Even in this digital world, traditional phone calls are still vital to customer satisfaction. Potential customers may call your business to discover more about what you offer, making inbound contact center operations essential for lead generation.
Website visitors might call your team to gain additional support and guidance. Existing customers might reach out to your personnel if they have a query. In short, inbound call centers support a great customer experience.
But what are the advantages of an inbound call center for digital marketing campaigns? This is another area in which call center services shine. Discover more about this in our guide.
Definition and purpose of inbound call centers
An inbound call center is a place where your customers, your leads, and anyone else can get in touch with your business. The inbound call center agents who work in this space do not generally reach out to the public – instead, they handle the incoming voice calls that come into your business daily.
Your team may take both inbound and outbound calls, but the primary purpose of these teams is to pick up the phone when it rings. What does an inbound call center do?
Here are some of the most common duties:
- Answering customer queries.
- Advising on the returns or delivery processes for your products.
- Offering general customer support services.
- Providing a touchpoint for high-value clients as part of a customer success team.
- Conducting customer surveys.
- Conducting market research and collecting feedback from customers.
- Supporting high-quality customer engagement by being available for customers at all times.
These are just a few examples of the inbound call center call functions. The team is at the front line of connection between your business and the general public. While online content and automated chatbots offer valuable customer assistance, a human call center team is still vital as you build lasting customer relationships.
Benefits of inbound call centers for digital marketing
We’ve seen why all organizations – from large enterprises to small businesses, need a great call center team. But what does this have to do with marketing and sales?
Let’s look at some of the benefits of an inbound call center for digital marketing.
Nurturing long-term connections
Your customers expect a communicative and supportive service. An inbound call center team provides this and is there for your customers when they call you.
This facilitates real customer engagement.
Upselling and cross-selling opportunities
Customers may have ongoing needs even after purchasing a product – your inbound teams can offer product upgrades and alternative products to meet users’ needs while increasing revenue for your company.
Encouraging potential customers
Only some people who call you are going to be an existing customer. Some may be interested in what you provide. These users need further encouragement as they become high-quality leads and eventually convert and become customers themselves.
Inbound call teams also work as sales teams to some extent.
Supporting other areas of digital marketing
Your digital marketing strategy brings together a diverse range of different activities and platforms, from social media platforms to email marketing initiatives.
An inbound call center underpins all of this – your customers always have a number to call if needed.
Integrating inbound call center services into your digital marketing strategy
How do you achieve an integrated approach, bringing together your digital marketing initiatives and your inbound call center teams?
There are a few things you can do to unify these two areas of your business.
Make sure your call center is accessible
Your efforts will only be worthwhile if your customers can contact your call center. While you might not be able to provide inbound call center services around the clock, try to remain open for as long as possible each day and deploy additional agents during busy periods.
Publicize contact information
Ensure your target audience can find you. Put your call center number on your social media profiles, on your web pages, in your emails – basically everywhere, so users know where to reach you.
Feed call center data back to marketing teams
You’ll gain valuable quantitative and qualitative data from your incoming calls. Use call recording and other data capture to feed this information to your digital marketing teams.
Unify digital marketing tools in a single platform
Give your call center agents access to marketing databases and other tools. Unify these tools within a single platform so that everyone works with the same capabilities and features. In other words, bring your digital marketing and your call center professionals together as a unified team.
Targeting the right audience for inbound call center services
The target audience is something many inbound call center managers overlook. After all, the users will be calling you, not the other way around. Despite this, it’s still critical to know who you will be working with and what outcomes these users have in mind.
Think about who will be contacting you
Many different people may be getting in touch with you. These may range from existing customers looking for support to interested leads who want to learn more about your products. Map these different user journeys and make sure you can assist all of these caller types.
Segment your audience
Audience segmentation will help you to achieve the desired outcomes for each type of caller. Consider the demographic calling you, and think about their specific pain points and requirements.
Then, work to meet these diverse needs.
Monitor call effectiveness
How is your service team performing? Are users achieving their desired outcomes when they call? Your team well supports some of your audience segments, while others are not receiving the highest levels of service.
This will give you insight into where to improve and which areas of your inbound call center strategy need work.
Creating a script for inbound call center agents
The inbound call center agent script is closely linked to audience targeting. Once you have mapped your user journeys and defined the key outcomes, you can develop active steps to meet these outcomes.
Not only this, but you can also ensure a great experience across all of your customer interactions.
Craft welcoming scripts for each call
Make sure your users feel at ease, and represent your brand with a greeting or welcome message script to begin each call.
This is an essential aspect of quality control, ensuring everyone has the same great experience wherever possible.
Build step-by-step processes to meet key outcomes
You’ve already mapped out your key user journeys and desired outcomes, so how do you make those outcomes a reality?
