Commentary

The Telephone: Critical Offline Interaction Of The Omnichannel Customer

According to the 2016 Call Intelligence Index published by Invoca, analyzing more than 58 million calls across 40 industries, digital is now driving more calls to businesses than ever before. In 2015, digital channels drove 92% of these calls, up from 84% in 2014.

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Additionally, the report finds more customer calls come from mobile search than from any other channel. Search and social features like Google call-only ads and convenient click-to-call buttons are further blurring lines between channels, making it easier for customers to call businesses on mobile.

  • 65% of people prefer to contact a business by phone call versus only 24% who prefer a web form
  • 63% of people complete a purchase offline following online search activity
  • 70% of people have used click-to-call from a search ad

Kyle Christensen, VP of marketing, Invoca, says “… marketers speculated that the rise of digital would kill… the phone call… but… as people use their phones to interface with the world… they’re calling businesses more… the marketers who will thrive… will… optimize for calls as an integrated part of their omnichannel strategies…”

The omnichannel nature of the customer journey is increasingly evident, says the report. The Study shows that 79% of people switch devices during an activity, and that 63% of people complete a purchase offline after searching online. Marketers are responding to this trend by capturing call data and applying insights from those conversations into email campaigns, retargeting ads, and search marketing.

Calls are supplementing digital interactions as customers move between mobile search, web, social, display, email and apps. Mobile/Digital search is #1 call source, accounting for 48% of total call volume in 2016, driving calls to business, says the report.

Digital Call Source

Call Source

% of Callers

Mobile Search

48%

Desktop Search

17

Desktop Display

11

Content / Review Sites

9

Mobile Display

3

Radio

3

Email

3

TV

2

Newspaper

2

Directory

2

Source: Invoca, Call Intelligence Index, June 2016

Online channels, including desktop search and display advertising, drove 38% of phone calls in 2015, representing a 23% rise from 2014, when online channels drove 30% of all calls. Offline channels, including TV, radio and newspaper ads, drove half as many calls in 2015 (8%) as in 2014 (16%).

Call duration is a key indicator of a call’s quality for marketing and sales representatives, says the report. Across industries and drivers, the average call duration is 4 minutes, 52 seconds, an 18% increase from 2014, indicating that marketers are getting better at generating quality phone calls.

Longest Average Conversation Times (Min:Sec)

Calls Driven By

Call Duration

Newspapers

6:10

Online Review Site

5:54

Online Display

5:23

Online Search

4:43

Mobile Search

4:25

Mobile Display

3:22

Source: Invoca, Call Intelligence Index, June 2016

On weekdays, people call businesses most often in their respective time zones between 11 - 11:59 a.m. On the weekend, most calls occur from 12 - 12:59 p.m. People tend to call businesses most on Mondays, which receive 55% more calls than Sundays, the lowest volume day, says the report.

The study shows that phone calls are increasing across industries, and particularly for industries characterized by high-value purchases and/or customers who need personalized assistance. Though these industries are also investing heavily in digital channels, phone calls remain a critical point of contact for prospective customers.

  • Home Services, as an industry, decreased its investment in offline channels in 2015. In 2014, offline channels, such as radio, TV and newspapers, drove 32% of calls. In 2015, only 6% of calls were the result of offline drivers. By contrast, calls driven by mobile sources increased from 53% to 62% in 2015, and those from other online sources doubled from 16% to 32%.
  • Automotive is undergoing a massive shift from offline to online and mobile sources, as the industry saw a 119% increase in digital sources driving calls in 2015, compared to 2014, says the report.
  • Financial Services migrated in 2015 from offline to digital spend. In 2014, the industry drove 44% of its calls from offline channels, and only 29% from online channels. In 2015, only 26% came from offline channels, and 48% came from digital.

The complete 2016 Call Intelligence Index can be accessed here.

 

 

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