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Despite the availability of texting, tweeting, and instant messaging, many customers still prefer to pick up the phone and call. They make reservations with restaurants or schedule appointments with salons, dress shops, and offices.

The best part is that these modern phone calls can be trackable, optimized, and improved.

With click-to-call buttons, customers no longer have to dial your number or copy it from your website, and managers are better able to see how their callers found the number. These buttons are easier for both parties and create a much better experience for the user.

So get ready to turn on your click-to-call buttons and help both your organization and your customers. Here are five steps every business should take to encourage more customers to call.

Step #1) Optimize Your Webpages

The first step to improving your click-to-call button performance is to make sure they’re featured prominently and correctly across your marketing channels. In an earlier blog post, we discussed the process for featuring your phone number on your website, adding it to Facebook, and making it easy to view in Google. These steps can help you make sure your click-to-call options are on across the web and available for customers to use.

Optimizing your click-to-call buttons will also help you better track your marketing performance.

By tracking the specific channels most customers use to call you (whether they’re calling you through your Facebook page or finding your number in Google My Business or AdWords), you can determine where to put your marketing dollars to capitalize on your audience. Most of these pages offer in-depth analytics like call impressions, call times, and conversions to help you see which calls most likely resulted in a sale or appointment.

Considering that 45% of customers initiated a purchase over the phone in the past year, making it easy for customers to call your business is crucial to bringing them from interested customer to dedicated buyer.

Step #2) Review Your Customer Service Practices

Before you can start promoting your click-to-call buttons and phone service, you need to review your customer call plans and call etiquette with employees. For some companies, this might be as simple as holding a staff meeting to prepare team members for a potential influx of calls. However, other companies might need to work on their infrastructure to improve the customer call experience.

The same study that showed 45% of customers still use phones to initiate purchases found that 70% of customer phone orders were placed on hold and the average wait time is 57 seconds.  Your customers have patience and are willing to wait, but not excessively.

Make sure your team is trained to promptly respond to customer needs and address their concerns quickly.

Some customer service phone technology records customer calls so managers can see how long customers were waiting and whether or not their problems were answered.

Remember, 34% of customers who hang up will not call back. If you create a terrible phone experience for your callers, then all of your marketing efforts to drive people to call are going to waste.

Step #3) Answer Questions Faster With On-Hold Messaging

On-hold messaging allows companies to answer customer questions faster, which reduces overall hold time and increases the number of happy callers. When you place a customer on hold, recorded messages will provide relevant information related to business hours, appointments, products, and directions.

One of the main reasons customers call is to check operating hours, so featuring this information (along with other FAQs in your recording) in your on-hold message script can give people the answers they need without waiting for an employee to become available.

If you can answer 25-50% of questions with on-hold messaging, you can increase the number of calls you drive through your marketing channels without increasing the burden on your customer care team at the same pace.

Step #4) Include Phone-Related Call-to-Actions in Your Marketing Copy

Once your click-to-call buttons are optimized, your team is ready, and your answering system has the information you want to present, you can start promoting your calls in your marketing copy.

Consider testing call-related promotions in your social media posts, Google ads, website copy, and other marketing content.

You don’t have to eliminate your other call-to-action messages, but adding phone-related copy (strategically placed next to your click-to-call buttons) can help drive customers to try out the new system.

Some businesses may want to promote click-to-call copy slowly, moving from one channel to the next until all of their channels are promoting phone calls. This will allow your team to slowly roll out the feature and better prepare staff for the growing number of calls.

Step #5) Limit Click-to-Call Options to Operating Hours

If your business uses a 24-7 customer service team that is able to take calls through the night, then this step doesn’t apply to you. However, most businesses are only open for a set number of hours each day, which means customers who call will either receive a voicemail recording or an endless ringing until they give up. Neither of those options is ideal.

When you are setting up your click-to-call ads, look for options to pause the ads outside of normal operating hours.

Facebook and Google both offer these options. This will prevent negative experiences when your customers try to call you and can’t get through.

For static ads, like Facebook banners or website graphics, consider including your operating hours close to your click-to-call button. This will let customers know when you are available to answer their questions so they refrain from calling you when it’s too late or too early in the day. (This also helps answer questions related to operating hours, reducing the number of calls made to your business asking about them.)

Make It Easy for Customers to Connect With You

Not all businesses will see a massive jump in calls through increased click-to-call promotions, but following these steps can help create positive experiences for those who do. Your phone number should be an asset that closes sales and provides information for customers, not a burden that drives people away.

For more tips on how to leverage phone calls at your business to increase customer satisfaction and improve sales — grab our free ebook “Optimize Your Customer Calling Experience.”