Using Technology to Enhance the Customer Connection

Using Technology to Enhance the Customer Connection

Our last two posts discussed the importance of connecting with customers through their preferred channel of communication. We know how important it is to meet the consumer at the right place during their buying journey, but we also want to discuss the value of integrating technology along the way to help create a seamless experience and increase conversions.

Reflecting over the last several years, marketers were apprehensive about including the URL on infomercials because they thought it would turn people away from purchasing. However, these customers were the information-seeking consumers who wanted to go to the website to learn more before buying. Now we’ve tapped into that new, discerning buyer, a demographic that buys differently than the impulsive buyer. They want to ask more questions and they want additional options for purchasing. It is the information age’s technology that helped create these new habits.

At ListenTrust, our goal is to understand the type of customer that is calling before we even pick up the phone. We want to know how likely they are to purchase so we can best route the call and keep overall costs down. As we aim to get the ratio of calls to conversions as low as possible, we often leverage smart routing tools through IVR. ListenTrust also operates as a performance-based center, meaning our customers only pay when we convert. So, as the marketer continues to drive calls, we implement the use of smart technology tools to continue driving conversions.

In this consumer landscape, it is also important to have additional ways for people to place an order, which is why we’ve become interested in the use of chatbots as another way to connect with customers on the internet, social media or via text. With chatbots, the system responds with predetermined conversation triggers, or users can get routed to a live agent if they need further assistance.

We’re a forward-thinking company that strives to find the best method of incorporating technology to help maximize ROI. Our main goal is to understand the consumer mindset and habits that indicate their purchase preferences and technology helps us do that in a way that greatly benefits both parties. When we learn how to, and only, handle callers who will purchase, we are more efficient for our clients and our company.

So how do we transition to meet the new buying habits of consumers? It’s something we should already be doing. The trend has manifested and we need to start looking at it that way, collaborating with each other along the way and launching campaigns to meet it head-on. 

Interested in testing it out? Contact Tom Sheppard, VP Business Development, at: tsheppard@listentrust.com.

What 10 years working with Non-Profits taught us.

What 10 years working with Non-Profits taught us.

This time of year, I am looking forward to attending the 12th Annual Bridge Conference in Maryland where I”ll meet with various nonprofits regarding their call center strategies. Having previously attended as Listen Up Español, we are excited to let our nonprofit colleagues know about our new services available in English and Spanish, as well to introduce them to our new company name and logo. 

ListenTrust has been working with the nonprofit industry for more than ten years and we have some tricks up our sleeves that really bolster nonprofit efficacy by helping them gain an increased number of loyal donors. While we previously only managed Spanish language calls for nonprofits targeting the U.S. Hispanic market, we are now taking calls in English throughout the United States and Mexico. As a trusted partner for Hispanic marketing and Direct Response television campaigns in Spanish, we’re now managing bilingual campaigns and we’re kicking butt in English. 

ListenTrust agents have the unique ability to help nonprofits increase their donor pool, a direct result of the effort we put into our intensive agent training process during the initial onboarding of our clients. To make the campaign work seamlessly and to make callers more comfortable, we intensively train our agents to adapt to the nuances of the nonprofit so they can become true brand ambassadors. We even send our agents to the client’s location to help fully integrate them into the nonprofit culture so they can master the brand messaging and reflect the mission and values of the organization as a true brand representative once they return to the center and begin taking donor calls. 

We have worked with nonprofits on various types of campaigns such as one-time radio campaigns, telethon events, ongoing donor campaigns or other events where there might be a spike in calls. To deliver the highest quality on each campaign, we even route calls based on agent performance, a strategy that helps us get more conversions by utilizing our best agents. 

As we implement these strategies, we always aim to be a flexible partner that helps our nonprofit clients gain donors and reach their fundraising goals in the most valuable way. 

Do you need help managing donation calls? Contact Randall Anderson, COO, at randerson@listentrust.com.

