The contact center is a billion dollar channel but has yet to exploit its true potential. Contact center data can now drive demand through another channel, online. To drive brand and business equity today, marketers must leverage consumer insights to create seamless experiences across channels where each interaction, regardless of channel, is relevant and consistent to lead consumers along the path to purchase.
In the late nineties it was fashionable to say the web would kill the contact center, as people would no longer need to speak on the phone when purchasing. While this has certainly happened to some degree, there is a serious argument to be made that customers or prospective customers who call into contact centers are more valuable than they have ever been. This is because they have made the effort to call and often are looking for personal assistance or advice on what they should purchase, or seeking to get help with adding services or products. In many cases a caller is looking to inquire about a support-related matter and ends up being upsold a service contract or some other helpful and beneficial product he or she wasn’t aware of at the time of the call.
Still, in many cases the contact center has remained a silo from the web. Often, callers are also browsers but prefer personal interaction via the phone. Buyers who shop using multiple channels simultaneously contributed 70 percent of gross sales and 65 percent of total transactions in 2012, according to market research firm Epsilon.
Billions of dollars of transactions take place over the phone and there is enormous opportunity in getting the web to speak contact center, or vice versa. Contact center remarketing, or the ability to capture call data and determine the interest of callers and then use this information to display related ads when they surf the web, is a technology that will more closely tie the web to the contact center.
Dan Akre, a 17-year BPO/contact center veteran, and Peter Kim, a former executive from Google (News - Alert) and Yahoo, are the worker bees behind a new contact center remarketing solution provider called MightyHive. Their mission is to manage, measure, and optimize the world’s advertising budgets in real-time, leverage real-time data from a non-revenue producing channel, and create net new revenue streams.
“Every company experiences abandoned calls into their contact center,” said Akre. “Additionally, every company contact center could benefit from exposing [its] brand, products and services to an already interested audience within the all important 24- to 48-hour window from point of contact.”
MightyHive already has produced real-world results by putting its technology in action.
It worked with Extra Space Storage, a company with a market capitalization worth nearly $5 billion dollars and 950 properties, to increase self-storage sales. Within 24 hours of making a call, callers were presented with targeted ads for Extra Space Storage on Facebook (News - Alert), Google, Yahoo! and other sites.
Prior to the program, some prospects called but did not make a reservation. But after seeing custom ads, the rate of making a later reservation doubled, delivering a 1,092 percent ROI. A second group consisted of users who made reservations but sometimes would not show up. Once this group began seeing targeted ads, its conversion rate increased by 2.7 points resulting in a 1,549 percent ROI.
Contact centers, CRM systems and direct mail programs are sitting on a goldmine, says Kim, adding that MightHive can help them uncover it. Contact center retargeting will be the industry standard in the future given that contact centers are still the place for complicated sales where users need to ask questions and get advice, he continues.
At the moment the technology is able to match between 30- to 70 percent of an organization’s records. This percentage should increase as more people get added to databases that track their computer usage and phone numbers.
One of the biggest concerns users have when it comes to advertising is how untargeted it can be. No one wants to be solicited for aluminum siding if they live a brick apartment. Contact center ad retargeting makes ads more relevant and subsequently more effective. This should result in a win/win for all involved.
Yes, the web has reduced call traffic to contact centers, but the remaining calls are valuable – and will be even more so as a result of web ad retargeting.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi