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Customer calls: Using call insights en masse for better marketing

Good data is the lifeblood of effective marketing. Not only is it hard to obtain good data, but once we get it, we are often overwhelmed by the volume and the number of things that we can do with it. Calls with customers are one of the richest sources of insight that we’ll get, yet this data is very rarely used effectively.

We’ll examine three call data strategies that every marketer should be aware of, to inspire you to get started. Then watch the full masterclasses with call-data expert, Blair Symes to learn how to make the most of call data in your organization.

Marketing starts with understanding customers. As marketers our job is to gather every data point we can, to understand who our customers are and then clearly communicate these insights with the rest of our business. Marketing makes the customers real, bringing their needs and desires to live and helping businesses more effectively serve them.

Content produced in collaboration with DialogTech.

Finding valuable insights in our customer data

Historically, we’d get our insights from quantitative surveys and qualitative focus groups, often analyzed and interpreted by research companies. But in the digital age, modern marketers must continually search for further sources of customer data, particularly as consumers embrace new technologies and as new measurement and analytics tools emerge. There is now more data available than ever before. We can be overwhelmed with the volume of data and insights that we can already glean from social media and Google analytics. The challenge now has become, how do we find the signal in the noise?

Segmentation is a useful exercise to group customers by shared interests, profiles or needs. When we have enough data, we can start to identify patterns and natural groupings, we can start to build personas, or archetypal individuals who represent each segment such as ‘Soccer Mom Susan’, or ‘Consultant Kate’. Once we have these personas, we can introduce them to the rest of the company. When the whole of the company knows who Gary and Susan are, it becomes a whole lot easier to explain marketing campaigns, and of course to then get them implemented successfully.

We should be constantly evolving our personas, because our customers are constantly evolving. We should be looking for any other insights that will help understand how they are changing. But rather than passively researching, we should be actively generating and testing hypotheses about our personas that we can validate with real data.

The best consumer insights I’ve ever had have come from listening to actual conversations on customer calls.

Every marketer should listen in on calls, as regularly as possible. The more senior you are, the more important it is to listen in and stay connected to your customers.

But what do you do with these insights? They are valuable, but their value immediately depreciates if you don’t action those insights. At a minimum we should be tabulating these insights and updating our personas, but you start to get real value when you can add these insights into your CRM and marketing automation tools and start to adjust your marketing campaigns based on these insights.

Diligent marketers spend time capturing these insights and adding them to their CRM, but the challenge then becomes how do we scale this process when the volume of data increases? As businesses grow, so do the number of customer calls, both sales calls and customer service and it becomes too time consuming to listen in to each and every call. Marketing teams become overwhelmed. This source of consumer insight ‘gold dust’ is left unsifted.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been exploring exactly this challenge with Blair Symes from DialogTech.

You can watch the two webinars we’ve done that explain more:

Here are three strategies for using call data to make your marketing more effective

Watch the full webinars for more insight and case studies on each.

1. Reduce cost per acquisition (CPA)

An increasing number of customers are calling directly from mobile, after clicking on a search ad. This gives you the opportunity to gather a tonne of useful information, particularly what message resonated best and what finally convinced them to buy from you. As you start to build up data about successful conversions to sale, you should start to see some patterns emerge that you can use to identify which campaigns/ messages are most effective. At the same time, you can also look at the ads that were effective at driving calls, but that didn’t convert.

Being able to see the journey from ad, to call to conversion, allows you to identify the best performing ads, to refine and to optimize spend.

2. Change the language we use when talking to customers

Language can make all the difference to sales conversion. From the message used in the original ad, to the landing page, and the script your sales teams use, language has the power to significantly affect your ROI. The good news is that by listening in to your customer calls, you can start to record the language that you customers are using. This can then inform the language you use in your ads, landing pages, IVR and sales scripts.

The most powerful example is from handling objections: Listen to the language the customer uses when they’re talking through their concerns (objections) prior to converting. Then use that language earlier in your sales script to pro-actively manage their concerns, or add a new video, whitepaper or FAQ on your landing page specifically about those particular concerns.

Understanding and reflecting the language that customers use, helps make all of your communication more effective, more natural sounding for your customers and inspires the production of useful and relevant content.

3. Identify audience segments and activate externally

Developing audience personas not only brings our customers to life, but it helps us group them and prepare specific messages and campaigns based around a common need or interest. Our calls are full of information that we should collect to build up detailed profiles, for example: demographics, income, marital/ family/ work status, geographic location, interests. It could also be that we know if they’ve bought from us in the past, or maybe they’re browsing but haven’t purchase yet.

Once we’ve built up these audience segments, we can target and re-target them with messages that are relevant or highly targeted offers and promotions based on what we know they’re interested in. This targeting can be done through social advertising and paid search, as well as being activated through display platforms. When you start to see results, then you may want to look at building ‘look a like’ audiences to extend the reach of your campaign.

By understanding more about our customer segments, we can create highly targeted campaigns with significantly improved performance.

The problem of volume in customer calls

Those are just a few examples,that Blair explains in more detail in the webinars. You can see that there is a lot of potential to capture data and generate insight from your calls, but the problem of volume persists: How can we listen in on thousands of calls and extract anything meaningful. Luckily, that’s where machine learning comes to the rescue.

DialogTech was developed specifically to help record all your incoming calls, and then to process those calls using AI, to extract meaning. It’s a perfect example of AI helping marketers with the challenge of finding a signal in the noise. Once you’ve identified some patterns, or profiles, then DialogTech integrates with your activation platform (such as Facebook or Kenshoo) so that you can put those insights to use straight away and start to increase the performance of your campaigns.

Watch the webinars to learn more about this fascinating subject and hear how DialogTech are using AI to help marketers make the most of their call data.

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