For more information, contact Tom Sheppard, VP Business Development, at: tsheppard@listentrust.com.

U.S. Emerging Markets and Non-Profits: The Millennial Connection

U.S. Emerging Markets and Non-Profits: The Millennial Connection

Millennials are young philanthropists? How will your nonprofit attract them?

The word “millennial” is one of the most used (and perhaps overused) terms of the past decade. Despite the popular narrative that the millennial generation is “lazy,” “entitled,” and “self-absorbed,” or that they are unable to purchase homes due to an affinity for avocado toast, marketers in every space are desperately trying to target them.

As it turns out, targeting millennials is more difficult than most might imagine. Millennials are fickle. As The Guardian pointed out in 2016, “millennials work to live rather than live to work.” We are looking at a generation driven by the desire to integrate work and life as opposed to the previous generation’s obsession with achieving a balance between the two. Millennials will sacrifice pay and security if employment conflicts with their beliefs.

About half of millennials globally have shunned work, and even potential employers, that conflict with their beliefs.” Deloitte’s Millennial Survey

They are particular in their interests, concerns, and lifestyle. According to the United States Census Bureau, millennials outnumber baby boomers, representing more than one-quarter of the United States’ total population, and they are far more diverse: 44.2 percent of millennials are part of a minority race or ethnic group.

As a result, the millennial generation has emerged as a dominant force in the marketplace, driving both the present and future of every industry.

Last month, we highlighted the need for nonprofits and businesses to target emerging markets, specifically the US/Hispanic market. Millennials are equally important, but are in general, overlooked within the nonprofit space.

Every business is asking the same question: how do we attract and convert the millennial audience? Nonprofits should ask the same.

Millennials are generous.

“One of the characteristics of millennials, besides the fact that they are masters of digital communication, is that they are primed to do well by doing good. Almost 70% say that giving back and being civically engaged are their highest priorities.” Lee Buchanan, Editor at Large, Inc. Magazine

In contrast to the self-centered stereotype baby boomers (and some millennials) have regarding this generation of digital natives, millennials are known to be generous givers. They build bridges across generational borders and have the potential to breathe new life into the work of the nonprofit sector.

Despite the odds stacked against them (this is the first cohort to earn less than their parents), they have built a connected global community and promote experimentation, the freedom to explore ideas, and, most importantly, they embrace the possibility of failure. This is a generation eager to experiment, fail, brush themselves off, and start over. It is because of this millennials will find success in solving the world’s problems, where previous generations have been unable.

And again, millennials are generous. They are the crowd-funding generation, accustomed to digital philanthropy with the goal of enacting change, for less. Nonprofits must turn their attention and marketing efforts toward these budding philanthropists and use their skills to create a broader, more effective reach.

“In 2014, 84 percent of millennial employees gave to a charitable cause, according to the Case Foundation’s Millennial Impact Report: 2015. Sure, boomers and Gen Xers are giving more in terms of dollars ($732 and $1,212 per year, respectively), but at an average of $481 given each year, millennials are quickly gaining influence over the philanthropic space.” Justin Wheeler for Forbes

How should nonprofits target the millennial audience?

It’s not that nonprofits haven’t tried to attract a millennial audience; it is that they haven’t found the sweet spot. Cracking the mysterious millennial mindset is difficult. Part of the issue lies in the generalization of millennials as one large group when in fact they are far from a homogenous demographic. According to the Boston Consulting Group, six distinct segments exist within this population.

Nonprofits are going to fail in their efforts to attract millennial donors if they continue to treat this group as a uniform demographic. To succeed, they must identify a target audience within the broader population of millennials and reach them with the right message, at the correct time, using the best platform. Creating an omnichannel marketing strategy, informed by analytics, allows nonprofits to determine the best channel to target their preferred millennial subset.

Joining together social media and direct response to attract millennials.

Millennials consume traditional television less than their older counterparts, but they spend a ton of time-consuming digital media both online and through social platforms. An expertly crafted direct response campaign that leverages video on digital platforms and social media to inspire a call is highly effective for nonprofits (and businesses) interested in marketing to millennials. The potent mixture of DR and social media works because it allows nonprofits to meet this generation on their preferred platforms. These consumers expect to benefit from following and engaging with brands on social media, and direct response marketing fills this need by encouraging them to take advantage of unique opportunities.

An attractive component of direct response is its ability to provide relevant data in real-time, encouraging actions that can be measured directly, allowing nonprofits to track conversions and quickly determine the effectiveness of their messaging. On social media, creating campaign-specific hashtags can also be an effective tactic to observe the efficacy of a campaign’s message and reach.

For any campaign to succeed, your nonprofit must partner with a skilled and optimized contact center.

Even the best direct response campaign will suffer if your contact center is unable to make a connection. Interacting with millennial callers takes skill and finesse; remember, this is a discerning generation with particular interests. If the experience you are providing at any point isn’t unique or engaging, your campaign will not succeed. And, you won’t have a second chance. Most millennials will turn their back on your nonprofit after just one poor customer experience.

Contact centers must deliver a seamless and positive experience with every call. It’s that simple. To do so, however, your contact center must be specially trained to tackle giving campaigns and to interact with a millennial audience. If you succeed in all aspects of your campaign, from the digital and social layer through to a call, millennials can be your most reliable ally, and they are willing to share a positive experience within social networks, making direct response a potent tool.

ListenTrust is optimized to create success in your millennial-focused campaigns.

Nonprofits willing to invest the time and effort necessary to identify and market to the right group of millennials will be handsomely rewarded. ListenTrust has an experienced and dedicated team of experts ready to tackle your millennial-focused campaign. Get in touch if you’d like to learn more.

For more information, contact Tom Sheppard, VP Business Development, at: tsheppard@listentrust.com.

Capitalize on your Digital Sales & Marketing Strategies with Human Connection

Capitalize on your Digital Sales & Marketing Strategies with Human Connection

We recently spent 3 days in San Diego attending one of the best marketing events of the year: the Traffic and Conversion Summit 2019.

It’s an action-packed 3 days with over 6,000 attendees, 100+ sessions and more than 80 speakers. From digital advertisers to growth hackers, everything you needed to know about marketing in 2019 was at #TCS2019.

Digital Paired with Human Connection

While digital transformation has brought many valuable marketing tools and tactics to the forefront, whether for product sales or for lead and demand generation campaigns, most customers still tend to trust people more than they trust machines. Many people still feel there’s something to be said for talking to a person who can understand a situation, especially the emotion involved. Most people still prefer to have the option of contacting customer service via phone, more than they use any other channel, and especially if other “non-human” options are not effective at resolving a concern the first (or second or third..) time.

It’s How, Not When

Having a person involved in the customer nurturing process, in addition to customer service, can be a game-breaking tactic. There is no exact time in every sales funnel (or post-sales) that promises success, but it is important that you have a touch point option or a person to person interaction proactively inserted into your prospective or current clients’ experience.

They probably have been using digital tools to gather information and formulate an opinion on a product or service, and they may be well on their way to deciding on a purchase. A live person added in that process has the agility to point to customer value and adjust the benefits according to a certain customer’s needs as well as overcome objections much more effectively than a non-human method. This may just be the missing ingredient you need to deliver that win.

Success Story

Whether you are an established company looking to boost sales, expand with current customers or a start-up that has underestimated the amount of initial interest your campaign might generate, there is always a need and even important value-add to proactively integrate a human touch point to help reach your goals.

Check out this recent success story where ListenTrust:

  • Managed extremely high and unexpected call volume
  • Addressed customer concerns
  • Boosted Customer retention
  • Freed up the client’s exec team to build and scale their business
  • And most importantly saved them money

For more information, contact Tom Sheppard, VP Business Development, at: tsheppard@listentrust.com.