Have You Optimised for Inbound Telephone Calls?

Garret Cunningham

Inbound calls = red hot leads: optimise your website to make more of them

  • Inbound telephone calls are red hot leads from people ready to convert—and that’s where you need your call centre people to focus their efforts.
  • Identify the channels that are driving inbound calls and track the data for deeper insights.
  • Optimise your website to do the hard work of answering general enquiries to give your call centre the time to deal with more sales enquiries.

When people call you, they are generally serious about doing business with you. In fact, HubSpot reports that inbound telephone calls convert 10 times higher than clicks. Those people are primed and ready to convert at the moment they call you and you engage with them.

And take note that mobile is a major influence in this respect, as more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers. And those businesses that have implemented click-to-call functionality have made it much easier for customers to contact them at the press of a button using their mobile phones.

A little test: can you answer the following?

  • How many inbound calls does your website generate?
  • Do you know what type of calls they are and how many of each there are? (Are they for customer service, are they existing customers, or are they new customers?)
  • Which of your marketing channels deliver the highest number of calls?

That kind of information can be difficult to compile without a call-tracking solution. So, the first thing to do is to find one that suits your business.

Get a call tracking system

Call tracking systems range from assigning dedicated telephone numbers for each of your marketing channels, through to dynamic solutions that give keyword-level insights into where your calls are coming from.

There are even solutions to segment your calls by smart goals, such a length of the call, whether the customer bought something after making the call, and repeat customers.

Scrutinise your call data

Look at the type of inbound call you’re receiving; are they what you want, if not, why not? And, you need to decide what to do about those calls you really don’t want eating up your call centre time.

For example, if you’re receiving large numbers of calls from people asking questions about your website or products, then your website needs looking at.

Make sure you capture the questions they are asking—and the answers your call centre is giving, because that can provide useful insights. Use that knowledge to optimise your content.

There is a good chance that you can answer most product and service questions on the website directly (that means pre-empting questions by incorporating the answers within your content on the webpages themselves, rather than relying on a FAQ page).

With your website now providing the majority of answers, your call centre agents will have more time for handling sales enquiries.

Now, identify the channels that generate the most calls and calculate the cost of each call—are you happy with the return on investment (ROI)? Can you do more in the better performing channel(s) to scale up the call volumes without losing efficiency?

With all that taken care of, you can begin investigating how you can make your website work harder to deliver more inbound calls.

Practise the art of persuasion

We know that ethical persuasive psychology techniques can be excellent in convincing your website visitors to become your customers. And, that goes for both e-commerce and lead-generation websites.

Basic principles of persuasion, such as using social proof and scarcity among others, can work well.

However, they will only be effective when customers can actually see your telephone number. To get a clear view you must see what your visitors see; eye tracking will show you what actually gets noticed when people are looking at your website.

This is why just because your telephone number is on your page, it doesn’t mean it’s seen. Look at your page and ask yourself:

  • What else appears on your webpage and do those elements distract your visitors from doing what you want them to do?
  • Are you relying on your visitors to read the content?
  • How many of them actually read it?
  • What is the most important thing on the page you want visitors to find?
  • How quickly do they find it, and is it as quickly as you would like?

Answering the above will help you to decide which persuasive techniques will work to draw your visitor’s attention to your telephone number (for example, arrows, contrasting colours, etc.), and then apply persuasion to get them to make the call (for example, fear of missing out/scarcity/urgency).

Make it easy for your customers to call you

Now your visitors can see your telephone number and they’re convinced enough to call you, what can you do to make it easy for them to place their call? Try click-to-call functionality. This is particularly handy for mobile device users because all they have to do is tap the phone number on your website.

But, you need to test that it works on all devices, browsers and operating systems. You don’t want your red hot lead turning stone-cold simply because you’ve not optimised your functionality across the board.

Finally, don’t take chances with the optimisation improvements you’ve made by simply letting them loose on your website. Test them thoroughly to learn how effective they’ll be in helping your customers.

Eye tracking tests and other usability tests will provide you with useful data. And, that will give you further opportunities to fine tune your optimisations.