The lead generation industry, including call centers and IT leaders, united at Contact.io in San Francisco last month to reflect on call marketing. Attendees from all companies discussed generating more call volume through strategic campaigns, infrastructure, and more.
This new first annual LeadsCon event sparked many central discussions around the call ecosystem, but there were four main trends that stuck out in particular to the Higher Ed Growth team.
1. Call Verified Lead Generation
High quality leads are always a challenge with only around 7 to 14 percent of leads driving true conversions. However, industry leaders at Contact.io reconfirmed that call verified lead generation is not only here to stay but is probably one of the better products for lead buyers. When compared to web-generated leads, call verified creates an opportunity for prospects to opt in and increases lead-to-buyer conversions. Meaningful interactions with prospects offer an edge over the competition and nudge potential buyers through the sales funnel. In addition to being higher quality, call verified leads also reduce risk for lead buyers and better meet strict regulations, like TCPA compliance.
2. The Future of Phones
While email, social media, and other modern communications methods are on the rise, customers still expect to be able to speak to an agent, or a human, on the phone in certain situations. One study even found that the phone is still the top channel preference for customer service interaction. A whopping 80 percent preferred voice to any other option and 48 percent said they used it the most to interact with company support. Email was the second highest channel, with 34 percent.
Although phone support is preferred, customers do not want to be placed on hold. Instead, 75 percent would like the opportunity to receive a call back from a representative. Expectations for voice communications are evolving, but it certainly doesn’t seem as though the phone call will be disappearing from lead generation any time soon.
3. Advanced Customer Service and Communications
On the heels of this attention to phone calls, there are a number of innovative technology solutions that companies can use to improve customer communications.
Back-end tools offer advanced call routing and data transmission. Automatic call distribution (ACD) is one such example. Contact centers can define tiered call routing and streamline incoming traffic to the appropriate destinations.
Call-scraping tools offer the ability to extract analytical value from call audio.
Call center agent tools provide agent support and improve efficiency, accuracy, and the overall end-user experience.
4. All-in-One Lead Gen Solutions
Another common theme was a move from in-house tech solutions to all-in-one solutions, specifically for education lead generation. Such tools simplify and streamline complex contact center processes and systems. The turnkey platforms include everything from data collection and agent scripting to automated reporting. In addition to saving time, many contact centers have garnered additional lead generation campaign benefits, like reducing no-match rates. In fact, according to data from our EduMaximizer solution, these all-in-one tools can reduce contact center call times by 19 percent and increase match rates by as much as 26 percent.
One thing was made pretty clear at Contact.io: Call marketing is a revenue-generating activity. Phone and voice technologies have been around for some time now, but this form of communication is still central to the lead generation process. And as customer expectations continue to evolve, call marketing will, too.