Your business makes a lot of sales from inbound phone calls. You spend a sizable portion of your marketing budget on campaigns that drive those calls. But are you taking advantage of all the first-party customer data that’s pouring into your call center? Many marketers are taking advantage of the wealth of insights that can be derived from customer conversations, so if you neglect this data source, you’ll soon be behind the competition.
Of course, getting at and utilizing this data isn’t as easy as sticking your head into the door of the call center and listening to what’s going on. Here are some common hurdles that marketers encounter when building a first-party data strategy around call center data and how you can solve them by using a conversation intelligence solution.
The main problem most marketers face in getting first-party data from customer conversations is a lack of access to the data. Wherever the calls are being handled—whether that’s a contact center, individual dealers or locations or stores—most marketers are unlikely to be close to it. Literally, in the sense that the contact center or retail location isn’t usually in the same building or even in the same state. And figuratively in that the silos that separate marketing, contact center operations, and sales operations at the sales agent level are pretty hard to break through. I’m no gambling man, but I can pretty safely say that I can give $20 to every marketer who reads this who knows their contact center manager’s name and I’ll be out $20 bucks, max.
On top of the physical and business barriers that are keeping you from discovering this treasure trove of first-party customer data, your contact center might not be collecting the data you need anyway. While they may be recording phone calls, 1,000 terabytes of call recordings in a pile won’t do you much good. They may also be recording what calls became sales in the CRM somewhere, but they are not likely getting any marketing data on the source of the call that you can use for attribution and optimization. So when it comes to getting customer conversation data from the call center, you might be on your own.
Since there are usually few lines of communication in place between whoever handles customer sales calls, contact center data, and marketing, you have to build those lines yourself. But how do you do that without drawing the ire of those running the contact center or having to battle through their bureaucracy? The great thing about conversation intelligence platforms like Invoca is that it does not disrupt or change contact center operations at all and you don’t need to work directly with that team to implement it if you don’t want to. Of course, it’s ideal if you do, but we don’t live in an ideal world, do we?
To get up and running and start tracking calls with Invoca all you have to do is drop the Invoca Tag on your website. From there, the platform can automatically detect static phone numbers on your website and replace them with dynamic phone numbers. This means that every customer who comes to your website sees a unique phone number, and this is what allows you to track the calls and gather data from the digital customer journey that preceded the call. Watch this video to see how you can track and attribute calls with dynamic phone numbers:
Once the customer is connected to the contact center, dealer, or location, the call can be analyzed by AI-powered tools like Invoca Signal AI and Signal Discovery to detect and report when conversions happen and gain even more insight into your customer’s behavior. Through integrations with marketing platforms like Google Analytics and Google Ads, Salesforce, Hubspot, Adobe Experience Cloud, or any other martech tool you can think of, you can take action on this data in real time.
There are times where marketers have access to conversion data from the contact center, but rarely does that occur in real time. Unless the “real” is for “real slow.” We have customers who have attempted to get call data this way, but it never works out well. Visiqua, a performance marketing agency, used to get its call disposition data from its clients to see how well their pay-per-call campaigns were performing. It could take up to 90 days for them to see the outcomes of the calls they were driving. “By that time, call disposition isn’t very meaningful, and it doesn’t help if we want to make optimizations to a campaign.”
If you’re not getting call analytics data in real time, it’s virtually useless. Stale three-month-old data cannot be used to optimize campaign performance, retarget missed opportunities, or suppress ads to customers who have converted.
By implementing a conversation intelligence platform like Invoca, you can solve the data latency problem once and for all. The second a caller hangs up you can deliver call outcome data (e.g. if it was a sale, appointment set, quote give, support call, etc.) to your martech stack to take the next best action. One common example of this is delivering conversion data to Google Ads Smart Bidding to continually optimize your paid search campaigns in real time. The keyword data from the campaign which drove the call along with the call disposition data (whether a conversion happened or not) is streamed to Smart Bidding to make automatic adjustments so you get more money behind the keywords that drive sales and cut spending to the ones that don’t.
Our customers at eHealth used Invoca to optimize their paid search ads to realize a 60% reduction in click-to-call CPA and a 20% increase in conversion rate. Check out their case study here or watch this video to see how they did it.
Of course, you may be doing the contact center a favor by implementing Invoca, as they may be facing the same delays in accessing conversation data. In many cases, contact center managers don’t have direct access to data about calls or even the call recordings. They have to go through QA and data analytics teams to get the data and recordings they need to score calls, do call handling QA, or spot-check for compliance. With Invoca, the contact center can also analyze 100% of the calls they receive to automate scoring, QA, and compliance and get all that sweet, sweet call data as soon as the call ends. Not days or weeks later.
Say that you lived in a magical world where coffee and pastries were free every morning, the work week is three days long, and the contact center will let you access as much call data as you want. But it’s all in spreadsheets. Hey, there are tradeoffs, even in perfect magical worlds, okay? You can create pivot tables and import data manually into your CRM and ad platforms every single night. Okay, there goes the three- day work week. Or you can batch it weekly, and risk working with old data. And now you’re really going to need the coffee and pastries to keep you up on Friday night while you’re importing data into five different platforms while your co-workers are at home making cocktails and laughing at your poor fortunes. This isn't real data integration and it doesn’t work in the real world.
What really makes using conversation intelligence software awesome is that you can take real-time action on the data by integrating it with your existing tech stack and streaming the data virtually anywhere you’d like. Invoca has over 50 available native integrations and If you use and Invoca’s webhook functionality and exhaustive API documentation makes it possible to integrate Invoca data with nearly any platform you can imagine.
Everyone is hopping on the first-party data train, but what can marketers actually do with customer conversation data? Here are just a few use cases: