The future of telecommunications is in the cloud, say experts. Andrew Doherty discovers how it can increase conversions and sales.
Creating a frictionless customer experience is a proven way to keep your clients coming back. Fail to do so and they might book with a competitor.
Communications provider Babble has been helping businesses, including travel brands DoSomethingDifferent.com (DSD) and APT, become more profitable by curating positive client journeys and driving conversions.
Chief executive Matthew Parker explains how travel agencies can leverage cloud communication technology to increase efficiency and improve sales.
Parker recommends agencies employ inbound call management software to direct clients to the relevant consultant.
“It’s about enabling clients to have the right conversation with the right person at the right time,” he enthuses. “People are confident buying things online but less so when purchasing an experience. They want a personal connection but often end up speaking to several people who are all asking the same questions.
“For example, when I book a flight the airline has my number saved and knows who I am. But they ask me the same questions every time I call, which is annoying.”
Parker says call management systems are easy to install and often require little training to use.
“At Babble, we install the software with no upfront fees. Costs are based on a monthly subscription (from £40 per user), but vary depending on consumption volume such as number of calls tracked.”
DSD has been working with Babble for 10 years to improve its communications systems, explains head of operations, David Courtley.
“Babble offers us stable and fast connectivity and the call management system has helped put clients through to the relevant consultant, so no one is left on hold.”
Pitfalls to avoid during the call process include using pre-recorded voice playback, which Parker says is often more irritating than useful.
“We’ve all been on hold for 45 minutes only to be asked the same questions all over again. The chances of converting a sale only increase when you give that client a positive experience – this isn’t one.”
Dynamic phone numbers, a feature of call management, enable companies to track inbound calls from a specific marketing or advertising campaign.
“For example, you could have a number on an advert on the back of a bus, online, or in a social media campaign. When a client phones in, they will immediately go to the agent most knowledgeable on the particular destination it’s promoting.”
However, for Parker, hosted telephony represents the future of communications technology. Simply put, hosted telephony is a piece of software or “softphone” that allows phone calls to be made over the internet, using a desktop computer or a mobile device. Benefits include reduced call charges due to a large number of people using the service.
“It allows better collaboration between staff in an agency and clients at home,” says Parker. “Users have instant access to features such as chat and the ability to send destination videos to their customers. They also don’t need to be at their desk to use it. Hosted telephony is all about creating an interactive experience from flexible locations.”