7 Ways Phone Calls and Live Chat Improve Customer Retention and Revenue

telephone-and-live-chat-retention

My good friend runs a content marketing company. When she got started, most of her clients were on a monthly retainer and paying for blog content and social media management.

She decided that she also wanted to offer email marketing services, and so she built a landing page and set up LinkedIn Ad, hoping to gain some inbound leads.

After a couple of months with no success, she decided to get on the phone with her current clients and offer the same services. No surprise – the results were much better! She sold the email marketing service to 80% of her current clients via phone.

She also switched the landing page form to a direct phone call button and was able to sell 2X more than she had sold with the form.

Why? People have questions. Especially when it comes to service businesses, both traditional and SaaS, because service solutions often need to be tailored to the individual customer. And, as hard as we try, we can’t answer everybody’s questions on one landing page.

Plus, tech advances have given us all the idea that everything has got to be immediate – we want answers, and we want ‘em now.  Especially when we’re deciding whether or not to make a purchase.

Here are 7 ways that you can use phone calls and live chat to give your customers more immediate gratification and increase your company’s revenue.

Calls and live chat increase customer retention and upsell opportunities

These days, people want immediate gratification. Technology has given us all the expectation that results should be instant. Post a pic – minutes later, 100 likes.

How does this apply to sales and marketing?

Because technology shapes the expectations of people, it also shapes the expectations of clients and customers.

Calls and live chat are the most immediate form of communication available to modern customers. Other methods of customer support or sales help – like web forms – are going out of style.

Let’s say I’m a customer interested in your product/service. When I fill out a web form, I have to wait, usually days, before I hear back. Then, I’ve got to email back and forth, generally for a couple of days, before I get answers.

  • People who have their questions answered immediately are more likely to stay satisfied customers, as reported by the Economist.
  • Improving customer retention by 5% can increase profits by 95%, according to Bain & Company.

How is that possible?

Up-sells. When your customers are satisfied, they stick around. And when they stick around, they trust you and are ready to buy more products or services.

An up-sell is when you introduce a current customer or client to a new product or service. If they trust your work/product and they like your customer service – they’re much more likely to buy more from you, upgrade, etc.

It’s 9X more expensive to acquire a new customer than to sell more products/services to a current one. 

If these stats aren’t enough to make your head spin – check out this graph of upsell revenue opportunity compared to new acquisition revenues.

image2

Offering upsells over the phone or through live chat is the most surefire way to close them since your sales and marketing staff can handle any objections and negotiate immediately, which brings me to my next point . . .

Your team will close more deals and negotiate higher value sales via phone

Good salespeople know they need to get on the phone when it comes to discussing price. When a client doesn’t approve of pricing or a proposal via email, they can choose to ghost you – and they often do.

Sales reps end up having to follow up multiple times, often to no avail, which is a colossal waste of time and effort.

When you discuss pricing over the phone, the interaction is more of a negotiation, and sales reps can handle objections and concerns immediately.

Agreeing on proposal or contract terms over the phone means you don’t have to worry about a prospect not responding to the proposal since they know what to expect.

You lose sales opportunities because of poor web form accuracy

Here’s what happens: You get a great lead via web form. They’re the right kind of company, with the right yearly revenue, and the decision maker filled out the form with problems you know your product or service will solve.

BUT, they made a typo when filling out the phone number or email address part of your web form. Or, you never captured the lead because the form flubbed, a button didn’t work, or maybe the form was hard to navigate on a tiny mobile screen.

We all know what it’s like to have to punch info into these tiny boxes on our phones:

image3

Looking at those gems, it’s no wonder that 62% of lead records are missing a phone number.

Phones calls rid your company of this issue because calls always come attached to the right numbers.

Plus, call tracking software makes it possible for you to draw insights from call data and make improvements.

For example, by measuring your calls’ Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), your business can improve marketing efforts with a clear picture of the source of your calls.

image1

When you know where your calls are coming from, at what time of day, and from which decision makers, you can draw conclusions and make improvements to the way your team communicates. You can even adjust what you offer over the phone or live chat to suit the needs of specific callers better.

