You may think this headline is controversial, because after all, everyone shops online now, and phone calls are like so 2000s.We can’t deny that 80% of people in the UK now shop online. With that comes the various communication channels that the younger generations prefer to use, email, web chat, social media, etc. However, baby boomers, the silent generation and gen-Xers are still out there. They account for 33.85 million people and potential customers in the UK. It’s these generations that are telling us that the good old telephone and making phone calls is not dead yet! Of course, many marketing managers will tell you that in order to get more sales you need to concentrate your efforts on driving traffic to your website and improving your click-through rate. All you hear is metrics, metrics, metrics! But, this narrow focus not only assumes that digital communication is king but neglects the core basis of quality customer service – human interaction.
Customers Are Real PeopleFundamentally, as human beings, we need to know that we feel valued as people, and as customers. No one wants to be a number on an invoice or the newest lead with pound signs on their head! A friendly voice and a personable service can be worth more than you think. And this is where the trusty telephone and making phone calls takes centre stage. The proof as always can be found by asking your customers directly, and marketing moguls Hubspot and Marketing Sherpa did just that. Their research uncovered that leads from online form completion only converted leads to customers 2% of the time. This makes it clear that limiting your efforts by giving digital contact 100% of your attention is not the best marketing strategy.
Reviewing The ResearchThe advisory service BIA Kelsey has made it their business to know what’s going on in the world of marketing. Their research has revealed that 64% of small to medium businesses find phone calls convert better than any other lead source – inclusive of foot traffic. Further collated data shows that between 25-40% of inbound calls turn into paying customers. That equates to a conversion of as much as 12 x more than web leads. These figures are compelling. They indicate that when your inbound calls are answered by a customer service professional a conversion is probable. But for a small to medium business, staffing phones can be unaffordable. However, that’s not the case with Pocket Receptionist’s call-handling service. There’s no need to recruit, train and pay an employee to manage your phones and boost your bottom line. Outsourcing to Pocket Receptionist can amount to less than an overpriced coffee a month for exceptional service.
Understanding Your Future CustomersNow we’re not saying that email, direct messages and web chat don’t have their place, because they do. And we know that because generation mute AKA millennials are commonly known for their hatred of calls. In fact, a millennial would rather throw their phones out of the window than answer it! They find phone calls too invasive. For those of you who want some numbers then we can tell you that 75% of millennials consider answering their phone too time-consuming. And 81% experience anxiety at the thought of making a call. If you feel that 27 to 42-year-olds aren’t currently your target market, then just know that it won’t be long before they are. In 2020 they amounted to 14.26 million of the UK’s population, making them the largest generation at that time. So you’re going to need to get them on board!
The Value Of TextingTo grab the attention of your millennial (and upcoming gen z) audience, we advise you to stick with the trusty phone – namely the mobile. Because this cohort loves to communicate via text. In fact, according to Bank My Cell, 73% of millennial mobile users prefer interacting with brands’ loyalty initiatives through their phones. The power of text messaging millennials can be just as impactful as older generations and their phone calls. So much so that 60% of surveyed millennials have expressed their desire to communicate with businesses via text. It might also be important to take note that millennials love authenticity. Spammy generic impersonal ads and communication aren’t going to pique their interest in what you’re selling. And contact them more than once a day and you’ll have lost a customer forever! It can be easy to overlook text messaging as a marketing tool as many perceive it to be complicated, but it’s far from it. The experts at Data Soap make it a doddle to send a bulk SMS to your customers whether it’s a one-off or a whole campaign – they’ll have your back.
The Final PointIn summary (for those who skipped to the end) the concept of the phone call is not dead. A vast amount of your customers still want to reach out to you via telephone and deserve the best customer service you can provide. In doing so you will nurture existing customers and convert or qualify more leads. The benefits are direct sales and residual income. For the younger generations, open up a communication channel that makes them feel comfortable and give texting a try. And for those small to medium businesses out there who feel that their budgets won’t stretch to staffing all contact avenues, then have a chat with the team at Pocket Receptionist. They can help with call management and even cover web chat and Facebook messenger. For your text message marketing strategy, then Data Soap can help with your campaigns. Quality call handling and SMS marketing do not have to break the bank!
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