
In the same vein as Doubleclick, we offer our customers a plug and play Doubleclick search real-time integration that places customer communication events alongside their search advertising campaigns. Down to the keyword, Freespee users know what campaign influenced their customers to enter into a conversation. Knowing the outcome of the conversation provides insight into developing keyword strategies that are optimised to acquire traffic suited to business goals.

Google Analytics – Add your missing audiences
Conversion optimisation is a hot topic, how do we get more out of what we have, and with Google recently announcing a free website a/b testing solution, they are trying to make it even easier for you to optimise the digital experience for your visitors. Synchronising the Freespee conversation cloud with your Google 360 account empowers you to see your visitors and how communication events for various visitor experiments influence your online sales. As Freespee is agnostic to the conversational interface the customer chooses to use, you can manage the data from all of your customers conversation threads across voice and text in one platform.

Freespee offers advertising campaigns responsive to customer conversations
Conversational commerce represents an evolutionary step forward from both a traditional outbound acquisition and retention marketing focus. This is why our customers choose Freespee.. Conversational data is of strategic importance in staying ahead of the market and competitors.
Unless you have complete visibility and control over every inbound conversational event, you are a passive business in understanding holistically your customers behaviour, motivations, and how your brand is servicing your customers.
Our vision is to place marketers at the centre of every customer conversation and give them the power to improve experiences on a global scale.

How Google is monetizing phone call traffic

Local advertising is booming – in the U.S., the business is expected to grow from $21.7 billion last year to $42.5 billion by 2015, according to BIA/Kelsey – that’s 14.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
The reasons for the growth are the same in Europe: new technologies enable new types of services, which then allow consumers to find, call and visit local merchants easier and faster, compare prices and buy offline services online (i.e. the “daily deals” business). More and more companies are adopting performance based pricing, which lowers the bar for merchants to spend more on advertising, as they can easily control the spending to sustain a positive ROI.
Many people within the industry are asking, what is Google doing about this?

The answer is that they are doing a lot. But what we are interested in is the phone call traffic – as local advertising is all about offline leads and transactions.
Google speaks about two offerings – in addition to Google Voice – which are available only in the U.S. market.
1. Mobile Click-To-Call (CTC)

Mobile Click-To-Call – as opposed to Online CTC (rather, “Call Back”) – is an intuitive and natural way of connecting directly with merchants and stores. The end user simple clicks a link/button and makes a call. From the merchants’ point of view this is great, as they don’t need to have mobile landing pages – Mobile CTC works directly from an ad.
How to measure the amount of call traffic then? While it is possible to register and report the number of clicks, without call tracking you can’t tell how many calls were connected. When you are paying for the advertising, this can make a huge difference.
Google launched CTC for local advertising in January 2010 and expanded it to national advertisers couple of months later.
And the results? They were simply blown away. Early this year Google announced, that their advertisers receive millions of calls per month and 200% higher CTRs.
2. AdWords Call Metrics

Still the majority of people search for local merchants with their computers online – and of course search advertising is a great way to drive call traffic.
In November 2010 Google finally launched call measurements on AdWords – Call Metrics. While it’s still available only to a limited number of advertisers – and only in the U.S. – it proves that Google wants to be where many of our partners already are today.
What’s in it for me?
Whenever you pick up the phone to call a car dealer, real-estate agent, insurance company or a restaurant, think how great it is to get a human being to serve you and gets things done instantly. Think how valuable your business is to the merchant.
Every time you see a phone number ask yourself, does that advertiser know how many calls they receive through the ad? Is the media publisher or the ad network able to prove the media value,  including phone leads?
How much is your call traffic worth?

Call Tracking for Search

Lately we have received increasing number of requests from search advertising firms and ad networks to provide a call tracking solution for sponsored link and performance campaigns. Last year according IAB, search advertising spend in Europe totalled 6,7 Billion euros, or 45,8% of total internet ad spend.

In most cases, the advertisers only paid for the actual clicks, which is great. The problem is, that the ad displays and clicks to the landing pages also generated millions of calls to the advertisers – calls that nobody got accounted for.
Actually, not even the advertisers knew, where the calls came from. Many advertisers who live or die for the incoming calls (think about auto, real estate, telecom, medical, banking, finance, insurance, professional services, etc.), probably spent much less in search advertising than they should have, as they didn’t know how many calls those campaigns generated.
Freespee Analytics will change all that. Using virtual numbers on each advertising campaign and landing page, advertisers can now see exactly, where the calls originate from, and how much each lead cost them.
To make this as simple as possible, we have decided to partner with ad networks and search platform providers. We are proud to announce our first partner – adX Search – whose platform enables advertisers to have a single point of entry to all major search engines.

For more information, please read our partnership announcement.
Interested in adding Call Tracking to your platform or ad network? There’s an API for that. Please contact us to get started.

Local business wants calls, not clicks

What is an inbound call from a prospect worth in terms of money for a Mover? A first page listing in a local search engine for one keyword is priced in the area of €5 000 for a yearly subscription. How many new customers would you like to receive for that market spending? Moving all your stuff from one house to another normally costs you about €1500 inc VAT. If the gross margin is 50%, a new customer is worth €750. Is 20 new customers enough, generating gross revenue of €15 000? Three times the market spending.
A regular broadcast Ad in a local morning paper would cost you the same. What do you get for that? Branding?
Let’s say this Mover has a bad answering ratio, and he is not that service minded either. He closes 5 out of 10 inbound calls. Hence, he would need 40 (20*10/5) calls in total to be happy about the spending in local search advertising.
If I say that a first page listing in a small Swedish town for the keyword “Mover” generates 10 times as many calls during a year, would you believe me? Hence, for those who only believe in Adwords, you don’t know your figures!

Integrity online

Since the web has become more and more transparent, integrity is becoming a big issue. Today anyone that knows your telephone number can find your home address, who you’re living with and so on.
Yesterday the Swedish webmagazine TechWorld ( had an article on how to secure your integrity on Google. The article focused on your integrity while using Google. At Freespee we believe that integrity is a big issue not only when it comes to services like Google, but when it comes to your daily usage of the internet. At Freespee we provide a service that helps you secure your integrity online. Please read more about Freespee and why you should use Freespee!