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.

Direct Response Television Marketing: Still a Valuable Tool.

Direct Response Television Marketing: Still a Valuable Tool.

Digital marketing is all the rage but there is still a place for DRTV. 

Marketing has been a part of the sales process as long as people have been selling things. Tactics and tools have evolved, but the need remains the same. Newspapers required newsboys, product manufacturers in the early 20th century needed traveling salesmen, and today, applications require app stores.

Having a great product or service has never been enough. If people don’t know who you are, or what you sell, they can’t make a purchase. History’s greatest brands would never be successful without clever marketing. Regardless of industry, finding new and innovative ways to build awareness is priority number one.

Direct Response Television Marketing: still a valuable tool.

Marketing, in the last 30 years, has relied heavily on television. Before the explosion of social media marketing, Google ad campaigns, and all other digital marketing tools and practices, TV served as the most effective platform for driving brand awareness and sales. And television, despite many marketers insistence to the contrary, is still a valuable tool in your marketing toolkit- it merely needs to be understood and used effectively to produce relevant results.

Fact: The first recorded use of Television as a marketing tool was in 1941 when Bulova Watch Company ran a 10-second spot in New York that was viewed by roughly 4,000 people. The ad cost only $4.00 to create.

Though the ways we consume media have changed, TV maintains its position as the most effective medium for advertising. In fact, Nielsen ratings show, the average American watches roughly 5 hours of television per day. With an audience this large, TV can rapidly scale the reach needed to grow a business. This is true despite the pervasiveness of new digital tools and consumption methods. People’s perception of Direct Response Television Marketing (DRTV), however, formed by the less-than-compelling “infomercials” of the past, is not an accurate representation of the current Direct Response marketplace.

Today’s digital tools have been implemented alongside Direct Response with positive results. Savvy marketers are combining DRTV with Google AdWords to improve search rankings after an aired TV advertisement, bumping online ads to the top of search results. Mobile video is also being used as an extension of Direct Response, inspiring conversions, and engaging a target audience who might watch television less frequently.

DRTV has transformed since the era of late-night infomercials. To be successful, however, the medium must be understood.

“Over the last 8 years, all the new, non-TV things: Facebook, phones, YouTube, and Netflix have only cut about an hour per day from the dizzying amount of TV that the average household watches. Americans are still watching more than 7 hours and 50 minutes per household per day.” Alexis C. Madrigal for The Atlantic

Understanding Direct Response.

Direct Response provides real-time data, loyalty-building customer experiences, and measurable ROI. It’s all about seeing results RIGHT NOW. And, it works. Why then, are so many contact centers no longer providing support for Direct Response campaigns? The answer to this question is relatively simple. While the components of DRTV are basic, there are critical, mistake-prone areas.

Despite the continued popularity of classic television, it has grown more difficult to make Direct Response TV campaigns a success. There’s just no guarantee it will work. Additionally, the level of difficulty, investment of both time and money, and heavy-lift required to get a campaign live are all deterring factors to most businesses as well as to contact centers, many of which have provided support in the past for DRTV campaigns.

If the initial test doesn’t work, you’ve made a substantial investment of time and money with no payoff.

Additional reading: PBS profiles a failed DRTV test campaign. 

Before a business sets out to test television response and acquisition, the test must be built appropriately to deliver effective and measurable results. An ineffective and poorly planned test might have you rejecting a valuable marketing channel.

Potential challenges aside, businesses willing to make the investment in Direct Response television marketing, when partnered with an experienced contact center, are seeing near-immediate ROI and more importantly, accelerated customer acquisition and higher retention.

“If you aren’t using DRTV your company is missing out. Companies that run multimillion-dollar advertising campaigns without DRTV leave a big piece of pie on the table for their competitors to eat up. DRTV provides a distinct channel of communication and distribution that supplements any current marketing program already in place. And it does so without cannibalizing any other media.” HubSpot

What’s the key to success with Direct Response? Partnering with an experienced and optimized contact center. 

Your commercial and media might be perfectly executed, but if the contact center providing support for your DRTV promotion isn’t optimized to handle the campaign, failure is guaranteed. The contact center you’ve partnered with might be missing calls, literally not picking up the phone. For any Direct Response campaign to be successful, your business must partner with DRTV specialists. Due to the challenges inherent to Direct Response from a call center perspective, effort must be put into optimizing results from the beginning.

ListenTrust puts in the hours and work required to optimize your DRTV campaign from the start, even with a test. We tune and maximize every call received, and we won’t shy away from taking on new test campaigns, a rarity in the DRTV call center space.

Contact center staffing is another component of success in optimizing for Direct Response TV. The model is challenging, no doubt. Call centers must staff based on the anticipated response, including evenings, overnight, and weekends. With over 12 years of experience in Direct Response, we’ve dialed-in our approach to appropriate staffing for DRTV, and we are stronger today than ever before.

Staffing aside, agent quality is yet another critical success factor. Many outsourced contact centers employ a remote workforce. While positive from a staffing perspective, agent quality is drastically reduced. Operating a brick and mortar contact center gives us complete control over the quality of our agents and the ongoing training they receive.

If agents don’t establish trust and connection leading to an outstanding customer experience, your campaign will fail. It’s that simple. When your business invests $20-$100,000 (or more) on a DRTV test, you want to be sure your contact center partner is optimized from the start. ListenTrust is that partner.

ListenTrust: committed to the Direct Response space, while supporting the omnichannel digital experience and US/Hispanic market. 

The convergence of online and offline advertising platforms is a potent mixture for brands willing to take a calculated risk. There are compelling arguments for combining data-driven digital marketing practices with Direct Response television campaigns. We are highly committed to Direct Response and have the necessary capabilities to maximize this channel, but we are also capable of providing support for the omnichannel digital experience.

ListenTrust, as a healthy contact center with over 12 years in the Direct Response space, has the resources necessary to provide the essential contact center support to your DRTV marketing campaigns.

Let’s start a conversation: get in touch.

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.