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7 Best IVR Routing Strategies for Your Call Center

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You’ve purchased your new IVR system for your call center and want to know the best way to set it up? Here are 7 IVR routing strategies that can determine how callers interact with your business so that you can

IVR: Best Routing Strategies

First, what is IVR? An interactive voice response is an automated telephony solution that answers, greets callers and provides them with menu options. It does so through automation and prerecorded messages. The menus help callers navigate options such as transferring to the right department, completing a payment, getting information about the company, and more.

IVR systems can assist companies in handling their call volumes and providing strong and efficient customer service. While it may not entirely replace agents, it can take some of the burden off of agents by completing mundane tasks. This way, it frees agents up to focus on more complicated tasks.

There are a few different IVR routing strategies that have been proven successful over the years. Here are some that you may consider:

1. Direct Routing

Callers select their preference or need and are routed to the appropriate department or employee.

IVR menu example: “Press 1 for company information. Press 2 for the reception. Press 3 for sales. Press 3 for customer service.”

If the caller wants to speak to someone in customer service, they will press 4 and be directed accordingly.

direct routing

2. Self-Service Routing

Callers select their preference or need and receive information via automation and prerecorded messages. This type of routing typically does not need an agent to participate. The caller, therefore, does not wait for an agent, reducing wait times and leading to higher first call resolution rates.

IVR menu example: “Press 1 for business hours. Press 2 for location details. Press 3 for business directory. Press 4 for account information.”

If the caller wants to know the location of the business, they will press 2 and hear a prerecorded message detailing the location.

self-service-routing

3. Geographic or Location-Based Routing

Callers are required to input or dial their zip code or other location ID to be routed to the closest location.

IVR menu example: “Please enter your zip code or location ID associated with your account with our business.”

Based on caller input, calls with be routed to office locations in different countries, states, or cities, as needed by your business.

geographic-routing

4. Time-Based Routing

Calls route to different numbers, lines, or locations based on times or time periods set by your business.

IVR menu example: Calls made to your business after-hours or over the weekend will be forwarded to your office in a different location or time zone. This way, callers connect to the next available agent and no call goes unanswered.

time based routing

5. Skill-Based Routing

Caller inputs a need or preference into the IVR system and is routed to the right agent. For example, language preferences.

IVR menu example: “Press 1 for English, Press 2 for Spanish. Press 3 for French.”

Callers who wish to converse in Spanish can press 3 for their convenience and be directed to interact with an agent who speaks the language fluently.

skill based routing

6. Data-Directed Routing

Callers provide account data that identifies them and prioritizes and directs them to the right agent.

IVR menu example: “Welcome to [insert a company name.] Please enter your account number/ID to get started.”

Based on caller input, they will be provided with the next set of options related to their account. For example, if their fees are overdue, they will have a payment option or be sent to the accounting department. If they recently registered a complaint, they will be directed to the agent they worked with the last time they called, and so on.

data directed routing

7. Least-Occupied Routing

Callers are routed to the rep who has taken or answered the least number of calls on a given day. In other words, callers connect to the agent waiting the longest to answer a call.

least used routing

Get IVR with United World Telecom

Want to learn more about setting up your IVR system? United World Telecom offers a highly customizable IVR service. Call us today at 1 (888) 908 6171 to see how we can help you build your ideal automation system.

How To Boost Your Own Virtual Call Center

Starting your own virtual call center is an easy task to accomplish with the right tools and essentials. Here we will look at the different aspects to consider to ensure you do the best for your call center.

Virtual Call Center: What You Need

The key to running a successful virtual call center — or any business for that matter — is having a strong business plan and a clear idea of what the end goal is. Therefore, be in constant communication with your team so that everyone is on the same page. Provide refresher training materials to maintain the desired standard. As the center’s manager, you must provide agents with the resources they need to make sales and create strong connections.

Establish Virtual Communications Channels

To function as a virtual call center, you need cloud-based communication solutions from a phone service provider such as United World Telecom. Start by getting a toll free, local, or international virtual business number. Calls made to this number will be routed over the internet. This makes it inexpensive for you and your customers to be in touch. This is important when establishing communication channels between your business and its contacts.

Part of being a reputable organization is making it accessible and reachable. If interested prospects have to jump through hoops or wait long periods to hear from you, then they will most likely take their business elsewhere. So, have an easy-to-remember business number, active social media accounts, click-to-call ads and widgets like our CallMe Click feature. All of this is to ensure that customers can connect with you quickly.

Get the Necessary Equipment and Software

Now for the equipment needed. Considering you are running a virtual call center, most of your employees and agents will be remote workers. Therefore, you need software and technology that can support remote working.

Content and project management systems that work online can be very helpful in tracking data, calls, tasks, projects, to-do lists, and more. Additionally, you may want to make use of a customer relationship management (CRM) system to track customer data and call information.

Furthermore, you may even want to consider investing in outbound calling and call recording software. Outbound calling lets you customize your caller ID by displaying a specific number from your list of purchased numbers. For example, consider that you want to call a client in Saudi Arabia. You can use United World Telecom’s outbound calling service and have the outgoing caller ID display a local Saudi Arabia number, instead of your actual number.

With United World Telecom’s call recording software, you can record and store calls for up to 6 years. Use these recordings to train new employees, find strengths and weaknesses, as evidence against liabilities, and more. Additionally, check out our article about how to successfully run your virtual call center with outbound calling and call recording to learn more.

Train and Take Care of Your Employees

Now, the most important aspect of running a virtual call center is ensuring that your employees, reps, and agents are doing their jobs right. Offer training, webinars, seminars, web-based workshops, incentive programs, and more to encourage them to do their best. You also need to ensure that they have a good understanding of the different programs and software being used.

You can include call recordings in performance analyses to highlight what agents are doing correctly and what areas need improvement. Be in constant contact with them and be prepared to resolve upcoming issues and concerns.

Advertise and Promote Your Virtual Call Center

Running a virtual call center may seem like a daunting task. But if done correctly with the right employees and right tools, you can get the most out of it and enjoy doing it at the same time. For more information, contact us at 1 (877) 898 8646 or talk to an expert today.

Customer Support vs. Customer Success: What is the Difference?

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Often used interchangeably, customer support and customer success are actually two separate business functions. And because they are different, they require different skill sets and strategies. Here we will look at the difference between these two customer-centric services.

Customer Support vs Customer Success

It is no secret that both customer support and customer success are essential to the successful running of a business. These services are aimed towards providing support and care to customers so that your product can help them achieve their target or goals. However, how do you decide which one is more important for the purposes of your brand and product?

Customer Support

Customer support is when your support team assists a customer in solving a problem they face while interacting with your product or service. For example, they are having trouble logging into their control panel or a piece is missing or they cannot renew their service, and so on. The transaction is begun and ended by the customer and is meant to solve immediate problems.

Speed and expertise are important factors in providing good customer support. Customers, usually panicking about their issue, want it resolved quickly and by someone who knows what they are doing. The main goal should be solving the problem during the first call itself.

It is, therefore, a reactive service. In other words, the customer has a question or issue with your product and the rep reacts to it with the attempt to resolve it. This means that customer support reps have to be on it as soon as a problem arises and follow-through until it is resolved. Because of this, this service by itself can get you and your customers only so far.

Customer support teams use toll free business numbers to handle large incoming call volumes making use of features like call forwarding and call recording. These features help with call tracking efforts by providing necessary information about call activity. Customer support metrics measure the speed and quality of the service received. Call recording, on the other hand, also offers a chance to review past calls and interactions.

Customer Success

Customer success, on the other hand, is initiated not by the customer but by the business. It attempts to provide the customer with the necessary tools and information that they may not even know they need. Some tactics include upselling and cross-selling, suggesting other products and services, upgrades, etc. The point of offering these tools is to bring the customer closer to their goal and to make the journey easier.

Customer success, therefore, takes a more proactive approach. It involves helping customers during the process; not after the fact. Offering strong customer success includes:

  • Developing and building strong relationships with customers
  • Understanding customers’ needs and their goals
  • Taking important metrics into account
  • Assisting customers in achieving their goals
  • Enabling the implementation of your products

One way to think about it is that with customer success the business and the customers are working together as partners trying to achieve long-term goals.

Customer success teams also can make use of toll free numbers or local business numbers to stay in contact with customers in different states and countries. Subscribing to a virtual phone service offering such numbers can also provide teams with metrics used to measure customer success through such aspects as customer retention rates and through call tracking strategies.

Which is Right for You?

Depending on what services you offer, you can choose to have either a customer support team or a customer success team. However, the recommendation is to have both. With both customer success and support, you can provide all of your customers with the assistance they need. Customer success can often build on customer support to ensure the problems and issues don’t occur again.

Choosing the Right Provider for Your Customer Care Team

United World Telecom offers cloud-based communication tools and features that can support and enhance your customer relations. Find out how we can help by talking to an expert.

Making Outbound Calls from a Toll Free Number

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Toll free numbers combined with outbound calling can greatly improve a company’s sales and customer retention rates. Businesses with a high outgoing call rate should, therefore, consider outbound sales strategies. So, how do you make outbound calls with a toll free number?

Outbound Calling: Purpose

Outbound calling is a communication service, mostly used by call centers and appointment setting services, to call customers or prospects on behalf of a corporation. Such calls are made to generate sales, conduct market research, provide customer care, and more. Outbound calling can, therefore, give you ways to attract new customers while also taking care of existing customers. Most businesses use outbound calling to:

  • Welcome new customers
  • Verify new accounts or purchases
  • Follow-up calls
  • Set appointments and make reservations
  • Send reminders for payments or appointments
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Research the market
  • Gather feedback, and more.

You can either outsource your outbound calling needs to centers designed for this service or take care of such calls inhouse. For the latter, you will need a reliable phone service that supports outbound calling while providing good call quality and additional communication tools like call forwarding, outbound IVR, etc. A virtual phone service offering these solutions may, therefore, be the ideal choice for an office phone system.

Benefits of Getting a Toll Free Number

You’ll notice that large corporations and established enterprises will have a toll free number as their contact number. This is because toll free numbers are free to call as they charge the receiver instead of the caller. And so, individuals usually prefer calling a toll free number as they know that these numbers don’t charge extra for calling.

And so, getting a toll free business number will place your company alongside other large, famous ones. This will present your company as a professional one. Additionally, customers will appreciate this as it provides them with a quick and easy way to contact you. More importantly, when receiving a call from a toll free number, they will know that the call is likely coming from an established enterprise. Chances of them answering a toll free number is higher than a random, unknown number.

Customizable Caller IDs

Companies that have more than 50% of their calls going out to customers can benefit from an outbound calling service. United World Telecom’s Outbound Calling service lets you make local and international calls at reasonable rates. In fact, you can purchase a variety of virtual numbers that are toll free, local, and international, and then customize your caller ID to display one of these numbers. And so, you switch up your caller ID depending on where you are calling and if you want to seem like a local or national business.

Make Outbound Calls With United World Telecom

To get outbound calling, you first need to purchase virtual numbers from a toll free forwarding service or virtual phone number provider. You can quickly sign up for a business toll free number on the United World Telecom homepage. Select the desired number type and prefix, and enter the destination number; this is where you want your calls forwarded to.

Then, choose a phone plan and add Outbound Calling to the plan. With United World Telecom, you can also add Call Recording to record up to 100% of outgoing calls. This is a great feature to use for quality assurance and compliance purposes.

Once you complete your purchase, you will have a toll free number service ready for use. You can then open your control panel and navigate to the Outbound Calling tab to start making outbound calls. Here, you will also have the option to change your caller ID. Start making outgoing calls and generate new leads and sales with your toll free number.

Attract More Customers with a Toll Free Number

Maintain a professional company image and upgrade your cold-calling and customer retention strategies with outbound calling and toll free numbers from United World Telecom. We offer business numbers in more than 160+ countries, so we can assist you in reaching clients all over the world. Sign up today or contact United World Telecom at 1 (877) 898 8646 for more information.

Run a Successful Virtual Call Center With Outbound Calling and Call Recording Software

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Thinking of opening a virtual call center? Well, you are in luck. It is now easier than ever to start and run a full online call center, thanks to advancements in telecom technology. You will need a few virtual numbers and a virtual phone service with features and tools that assist your communications. Outbound calling and call recording software are two must-haves for a virtual call center to be successful.

Running a Virtual Call Center

As a virtual call center, you will be working with inbound and outbound calling for different businesses. That means you will engage in making and receiving customer calls. These calls revolve around technical and product support, sales and lead generation, and more. To run a successful call center, you must adopt important virtual communication tools. Let’s look at how outbound calling and call recording, specifically, can boost business dealings.

Benefits of Outbound Calling

Outbound calling refers to calls made by a company to its customers. This can be done in-house through a virtual outbound calling service or by outsourcing to a call center. Outbound calls occur for sales and telemarketing, feedback or verification purposes, or to update contact lists and customer data.

You can get outbound calling from a virtual service provider by adding it to your phone service. Purchase virtual numbers from United World Telecom and customize your caller ID to display one of these numbers. For example, you can have local and international numbers for different cities and states. Then, when you call a specific location, you can use a local number instead of a toll free or international number that customers are not familiar with. Unknown numbers are often ignored. Individuals are much more likely to answer the call of a local number. Outbound Calling, therefore, enables you to make long-distance and international calls with that location’s caller ID.

With outbound calling, you can follow up on customers, send them appointment and payment reminders, update customer data, collect feedback, raise funds, and more. This service gives you yet another means of staying in touch with clients and strengthening relations.

Call Recording for Quality Assurance

It’s simple: you cannot operate an efficient call center without good agents. One way to monitor and train your reps is by recording calls and reviewing them. This is a good way to maintain call center standards. It also enables record-keeping which can protect your virtual call center from business and personal liabilities and misunderstandings. More and more corporations are adopting call recording software to keep records of their customer and contact list.

Call Recording software from United World Telecom lets you record up to 100% of your calls and store them as MP3 files for up to 6 years. Additionally, you can add Call Recording to Outbound Calling to record outgoing calls as well. You can add this feature to your cart when shopping for virtual numbers.

This service can also be used to maintain compliance, depending on what sector the business you are representing comes under. For example, the financial services industry functions under the Dodd-Frank, MiFID II, and GDPR regulations and finance companies must keep up with their laws. While using call recording software, make sure you are aware of local and state regulations. Some countries do not allow recording unless one or both parties consent verbally or in their contract agreements. And so, it is important to keep these regulations in mind when choosing to record business calls.

Get Outbound Calling and Call Recording with United World Telecom

Boost your communications and sales by adding Outbound Calling and Call Recording to your office phone system. Contact us to find out how you can use these services or sign up for a virtual number and start building your virtual call center today!

Improve Communication With Business VoIP

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As a business owner, you may have often wondered, is there a way to improve business interactions without overspending? Well, yes, there is. Business VoIP is a cloud-based communications solution that is cost-effective and sustainable. But first, you need to understand what VoIP is and how you can use it best.

Business VoIP: Using VoIP in the Workplace

Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) enables you to make and receive phone calls over the internet instead of a phone line. Therefore, VoIP lets you engage in phone conversations through any device (smartphone, laptop, deskphone, etc) and from anywhere in the world. In recent years, VoIP has been growing more and more popular with US companies across different industries.

Besides phone calls, you can also send and receive video, audio, text messages, and files from one system to another. You can also transform any device into a business phone that has VoIP capabilities. And so, even when you are traveling, you can conduct business as well.

Let’s look at the many reasons why business VoIP should be the next switch for your corporation.

Lower Costs and Increased Accessibility

Most companies are switching to business VoIP because VoIP phone systems are cheaper to purchase and install. They do not require expensive hardware or elaborate set-ups. More importantly, because they transmit calls over the internet instead of traditional phone lines, call charges are considerably less. This allows you to make international calls without paying high long-distance calling charges.

A virtual communications provider will offer different plans that you can choose from based on your call volume and business size. Then you pay for how much you use, and you remain accessible no matter where you are. You can get virtual local and international numbers with familiar country and area codes. Individuals are more likely to call or answer a call from a number code that is local and that they recognize.

Personalize with Advanced Features

Every enterprise needs to create and maintain an image of professionalism and customer care. Becoming accessible is one way to do so. Another way is to use additional communication features to personalize and control business interactions. When you get business VoIP from a cloud-based communications provider, you get access to other exciting features that help organize and streamline company calls. Here are some features that United World Telecom offers:

  • Call Forwarding – Forward incoming calls to desired numbers
  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR) – Automated response assists and directs them to the right department through a series of menus
  • Outbound Calling with Customizable Caller ID – Display desired caller ID when making outbound calls for sales and lead generation
  • Customized Greetings – IVR feature that greets customers and offers information about the company
  • Call Recording – Record incoming and outgoing calls for quality assurance and compliance purposes
  • Time of Day Routing – Route calls to certain numbers during specific times of the day
  • SMS to Email, Voicemail to Email – Receive texts and voicemail copies in your inbox
  • Call Tracking – Track incoming and outgoing calls with multiple virtual numbers

Encourages Collaboration Across Teams

With call transfer, multiple extensions, and the ability to communicate from anywhere, business VoIP makes it easier to communicate within teams. This is especially beneficial for companies with remote employees and offices. Through high-quality audio and video communication, you can also be in the know. This leads to more productivity and fewer interruptions.

Bolster Office Communication

With advancements in technology, it is easier than ever to improve office communication to make processes more efficient. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up for a business phone number and start building your VoIP system. Not convinced yet? Talk to an expert to learn more. We are here to help.

GDPR Compliance: Everything You Should Know

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Are you a company or enterprise doing business with an EU-related organization or client? If so, the GDPR compliance is something you need to be aware of. The EU brought a new regulation into effect on May 25, 2018, which imposes obligations on all organizations targeting and collecting data of people in the EU. And aspects of this regulation affect businesses’ data processing abilities as well as storing personal data, call recording, etc.

What is GDPR Compliance?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the strictest privacy and security law in the world. Advancements in technology and the invention of the internet have paved a new way for invaders and hackers to gain personal data. And this has brought light to the need for modern protection. In this day and age, individuals are more trusting of the internet and cloud services and are often sharing personal and sensitive information in places where they can be abused.

The GDPR regulation provides a strong stance on data privacy and security. Any company not paying attention to GDPR’s laws and in accordance with GDPR compliance can suffer harsh fines and penalties. However, because of its length and depth, it can be an overwhelming prospect to understand and follow, especially for small businesses.

Important GDRP Principles

If you are a company processing customer data on the daily, then GDPR compliance is a requirement for your business. Here are the seven principles that serve the protection of data as well as accountability:

  1. Lawfulness, fairness, transparency ‒ Process personal data in a lawful, fair, and transparent manner in relation to the data subject
  2. Purpose limitation ‒ Process and collect data for specified, explicit, and legitimate purposes and not a manner incompatible with those purposes
  3. Data minimization ‒ Collect data that is adequate, relevant, and limited to what is necessary to be processed
  4. Accuracy ‒ Keep accurate and up to date information. Inaccurate data should be erased or corrected without delay
  5. Storage limitation ‒ Store for no longer than necessary unless stored for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical, or statistical purposes.
  6. Integrity and confidentiality ‒ Process in a way that ensures the security of personal data and protection of unlawful or unauthorized processing
  7. Accountability ‒ Controller should be responsible for and demonstrate compliance with all of the above

Call Recording and GDPR Compliance

These principles ensure that enterprises requiring data processing and retention follow GDPR compliance. Not many realize that call recording is one means to collect and store customer data. Call recording can serve as a highly resourceful tool to improve a business’ communication and customer interaction. With the ability to reference old calls, mistakes, and achievements, companies can use recordings to improve how they interact with their clients. Recording business calls is a form of data processing because these calls often contain the exchange and sharing of personal data.

GDPR compliance for call recording outlines when a recording may occur and how it should be treated. Tacit consent is not sufficient. Instead, individuals must agree and provide consent to have their call recorded. This consent should be clear, specific, and unambiguous. To justify their need to record calls, one of the below conditions should be fulfilled:

  • Individuals participating in the call have given consent — verbal acceptance during the call, consent after receiving a message, or consent as part of a customer agreement — to be recorded
  • Recording the conversation is necessary to fulfill a contract
  • Call recording is in the public interest
  • Recording the call is required to fulfill a legal obligation
  • Call recording is necessary to protect one or more participants
  • Recording conversations are in the recorder’s interest unless those interests are less important than the interests of all participants of the call

However, besides following these conditions and receiving appropriate consent to record, businesses also need to arrange and store their files in a way that is easily accessible. They should be able to recall audio files as requested and delete personal data upon request. Your company should follow these regulations to be GDPR compliant and avoid heavy fines.

Record Calls With United World Telecom

Now that you know what GDPR compliance entails, it is time to reconsider how and when you need to record calls with customers and clients. Contact us today at 1 (877) 898 8646 to find out how you can get call recording for your business.

MiFID II Definition, Regulations, and Requirements

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Want to know if the MiFID II regulation affects your business? MiFID II is legislation impacting the financial services industry with an attempt to increase transparency and reduce harmful financial practices. Let’s look at the communication regulations under MiFID II.

MiFID II Definition

The Market in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II) is a European Union legislation that came into force in 2018. This legislation builds on MiFID I and focuses on preventing breaches and abusive trading or financial services. It regulates firms offering financial services to customers like interdealer brokers, investment managers, venture capitalists, stockbrokers, Independent Financial Advisors (IFA), etc. And similar to the Dodd-Frank Act, a major part of this legislation is the requirement for financial institutions to conduct mobile and voice recording.

Regulations Regarding Call Recording

MiFID II dictates that certain telephone conversations and electronic communications must be recorded by firms. According to the MiFID II policy statement from Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), firms must record correspondences that “result in transactions concluded when dealing on own account and the provision of client order services that relate to the reception, transmission, and execution of client orders.” In addition to this, certain correspondences relating to firms offering corporate finance services may fall within recording requirements. Other types of communication that might fall under the MiFID II requirements include those between:

  • A bank and selling shareholder or bank and buyers relating to the purchase of a block of securities by the bank and the resale of securities.
  • A bank and its corporate client and bank and sellers related to the purchase of securities in “buy-back” transactions.
  • A bank and buyers regarding re-selling shares purchased by an underwriting bank.
  • A bank and its clients and the bank and a third-party seller or broker regarding the purchase of securities as part of stakebuilding.

Call Recording Compliance

If you are a financial services company, it is highly recommended to comply with the regulations and requirements of MiFID II. However, traditional recording technology, as well as recording and storing all calls, can be expensive.

Fortunately, cloud-based solutions make call recording and storing processes easier. For many companies, MiFID II provides a good reason to switch to a cloud-based communication platform. One of the benefits of a virtual communication system is the ability to record calls and access them for future use. Additionally, having the ability to record communication over different channels and devices is exceptionally convenient.

With a virtual telecom services provider like United World Telecom, you can choose to record 100% of your calls. These calls are stored as MP3 files for later use. Additionally, you can get the feature with your virtual business number and so, you don’t need to purchase any additional equipment to record calls.

Other Uses for Call Recording

Call recording is often used to reduce business and personal liability and to record important transactions and maintain compliance. Besides recording your calls to comply with MiFID II, you can also use recordings to improve business-customer interactions. For example, you can review recorded calls for quality assurance by referring to them during training and performance analysis. Teach and train your employees to meet your company’s standards. Reward good customer service practices and highlight interactions that need improvements. Some advantages of call recording:

  • Improve staff performance
  • Receive customer feedback
  • Monitor marketing campaigns and ROI
  • Find and recover missed opportunities
  • Gather sales training material and more.

Record Calls with United World Telecom

United World Telecom’s Call Recording feature will provide you a safe space to record and store both incoming and outgoing calls. Record calls and store MP3 files that are easily accessible. Sign up for a business number or transfer your existing number to us and get this feature today.

Pay Per Call Marketing: 12 Tips For Success

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If you’re not using digital marketing to promote your business, it is safe to say that you’re making a big mistake. There are a variety of ways to build brand awareness and let your customers find your business online. Pay per call marketing is one of them. Discover how you can create a strong pay per call strategy and increase sales.

What is Pay Per Call Marketing?

Pay per call marketing is similar to pay per click (PPC) advertising. With PPC, your ads get placed in search results and you pay only for the ads that visitors click on. In the case of pay per call, ads are placed with the option to call a company. And so, when a customer clicks on the ad, they place a call for the service or product. This way, companies pay for calls made through call ads. The goal of such marketing is to connect with customers quickly over the phone.

With this strategy, businesses can increase their inbound call volume across different channels. This also increases brand visibility and awareness. To make your pay per call advertising successful, you need to consider:

Does your company work on a high incoming call volume?
Will talking to someone make your target customer feel comfortable to make a purchase?
Will your target customer be searching for your business on their smartphone or mobile?

Based on these, you can start to design and develop a strong pay per click strategy to boost sales. Here are more details to focus on.

1) Choose a Platform

The first step to designing a good pay per call strategy is to decide where you want to post ads. Most PPC ads are placed on Google Ads, Facebook, Yahoo, and Bing. And so, the platform you choose is significant to the success of your strategy.

2) Fix a Budget

Be reasonable when budgeting for your marketing needs. You don’t want to overestimate or underestimate your costs. Start with a small budget and then increase it as needed.

3) Bid Well and High

Basically, with pay per call, you bid an amount that you will pay for each call that comes in. The higher the bid the higher your ad appears in search engine results. It is recommended that for every new strategy, you start by bidding high. This will immediately put you on the top. Then once you get a better sense of the market and responses to your ads, you can adjust the bid.

4) Create a Compelling Call-Only Ad

This is extremely crucial as it is your ad copy that will encourage your target clients to click the call button. Call-only ads shown on the search results are not like other items on the search result page. Usually, a search result item has a hyperlinked headline, a brief description of the webpage, and a URL. However, call ads have no headline and no landing page. The headline is your phone number, followed by a brief ad copy. You have a limited space to draw attention, so it needs to get the message across clearly. Something to the effect of: “Need to fix your bathroom tiles today? Call a local home repair shop now.” This copy works best when highly targeted and concise.

5) Find the Right Keywords

Keyword targeting is important across the board. Whether you are working with search engine optimization (SEO) or PPC marketing, keywords are important. Conduct market and keyword research to identify the right ones for your services and ensure that your ads target them.

6) Schedule Ads Smartly

This is important so that someone is always available to answer incoming calls. Schedule your ads during office hours. Or, if you utilize after-hours call center services, then have your ads run around that time. This leads to fewer voicemails and better customer service. Identify peak call times so you can benefit from consumer behavior and preferences. When are consumers looking for services like yours? And so on. Good customer interaction is essential to the successful running of any company.

7) Target Locally

Location targeting is key for local businesses. Get a local phone number from United World Telecom for different areas that you want to target. You can do so by purchasing a virtual number with local area codes. And since virtual numbers route calls over the internet, you or your consumers won’t pay long-distance charges. Additionally, they are more likely to call or answer a local number they are familiar with. And so a local number can boost your incoming call rates. You can then note which geographical areas are responding better to your ads and increase bids for those areas.

8) Calculate Call-Through Rates

So, pay per call works as: a customer searches for a service similar to yours and finds your ad with a phone number in the search results. They then click on the ad and this counts as a click to be charged. However, after clicking on the ad, they are taken to their phone’s dial pad where they have to click on “Call” to make the call. And so, if they change their minds here, the call does not go through. It is, therefore, important to find out how many clicks actually convert to calls. Rethink your strategies if you find a large gap between clicks and converted calls.

9) Retarget Unconverted Calls

Utilize the information found regarding the disparity between clicks and calls and retarget clicks that go abandoned. You do not want a high call abandon rate. Keep track of unconverted calls and encourage them with a retargeting ad offering a discount or other incentive.

10) Track Call Quality

Use call tracking software to keep a record of clicks, calls, and calls that convert to customers. With this information, you can understand consumer behavior patterns and preferences which will help you better target ideal customers. Then, optimize your bids for areas with good responses.

11) Improve Caller Experience

Any business with a high inbound call rate knows that caller experience is a significant factor in gaining clients. Do callers have to go through a series of menus to get their questions answered or resolved? Are calls directed to different locations? A personalized and non-complicated experience is highly preferred and will increase the chances of gaining new customers.

