Talk Is Powerful
You’ve got your website with information on all your services and your coverage area. You’ve made your contact information easy to find. You’ve got an online scheduling program. You’ve even included a webform. What else could a potential customer want? Believe it or not, a good, old-fashion phone conversation.
DIALING FOR DOLLARS
According to M2 On Hold, the global click-to-call revenue in 2016 was estimated at $7.41 billion, and that figure is expected to grow to $13.7 billion by 2020.
For Julia Stead, VP of Marketing at Invoca, a company specializing in call intelligence, that number is not surprising.
“We anticipate that by 2019, consumers will have called businesses over 160 billion times from their mobile devices,” she says. “The reality is that mobile phones are how today’s consumers prefer to research products and reach businesses. But navigating a mobile website and filling out a contact form is not an ideal experience. So calls and voice interactions are increasing … the click-to- call button is the fastest, easiest way for someone to connect on a mobile device.” She adds, “This is especially true in the world of contractors, where consumers have multiple questions they need answered … you just can’t easily get that kind of information online.”
OPPORTUNITY IS CALLING
Stead notes that while web forms can provide consumers the opportunity to put questions to contractors, a customer who calls is a much better prospect.
“Phone-driven consumers have higher buying intent and a higher likelihood to convert or purchase. Whether it’s getting a quote or booking an appointment, calls convert at up to 10x the rate of web forms,” says Stead. “In fact, our customers in the home services sector often see 70%–90% of their appointments and sales booked over the phone.”
Stead also notes that phone-driven consumers also tend to be bigger shoppers. “Once you get someone on the phone, you have the opportunity for a more personalized purchase process and to create trust and, therefore, can present more product or service options.”
Tom Droste of Estimate Rocket also sees additional value in a click-to-call caller on the line. “I would argue that someone calling you from their personal cell phone is the hottest lead you can possibly get,” he says. “First, they’ve self-qualified by visiting your site and determining you may be offering what they need. And second, other sources, including web forms, require effort on your part to make the connection. Effort equals time, time equals money.”
MUST-DOS IN A MOBILE-FRIENDLY WORLD
According to both Stead and Droste, the key to success in a mobile-friendly world is having a mobile-optimized website.
“In most cases, converting a traditional site to mobile friendly requires a complete overhaul,” says Droste. “However, there are so many tools available online to help you do it—some even free. It’s really not that difficult if you use a pre-built template and repurpose all the text and images you had on your old site.”
Stead adds that, “Wherever a phone number appears on your site, it needs to be click-to-call enabled.”
She also recommends having intelligent call routing to ensure customers are immediately connected with the most appropriate recipient. “With systems like Invoca, you can set up call routing based on time of day to designate different recipients during peak or ‘off ’ hours.”
Droste relies on a cloud-based phone system. He says, “The new systems are very sophisticated and easy to operate. In four rings, a call can literally hit four people’s phones. The goal is to avoid having a prospect go to voicemail.”
THERE’S A SERVICE FOR THAT
Not that long ago, Zach Poland of Affordable Mudjacking Concrete Lifting was fielding website calls from, well, the field. But then he signed up with an answering service. “Yes, it’s an expense,” he says, “but what it saves me in time and in terms of making me available to do the things I need to be doing makes it totally worth it.” Poland’s service works with a well-crafted script to qualify leads and schedule an estimate.
Poland adds, “The click-to-call prospects are absolutely my best prospects so it’s worth it to make sure every single call to our office gets answered.”