Have you ever been frustrated like this?
You want to know if the nearest location of your favorite coffee/donut shop is open for the next hour, so you search the number online and call. Only to be asked to select which location you’d like to be connected to. My answer, of course, is always the same, “the one I just called.” (Which, oddly enough, is never an option in the IVR menu.)
The only reason you’d ever have to endure frustration is because the business you’re calling has one central phone system for all locations and hasn’t bothered to automate forwarding. (Which, of course, is just plain lazy and a little disrespectful.)
Beyond creating a more streamlined (read: pleasurable) customer experience, using your phone system to its fullest potential can provide valuable marketing data with the implementation of a few simple tracking measures.
The year is 2014. Anyone can easily (and affordably) acquire a few extra phone numbers and assign them to individual locations or departments. On top of that, they can use SIP signaling to route incoming calls more contextually, and track which numbers are being called most, from where, and when. The best part is, it can all be done through one central phone system.
Here’s why all this matters to the promotion of your business.
By routing multiple phone numbers into your system, even before sending them to the right place, you can easily track and record which ones are being called most.
And here’s why your marketing team is about to get excited.
Programing your PBX to track which numbers are dialed most allows them to measure the impact and ROI of their efforts, which helps them plan better next time, and generally justify their existence. You can create and manage hyper local campaign collateral by printing a unique contact phone number on each type of piece your team creates, so they’ll know exactly which ones are proving most effective. Instant campaign tracker. It’s the kind of research that could cost thousands, and you can do it for free.
Of course, if you want to get (a little bit) more technical, you can see which area codes and rate centers are calling in most to track regional successes. Although in a world where anyone can take their numbers anywhere they want, this method might prove less reliable.
Once you’ve tallied the success of your ads, you can take marketing with your telephone system a step (or two, or three) further by creating rules to forward those numbers to set destinations where the person who answers will know exactly what they should do with the call.
A little line of SIP signalling is the key.
The diversion header is the signalling code field that helps identify forwarded calls. When a call is forwarded, the diversion header adds the first number dialed to the signaling so the next destination knows how and why the call got there.
E.G. – Direct mailers that have unique phone number per zip code are forwarded by your rep who covers that territory (among others) and answered with, “How’s everything in [insert neighborhood] today?” (Or a rep that has a particular accent, or something else that makes the caller feel special and like they’re right at home talking to a neighbor over the fence.)
Data is the latest drool catalyst in marketing. Tell your marketing department they can track where calls are coming from, and better control where they’re going to, using nothing more than your phone system, and they’ll buy your coffee and donuts for the rest of the year.
So that scenario where you call a business and then are asked to tell the system which business you’re calling (again) is completely avoidable. And avoiding it sets up your phone system to to track your marketing efforts and personalize customer interactions. All you need is your phone system and few lines of code (which may vary depending on the platform you use). What’s not to love?