12) Maintain Your Marketing Strategies

Don’t stop or give up on your marketing strategies. Some strategies take longer than others to bear fruit. However, maintaining them and keeping them up to date is required to ensure they lead to success.

Improve Your Incoming Call Rate With Pay Per Call Marketing

Pay per call can effectively put your business on the map and bring it closer to target customers. And so, if you think your company can benefit from this kind of promotion, it may be time to experiment with call ads. With pay per call advertising, you can increase your call rate and convert calls to sales with excellent results!

Virtual Answering Service: How To Start Your Own

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Every business needs to maintain good relationships with its customers. And one way to do this is through customer service — by having someone personable to interact with your clients and resolve their issues. Whether it is to simply direct calls to different departments, answer simple questions about the company, or assist with complex tech support, customer care is necessary. A virtual answering service is a new way to engage with a company’s prospects. And businesses, especially small ones, are looking for answering services that can take some of the burdens off of them. So, is a virtual answering system something you can start on your own, and from the comfort of your home? Yes!

A Virtual Answering Service: The New Trend in Customer Care

Many small businesses are unable to hire someone to answer company calls 24/7. These companies, therefore, choose to outsource their office calls to a call center or an answering service that can do the job for them. With someone else handling customer calls, businesses can focus on other areas that require more immediate attention.

Now, starting your own answering service is easy. However, it is even easier when you consider going digital with it. A virtual answering service lets you create an online office with remote employees and virtual communication tools like virtual numbers. Let’s have a look at the different steps required when starting your own home-based answering service.

1) Create a Business Plan

The first step to starting any company or enterprise is to create a business plan outlining goals and market projections. This plan will take into account market research, ideal customer profiles, budget and expenses, and a plan of action. You may want to include potential investors you’d like or how many employees you want to hire, and so on.

2) Open a Business Bank Account and Start Budgeting

Once you have a business plan ready to go, you can reach out to investors for funds or start funding yourself. Either way, you would need to open a business bank account and start planning your budget. Think about how much you want to spend on employees, phone bills, equipment, and so on. This will later help you determine how much you should charge for your service.

3) Register the Business

To ensure potential customers take your company seriously, you need to take it seriously first. This means legitimizing your enterprise by registering it with the secretary of state or county clerk. Obtain a tax identification number and an employer identification number (EIN). These aside, make sure you get the necessary licenses and permits for your location.

4) Purchase Necessary Equipment

This is a necessary step because to properly run a virtual answering service, you need the right equipment and software. The best part about starting a digital answering service is that you are not limited to traditional phone lines. That means that you do not have to spend funds on getting several phone lines that connect to your public telephone network (PTSN). Instead, you can set up a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) phone system. This allows you to work with multiple virtual phone numbers that run through the internet and, therefore, just one traditional line. Calls made to virtual numbers can be answered anywhere in the world and on any device, which makes them an ideal fit for a remote answering business. This aside, research and purchase a call management software that works best for your needs.

5) Hire Remote Employees

If necessary and depending on the scope of your company, you can choose to hire a few remote employees to share the workload. This can also be done after your business starts growing.

6) Decide Your Service’s Rates

Based on the expenses incurred, plan out how to price your services so that you make a profit. Rates would depend on the number of hours you work out with your clients. You can charge various prices for standard work hours and additional for after-hours. Similarly, provide different packages with additional features or incentives. And if you extend your services to include other virtual office duties, you can increase your monthly income.

7) Market and Network

Once you have everything set up and ready to go, start promoting your service everywhere. Optimize your website by making it informational and educational. Then, utilize social media to get the word out. Market your website, your services, and everything you have to offer. Advertise your virtual number on billboards, business cards, and more. Also, consider email marketing and paid ads as ways to stay on your target clients’ screens. Build your professional profile and engage in networking on career sites. Look for job opportunities on major job boards and seek places that can utilize an after-hours answering service.

Offer Communication Solutions to Your Clients: Get a Virtual Phone Number Now!

Begin your process of starting your own virtual answering service with virtual numbers from United World Telecom. Sign up today or call us for more information about business numbers and how they can benefit your new company.