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7 Ways to Improve the Call Experience for Multi-Location Businesses

min read
7 Ways to Improve the Call Experience for Multi-Location Businesses

Multi-location businesses like automotive dealerships, home improvement services, and healthcare providers should all strive to be like McDonald's. The goal isn’t to have the best french fries but to have the same excellent french fry experience at every location. Unfortunately, we’re not talking about real fries here — though I won’t stop anyone if they want to try to beat the Golden Arches — for these businesses the fries are the experience that customers receive when they call. A great call experience is good, but a consistently amazing call experience across every location is what drives customer loyalty, trust, and ultimately, revenue growth. 

The Problem: Multi-Location Businesses Lack a Centralized View of Call Quality

The experience that customers get on the phone is just as important as the online experience that preceded the call, if not more so. This is their first point of human contact when making an important and likely expensive purchase decision, and this call needs to inspire confidence and trust at every turn. When someone calls to get more information, a quote, or to set an appointment, the person who answers the phone becomes the face of the brand — and they can make or break the sale and your reputation. 

While it’s easy for corporate entities to create a consistent online experience for every business location, creating and monitoring the experience customers get when they call is more challenging because of the distributed locations and management. 

Management at each location has a lot more going on than just listening to what everyone is saying when they talk to customers on the phone, and even if there was someone who could listen to every phone call, there’s still no centralized view for anyone from regional managers to the corporate office. When you can’t listen to everyone, and you don’t all have a shared view, you can’t be consistent.

The solution lies in conversation intelligence solutions like Invoca for Multi-Location CX, which provides a centralized view of 100% of the calls that are going to every business location. Here are seven ways you can use conversation intelligence to improve the call experience across all your business locations.

1. Establish Criteria and KPIs for Phone Call Handling Effectiveness

Before you can launch into improving the call experience, you have to determine what successful call handling looks like for your business. A good first step is to take a page from the call center book and develop a call script. The script should contain all of the elements that are required to create a welcoming experience for the caller and also works toward your call outcome goals. A simple example of what a good call script contains:

  1. Warm greeting: Customers should feel immediately welcomed and cared for when they call, and know that they called the right place. How many times have you called a business and they just say “hello,” leaving you wondering if you even dialed the right number and forcing you to ask if you did. Not a great start to a relationship, right? An example of a warm greeting is “Thank you for calling Joe’s Excellent Auto Repair, this is Leena, how can I help you today?”
  2. Ask for information: We all get disconnected sometimes, and having the customer’s contact information makes it easy to call back when the inevitable mobile phone folly happens. Even simply asking for the caller’s name makes them feel like you care about them as an individual. 
  3. Mention promotions: With inflation hammering down on consumers, many are shopping on price, and offering special promotions can help earn their business. 
  4. Ask for the sale: Whether your goal is to schedule appointments, give quotes, or complete sales, the person answering the phone should drive the action simply by asking something like “Can we put a quote together for you?”      

Before you start scoring calls on your criteria, you should also establish KPIs for call handling. These could include:

  • The result you are looking for (appointment, quote, sale, etc.)
  • Sales call opportunity rate (e.g. how many calls are leads vs. calls for general information)
  • Sales call conversion rate (how many opportunities convert)
  • Call resolution time (How long it takes to complete a call with a lead)

Once you have your call script criteria down, then you can begin tracking and measuring calls and testing script performance. 

2. Track and Measure Calls Going to Your Locations

Improving call handling performance starts with tracking and measuring the calls going to each of your locations. With a conversation intelligence solution like Invoca for Multi-Location CX, you can view real-time and historical reports on calls to every location. With complete visibility into call volumes, caller intent, and call outcomes across individual locations, you can adjust staffing and procedures, and even optimize digital marketing to drive more calls to the right locations at the right times. 

You can also track and reduce missed calls by using data to inform staffing or by having Invoca forward unanswered calls to available staff, locations, or contact centers. Some calls will still go unanswered, so Invoca’s Lost Sales Recovery solution includes real-time dashboards and reports that give you the ability to prioritize your missed sales calls by combining your call data with other critical data like digital intent and sales call quality so you can isolate and re-engage your highest intent callers. You can even have missed call notifications automatically sent to employees on Slack for quick follow-up on high-value calls.

3. Improve the Online Experience to Deflect Low-Value Calls

When you start analyzing your inbound calls, you’ll get insight into why people are calling. This can provide the data you need to improve your online experiences and reduce the number of low-value calls coming to your business locations. For example, if a lot of people are calling to ask for your address or directions, you can add a Google Maps link to the web pages they’re calling from and make sure your Google Business Profile is up to date. 

