In an effort to increase customer lifetime value, offline channels have become key battlegrounds. 

It’s often quoted, for example, that multichannel customers are worth four times that of a customer solely shopping offline or online.

Which offline channels are most relevant for your business? How do you join the dots to map and track website visitors and customers who are engaging both online and offline? How important is it for your business (or for your clients) to join up online and call centre activity?

These are just few questions we asked in our new Understanding the Customer Journey report produced in association with ResponseTap.

The report based on a survey of almost 2,000 digital marketers and ecommerce professionals looking at what companies are doing to map journeys and improve the overall customer experience across an array of different touchpoints, including interactions in the digital and physical worlds.

Lets take a look at some of the key research related to the questions above.

72% of companies aren’t using telephone call tracking to map the customer journey

Organisations have realised the advantages of sharing data between traditional and digital marketing teams over managing different activities in isolation. The less fragmentation there is the better you can make the custom experience.

We asked our respondents “which of the following offline channels are relevant for your business (or for your clients)?”

Call centres emerge as a significant offline channel, but as we can see below, only 28% of marketers are using call centre data to map and track website visits and customers who are engaging both online and offline.

“How do you (or your clients) join the dots to map and track website visitors and customers who are engaging both online and offline?”

Call tracking can help organisations understand what prompts a call, the types of services consumers are interested in and the path they took to get there. This provides marketers with an understanding which channels resonate with target audiences, as well as providing feedback on the effectiveness of individual ads. 

How do you join the dots between offline and online?

It’s natural for organisations starting out to gravitate to channels they feel they have most control over, such as online analytics. However more sophisticated marketers are taking into account offline channels which are increasingly seen as key differentiators in the overall customer experience.

As you can see from the chart above, marketers are becoming increasingly sophisticated when it comes to including URLs, unique discount codes or QR codes in their campaigns. Click and collect is also instrumental in connecting online and offline worlds. 

Although currently under-utilised, beacons hold great promise for marketers in 2015 and Google is currently also working on tying metrics like offline sales and store visits to views and engagement. 

It is clear that organisations are lagging behind in their ability to join up digital and call centre interactions however.  Just under half (46%) of client-side respondents say that joining up online and call centre activity is ‘very important’, a percentage well in excess of the 28% who are using telephone call tracking to map across online and offline 

Understanding the importance of joining up online and call centre activity

Understanding the website behaviour of callers can offer a competitive advantage to those organisations able to translate this knowledge into an action which is more likely to effect the desired response from a customer.

When the conversion takes place over the telephone and is tracked, marketers are equipped with powerful information which can strengthen their attribution modelling and enable them to reverse-engineer the customer journey with a view to driving more profitable outcomes.

Respondents are also more likely to agree than disagree with the following statements:

  • “We track how callers have engaged online” (e.g. keywords used to enter site and pages looked at) - 43% who agree versus 38% who disagree.
  • “We track the sales or lead value of the call” – 44% versus 34%
  • “We use insight from phone calls to tailor on-site content” – 40% versus 38%

While these are all valuable benefits for those with the right software, fewer organisations are able to empower their call centre staff to see how known customers have been engaging with them online (30%), something which can be a useful weapon for those organisations seeking to demonstrate that they have a single customer view.

For a more in-depth look at this topic, download the full report: Understanding the Customer Journey.

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 21 April, 2015 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Comments (2)

Martin Hill-Wilson

Martin Hill-Wilson, Owner at Brainfood Consulting

One of the most powerful ways to track topics and types of engagement is interaction analytics. This is a vital input into VoC and therefore mapping and tracking

over 2 years ago

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Stan Wayne, Content Manager at Ringostat

Consumers are using multiple devices on their path to purchase and so it's vital that marketers track the entire visitor journey across all touch points to understand what activity is driving leads and more importantly which activity is driving phone calls. I prefer using Ringostat to monitor my advertising campaign and manage Lead.

over 2 years ago

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