Beyond call tracking: Measuring sentiment for marketing success

  •   August 17, 2019

Call analytics can be a touchy subject among some marketing teams, particularly those that have strained relationships with the sales team of their organizations. The tension between the two departments often leaves a gap between our teams that, when bridged, create valuable insights into cross-channel campaign effectiveness and sales results. Thanks to the rise of mobile in e-commerce, digital marketers need to incorporate call analytics into their reporting strategies to tell the whole story of the customer journey.

Go beyond basic call tracking

According to research from Forrester, customers who call tend to buy more, make purchases quicker and remain customers longer than customers from other channels. Customers who initiate an inbound phone call during the customer journey convert an average of 30 percent faster — and spend an average of 28 percent more.

Having a handle on customer sentiment will significantly improve your holistic digital strategy. You know what your customers “do” with your campaigns, but how do they “feel” towards your brand? What happened when they called? What was the salesperson’s impression of the customer’s attitude towards him or her? Understanding the conversational context in which the sales team engages with them can help you better understand these factors and identify signals of intent (or attrition).

Amanda Farley, partner at SS Digital Media, recommends that marketers with the bandwidth listen in to sales calls — with both positive and negative outcomes — to better understand the conversation that drove the result. “There is usually a disconnect between marketing campaigns and the people answering the phone,” she said. “The messaging on the ads might be clear about who a brand is, but it’s really about how phone calls are facilitated.” Establishing this practice, according to Farley, can create valuable learnings for sales and marketing teams and improve the experience for inbound callers.

On smaller teams, dedicating a marketer to listen in on recorded phone calls might not be feasible. However, working with the sales team to provide visibility into your digital campaigns can be a step in the right direction towards understanding the context of inbound calls. Enabling the sales team with a process and the right tools to do this; for example, custom fields can be added to your CRM to capture the information.

More advanced organizations with systems already in place can take advantage of natural language processing features to perform on-call analysis of spoken words and phrases that have been identified as signals of conversion intent.

Create sentiment-informed campaigns

Analytics provide a healthy performance analysis, but they lack the contextual elements of what the customer’s experience with your brand was. Conversation analytics are an example of measurable insights that we can use to determine messaging, identify strengths and weaknesses, assess campaign effectiveness and measure customer sentiment.

Customer sentiment should be considered when you are developing segmentation strategies for email campaigns, designing landing pages and marketing automation. Messaging, for example, can be explicitly written to serve the individual’s needs based on their sentiment rating. If a salesperson indicates a customer has a negative experience, use the event as a trigger to initiate a win-back campaign — before the customer hangs up for good.

It’s all about the relationships

Our relationships with sales can present many challenges for organizations of all sizes — from using siloed platforms to being in different physical locations, it can be difficult to establish rapport with other teams. However, building that relationship is a critical element to optimizing and truly understanding call analytics and customer sentiment. Partnering with sales to clearly define and align goals improves the holistic sales and marketing strategy with the added layer of customer-data to help influence campaigns.  Adding the measurement of customer sentiment to this will provide new opportunities for your teams to share valuable insights, better understand customers and foster better relationships with them.