If people are calling with simple questions or to complete transactions that they should be able to complete online, it’s a good sign that the messaging on your website needs to be updated or there’s an issue with your site that needs to be resolved. 

By using call data to improve the online experience, you’ll reduce the call volume going to your stores, allowing them to focus more of their energy on providing great experiences for revenue-driving callers. And you’re also meeting your customers where they are and allowing them to buy through their preferred channel.    

4. Deliver Frictionless Call Experiences  

When your potential customers call, they want to speak to the right person at the right location right away. The Invoca Buyer Experience Report showed that 74% of people have hung up after being placed on hold and 79% report their call being transferred at least once. You don’t want to frustrate your leads before they even have a chance to talk to anyone. 

To create a frictionless call experience for your customers at every location, you can use Invoca for Multi-Location CX to:

  • Route calls based on digital intent: With Invoca, you can use all the first-party intent data captured during a consumer’s digital journey — things like Google search keywords, website clickstream data, caller location, and other unique digital identifiers — and use that to inform call routing in real time. Understanding your callers’ intent before they call can help them bypass the IVR and get connected to the right location the first time around, so they’ll be more likely to convert.
  • Create easy-to-navigate conversational IVRs: Invoca makes it easy to create and modify voice-based IVRs. It’s made for non-technical users so you can create your own intuitive IVR and make changes to it without involving IT or telephony vendors.
  • Reduce missed calls with sequential routing: With Invoca you can route calls to a list of numbers sequentially, simultaneously, or via round robin until someone answers.
  • Keypress for SMS: If you want to redirect customers to book appointments or complete other actions online, you can add an option to your IVR to send the customer a text message with a link to your desired landing page.

When you make it easy for your customers to get a hold of you, they know that it will be easy to do business with you. 

5. Score 100% of Calls with Automated Call Quality Assurance

Call QA goes beyond managers coaching employees. It’s the entire strategy and methodology of monitoring call handling quality that ensures everyone who calls receives a consistent, positive experience and that your people can efficiently convert callers into customers

Many multi-location businesses and franchises don’t do call QA at all, some rely on mystery shoppers, and others only analyze a small fraction of calls. This limited visibility of the calls going to your stores makes it impossible to effectively coach employees to provide better experiences and close more leads on the phone. 

Automating call monitoring and scoring with conversation intelligence software enables you to create a scalable and repeatable QA process. Better yet, it frees you from searching for problems so you have the time to focus on strategies that don’t just provide consistent service, but continually improved service. Just imagine if every time you called a business, your experience actually got better! You’d probably be a customer for life. 

Automating your call monitoring and scoring enables you to provide that always-better experience for your customers and accelerate revenue generated by all your business locations. Read this post to learn more about how it works

6. Empower People and Locations with Call Coaching

Once you can QA and score 100% of your calls in an objective way, you can begin using that data to coach your agents. Traditionally, sales coaching tends to be a one-way street where managers tell salespeople what they’re doing wrong and how to improve. This isn’t just inefficient, it’s a demoralizing experience for employees who just feel like they’re constantly being micromanaged. 

This is the normal state of agent coaching because the scoring tools are usually only accessible to corporate leaders or regional managers, or it’s handed down from a third-party firm or analytics team. 

Invoca for Multi-Location CX puts the power to level-up performance in the hands of those on the ground in the stores by allowing them to view call scorecards, transcripts, and recordings themselves. This means they can spot areas to improve and even “self-coach” their way to better close rates. Supervisors and QA leaders can share comments and coaching tips with agents, sales management, and even other locations through the Invoca platform, so collaboration is seamless and feedback arrives quickly.

7. Incentivize Success 

The great thing about using conversation intelligence to QA and score your call handling is that the scoring is performed by AI, so it’s objective and far more accurate than spot-checking calls or using mystery shoppers who may have an ax to grind. 

To promote self-guided improvement, you can set up leaderboards to track who has the most 100% scores and even promote some friendly competition across locations for which store has the highest call scores to promote teamwork and collaboration. You can award high-scoring employees with bonuses or free days off, and put up free lunches or cocktail parties for high-performing stores. When there is a reward in sight for performance, it’s more likely that everyone will give it their all. 

Schedule a personalized consultation to learn more about Invoca for Multi-Location CX.

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