Phone call and live chat lead quality is superior

People pick up the phone or reach out via chat when they’re super motivated and ready to make a decision at that moment. This is a sales person’s dream come true. Someone calls them, ready to buy! Done deal!

68% of B2B businesses are looking to increase lead quality as higher quality leads mean more overall conversions.

Phone calls and live chat are more customer-centric

Phone and chat are much more personal. You can ask all the right questions, provide more accurate answers, and so can the prospect or client.

Web forms and other digital lead collection methods aren’t personal at all. Actually, they’re the opposite – they’re one-size-fits-all. They’re designed for the company to gain information while the prospect or client must wait for info via a response…whenever it comes. The customer’s success takes the back seat.

There’s a pretty hefty list of complaints about the one-size-fits-all nature of web forms

They’re too long – What would take 2 minutes on the phone takes 20 minutes to type into tiny boxes on a mobile screen. You’re losing sales because people are losing their patience.

They’re discriminatory and intrusive– Asking for gender/race isn’t the best idea. It’s a good way to turn a prospect off.

Captchas are annoying – Seriously how many times do I need to pick out street signs? People want answers, not captchas.

They break – The most frustrating thing is when you’ve taken 15 minutes to fill one out and then hit send. Only to get a big, red ERROR. Another lost sale.

It’s no wonder why customers would rather have answers quickly via phone/chat.

When you improve your customer’s experience, you improve retention. And like I said before, a 5% increase in retention can mean a 95% increase in overall sales!

You can continuously improve your profits with real-time feedback from phone calls and live chat

Real-time feedback gives a company the opportunity to improve:

The product

Customers having trouble with a particular web feature? If you get several phone calls or chats over the course of several minutes, all complaining about the same thing – you can let your developers and team know right away. Problem solved.

Customer experience

Quicker feedback means quicker optimization of your customer experience. Like we’ve discussed, when you improve your customer’s experience, you increase retention and satisfaction.

The company’s pipeline of business

Real-time improvements to customer experience are golden for both word-of-mouth marketing and your bank. The more satisfied your customers are, the more they’re going to talk. The more positive testimonials you’ll have. The higher your profits are gonna go.

Call filtering places a higher value on your sales reps

There’s a common misconception that answering phones requires a ton of company resources, both employee hours and money. But, a call solution can help you filter the calls placed to your sales reps. Meaning, they only answer calls from highly qualified prospects.

If your sales reps are only answering qualified sales calls, you’re saving everybody time and making more money.

So what can you do to improve your customer experience via phone and chat?

Give your customer the option to call 

52% of customers are less likely to engage with a company that has a poor mobile experience. Giving your customers and clients the option to pick up the phone or live chat with you are 2 excellent ways to improve mobile experience.

Monitor your call metrics to make improvements to your processes 

89% of customers get annoyed when they need more than one interaction to solve their problem. Make sure customers don’t need to make 2 calls for 1 issue

Give callers the priority

47% of consumers say that a quick response is essential to their satisfaction. People are calling because they want help NOW. So, if a customer is calling, pick up! Keep multiple lines, and keep ‘em clear for customers.

In conclusion

Calls and live chat are improving sales, retention rates, and therefore increasing the profitability of the companies putting the tools to use. What’s been your company’s experience with calls and live chat?

Don't miss our latest success secrets

Want the best customer support and startup content delivered straight to your inbox?

About the author
Ryan Shank

Ryan Shank is the CEO at PhoneWagon. Ryan loves helping small businesses generate quality leads by implementing creative solutions that are proven to work.

Related articles
Kayako 10 Tips to Increase Productivity ArtworkCustomer experience

10 Tips to Increase Productivity in a Team

Top Tips to Deliver the Best Customer Experience-yellowCustomer experience

Top Tips to Deliver the Best Customer Experience