Script your step-by-step processes across different audience segments, making it easier to reach these outcomes.
Keep on testing and monitoring your script
These scripts are ongoing works in progress. Monitor customer success levels, and change the script wording and structure if necessary.
Make sure your call center personnel are prepared to improvise
The script is an idealized course of action that will bring you and your customers to the best possible outcome. But what happens when the situation differs from the ‘ideal’ you planned for?
Your personnel will need to be able to improvise, going off script to support specialized user requirements when necessary.
Training inbound call center agents for digital marketing purposes
You have a dedicated team of professionals, all committed to providing exceptional customer service to your users.
When you have a script in place, this becomes simple – your customer service representatives and other professionals can deliver excellent results repeatedly. But, as we’ve just seen, things don’t always go to plan.
Build understanding with example scenarios
Return to your scripts and call records, and use these resources to build training programs based on example scenarios. This will not only help your agents become familiar with the scripts they are working with, but it will also support them as they think on their feet and improvise when required.
Excellent outcomes for your audience and your business are always the priority, and working through example scenarios will help you achieve this.
Gain data from inbound calls
Each inbound call is a new data resource. You can track metrics like call handling time, call talk time, and call wrap-up time and learn more about how your agents are performing.
This can inform your training processes in the future.
Support enhanced agent productivity
Make it clear that you are on the side of your agents – you are here to support them on the road to better agent productivity.
Listen to what your call center professionals say, and build your training around this feedback.
Measuring the success of inbound call center services for digital marketing
Agent productivity – in terms of call volume and other pieces of raw data – is important, but there is something else to bear in mind. We are talking about digital marketing here, so you need to be able to measure how your call center teams are supporting digital marketing efforts.
Here are a few metrics to track:
- Lead generation numbers from inbound call center services.
- Direct sales following a call center interaction.
- Full lifecycle value for each customer following an interaction.
- Upselling and cross-selling revenue boosts following call center contact.
- General customer feedback and satisfaction levels after contacting the call center team.
- Feedback from sales teams about the usefulness of the call center in supporting their business operations.
Best practices for integrating inbound call center services with other digital marketing channels
How do you make sure integration is effective?
Take a look at these best practices as you bring together your inbound call center services and digital marketing channels.
Support communication between teams
Even if your sales and call center teams are in different buildings, you can facilitate excellent communication between them. Instant messaging and chat tools help teams stay in touch. Cloud-based software means professionals can collaborate on remote platforms.
Digital meetings ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.
Draw from the same data sources
Cloud-based data storage is a must. These data stores are updated in real-time and give all teams the resources to act effectively. Customer feedback, lead scores, customer satisfaction data, and a wealth of other information can be stored in these cloud-based structures, ready for access from all staff members.
Sales and call center teams can contribute and draw from the same data stores.
Implement cross-discipline training
Call center professionals need to have a good knowledge of your digital marketing operations and vice versa. Give all your professionals training across different disciplines.
This mutual understanding will help the teams integrate better.
Choosing the right inbound call center service provider – Factors to consider
Choosing an inbound call center service provider is a significant investment for your business, so this is a major decision.
There are several factors you need to consider:
- Can the inbound call center service provider support your business’ size? Small businesses and large-scale enterprises might need different solutions.
- What kind of call routing and holding features does the service provider offer?
- Can the service provider continue to support you as you scale?
- Do they have experience in your industry and sector?
- Does the provider offer guarantees on service availability?
- What technology do they use – does this offer the support you need?
- Does the cost of the service align with your operational budget?
- What do previous customers and clients say about the service they provide?
- Do they offer training for your personnel?
Ask the questions above as you weigh up the different options available to you.
Unifying inbound call centers and digital marketing efforts
For modern businesses, inbound call centers and digital marketing are closely linked. Your call center services provide valuable data and support to your digital marketers, making it easier to bring in new leads and customers and – crucially – keep hold of your existing customers for longer.
In an increasingly competitive marketplace, a combined inbound call handling and digital marketing strategy is a huge benefit.
Hopefully, you’ve gained some inspiration from our guide. Deploying these areas of your business together does not need to be so difficult. With modern cloud solutions and a forward-thinking approach to technology and data, you can unify the efforts of your teams.
From here, you can grow your revenue while ensuring your customers and leads are fully supported across every interaction.
Frequently asked questions
What are inbound call center services?
Inbound call center services may refer to the inbound call handling your business offers, or it may refer to the call center software, training, and other services offered by a third-party provider.
How does an inbound call center support digital marketing?
Inbound call centers integrate with digital marketing by supporting and nurturing leads, generating sales, and increasing the lifecycle value of each customer.
What are the key performance indicators for an inbound call center?
Key performance indicators may include call handling time, call volume, high-quality lead generation, sales and revenue data, customer experience levels, and customer engagement during the lead nurturing process.