“People are starting a revolution. They’re saying to major brands: if I’m making a considered purchase, I want to speak with you.” A revolution? Of course Irv Shapiro would say that–after all, he’s CEO of DialogTech (formerly Ifbyphone), a major call analytics and automation vendor, which today launches a marketing solution for inbound mobile calls.
But then he produced a statistic which had me paying attention. Some 76 billion phone calls to businesses were driven from mobile channels in 2014, a number projected by analysts at BIA Kelsey to rise to 162 billion in 2019. Yes, that will be growth of 114 percent, and makes the term “revolution” look like an understatement.
If that news blindsided you, think in common sense terms about how people are shopping, now that smartphones are rapidly becoming the device of choice for retail transactions. When desktop- and laptop-based eCommerce ruled the roost, it was easy enough for prospective customers to go to their shopping basket, fill in delivery and payment details, and hit buy. Not so much fun on a four inch screen.
For Shapiro, it’s partly about human contact, partly about the path of least resistance. “People are making phone calls again,” he said, because they still like person-to-person transactions (eCommerce is still a minor channel in the United States, for all its touted growth). But not least because “they’ll place a phone call in preference to banging out a form with their thumbs.”
Click-and-call, of course, prompts many questions marketers will want to answer. What drove the call? Where is the caller located? Do we have other data about the caller? Armed with contextual information of that kind, the call can be routed to the right representative. And that’s what DialogTech is promoting with the launch today of DialogTech for Mobile Marketing. The main features of the product are:
- The ability to track, control, and optimally direct inbound calls from any mobile source.
- The provision of analytics for Google paid search call extensions (the “call” buttons seen in Google Adwords ads)., with keyword-level call attribution data.
- The use of cell tower data to geo-locate callers.
- A tool for transcribing and analyzing call content (Conversation Insight).
- Integration with third party CRM, bid management, and other systems.
As for geo-location, Shapiro explained the benefits of being able to route calls by location of origin within a call center where representatives are responsible for different regions. It can also help franchise-owners to re-route calls from the center to relevant franchisees.
DialogTech does not, however, consult on in-center organization, Shapiro told me. Brands need to be prepared internally for the robust increase in mobile call traffic. “Marketing departments need to find a way to embrace it,” he said, especially because inbound callers represent highly engaged leads, converting to purchasers at ten times the rate of web leads.