I know you won’t believe me, but it’s true.
Recently, we wrote about phone call tracking. The point being that it gives very strong data about conversions from landing pages when the call to action is to ‘p.p.p.p.pick up the phone’.
Interestingly, this has now cropped up again as a subject for discussion on SearchEngineLand.
Let’s ask why consumers might call a number, rather than send an email or complete a form. The article above fails to address the issue from a consumer point of view, instead looking at all the reasons why the industry has ignored phone calls to date and why there is now a resurgence of the humble call.
As a consumer, how many times have you emailed an enquiry to a company and then not received a response? Not received a timely response? Or not received *any* response? Ditto with forms on websites. You complete the form, which is often far more lengthy than it need be, and you hit ‘submit’. You get an error and are thrown back to the previous page, yet now all the fields are blank. UGH!
Having cursed all coders under the sun for that last primary school error, which are you most likely to do:
a) just return to a search engine and seek another company offering a similar deal?
b) start all over again completing the form and pray that this time it will actually be delivered and that there isn’t another bug in the system that has failed without informing you?
Now, let’s look at it a different way, but still from the consumer’s point of view.
You are looking for a particular item, to be delivered by the weekend, and the first website you fall over clearly has the item in stock (great landing page, BTW, it took you straight to what you were looking for!), they can deliver in 2-3 days guaranteed (force majeure excepted), and have the item at a price you are prepared to pay.
You have Skype or similar installed, and the only call to action on that page is “Call this number and order today”. No alternatives. Just call. No email address, no online web form, although there is obviously clear navigation to the rest of the site.
You click and the phone call is initiated. Within moments you are through to a lovely receptionist who, within literally moments, has taken down and double checked your address, your order and removed a reasonably substantial amount of your money from your account on your instructions.
Two days later, the item you wished for is on your doorstep and is precisely what you had anticipated.
Next time you try online shopping, having been more than happy with your last purchase, and less than happy with other companies’ failures to answer emails, respond to forms etc, will you be:
a) More confident using the phone to order
b) Less confident
Each time a company gets it right by having well-trained staff to answer the phones, a back-end system that confirms the product is in stock, processes the order, and ensures that is sent out to the customer’s spec, that customer will use the phone.
Any company who starts ensuring that their phone answering process is up to scratch, and PROMOTING THAT FACT publicly, will begin to win out as customers feel let down by technology and revert to the one thing that they can rely on – the goold old telephone.