Posted by & filed under B2B, Integrations, Marketing, Tracking.

Measuring-ROI-on-Radio-Advertisments-2

As a SaaS company, marketing at Exotel has largely been “online” and internet focussed. We have been experimenting with offline marketing mediums lately and last week we ran our first radio advertisements. If you haven’t heard them because you’re not in Bangalore, you can hear them here.

According to Visante Communications’ Corporate Executive Board (CEB) Survey ,

B2B customers are making 70% of independent purchase decisions before engaging a sales person.

So, brand building becomes a very important play to influence customers.

We wanted to bring some method to the madness that is offline advertising. At a FICCI Frames 2014 session, a speaker from RCom spoke about the need to be able to measure the ROI on Radio and about

A lot of marketers are hesitant to invest in radio because of the lack of measurement. Something needs to be done here, because that will attract advertising

We had similar concerns ourselves. So, we wanted to be able to say more than “We got a positive response from a lot of folks” when we analysed our radio advertisement ROI. And yet again, we used Exotel to make our own lives easier along with Google Analytics Offline Conversion Tracking.

Here’s the premise of what we set out to do:

Measure the number of leads (in this case, calls) the radio campaign generated and eventually, the number of customers we acquired as a result of the campaign.

Analysing the Radio Advertising ROI

Provide a “Call” to Action

If you listen to the Exotel ads, the Call to Action is to call on a Exotel Number 8880877888 (scroll up to listen to the ad if you haven’t heard it already) and we double stress on it. It helps if the number has an easy “recall” factor. Remember the Taxiforsure jingle? Are you singing it right now?

Track leads when they call in

When you receive a call on the number mentioned in your ad, store it in your database or a Google Spreadsheet using Exotel’s passthru applet and then connected to the sales team.

Our sales team, after explaining the Exotel product and debating String theory, requests the caller to register at my.exotel.in if they haven’t already. As part of the registration process, we get the phone number of the person registering. Usually, this will be the same number from which the customer called.

Linking the call to Google Analytics

Upgrade to Universal Analytics if you haven’t already for the second part of this tracking. Once you have upgraded, add a couple of lines of code to your Google Analytics get the clientID, a unique random number that Google Analytics generates for every user.

ga(function (tracker) {
gClientId = tracker.get(‘clientId’);
});


When a user registers, pass on this information along with other parameters to your CRM. At Exotel, we use Pipedrive and have done some tight integrations with it using our APIs. This value is now stored along with the other information for this lead. In addition, we also check if the number used for registration is in the database that we stored the list of numbers who called in on our number. If the number is present, use the Google Measurement Protocol API to let Google know that this user came via Radio Campaigns. All you need to do is to do a POST/GET request to www.google-analytics.com with the following payload.


code 1

This will record in Google Analytics that this user came in via Radio advertisement campaign and which radio ad.

Follow the lead all the way to the sale

What we have done till now only helps you track registrations. But you would want to track not just registrations but a sale. So once the user purchases your product by making a payment, you could pass another event to Google Analytics using the same Measurement Protocol API. You can send another POST/GET request to www.google-analytics.com with the following payload:

code 2

In Google Analytics, you can setup a goal for the above event

1--SejDfHHWW7n2_NnGbeVsA

This event must be triggered irrespective of whether the sale was from a Radio campaign, or adwords or organic lead. Then you could goto Goals under the Conversion tab and analyse how much was the returns from the Radio Ad. All you need to do is filter for Source as Radio and you have all the data.

NOTE:

1. You can use the same logic and track your other offline campaigns like Print ads, TV ads etc. For example, in the case of Print ads, you can even track multiple ads with multiple numbers and do some A/B testing that will possibly allow you to evaluate which one performs better.

2. If you’d like to implement this for your Exotel account, please write to hello@exotel.in and your account manager will help you with the set up.

Takeaways:

With Exotel’s cloud telephony, you can now hold the traditionally “unmeasurable” media, accountable for performance. Provide a phone number in your ad to measure your radio advertisement ROI. Track the calls via Exotel and sync them with your Google Analytics account to measure conversions and ROI for your campaigns. You might need a tiny bit of coding skill to implement this but it is way better than depending on “listener feedback” to evaluate your radio ad campaign.

Posted by & filed under Call Center, Integrations, Marketplace, Phone Numbers.

Number Mapping – No coding required

One of the biggest benefits of cloud telephony and Exotel is that it allows you to set up seemingly complicated call flows and logic in a matter of minutes. If you’re familiar with how traditional systems like EPABX or PBX function, you will be familiar with the amount of pain a business owner has to go through to make even the smallest change.

Here’s a scenario for you — you’re a business owner who runs a company on the marketplace model. And here’s what you’re looking for:

  1. A separate number for every vendor on your site
  2. Connect callers to the particular vendor they want to speak to. without revealing the number of the customer to the vendor and vice-versa.
  3. Analytics on calls to these vendors – information like  who called, how many calls, what did they say on these calls (call recordings), what times were these calls coming in at, etc.

Here’s how you’d be doing it in a traditional setup — map a unique virtual number to a vendor, get your tech team to code the logic flow and as you grow, keep doing this in a loop.

And here’s the catch to doing this the traditional way:

  • you need to have a dedicated tech team every time you need to add/delete numbers
  • in case, you don’t have a tech team, working with vendors to code the backbone of your business becomes a nightmare
  • making changes takes time and effort and delays that you will not have control over.

You could use a CRM and implement a solution like this. However, if you’re a small business, then finding the right CRM for you and setting processes around it is a time-consuming job. It’s not something you can hurry too much on. CRMs are also expensive.

What if you could do this in a much more simple way that doesn’t require any coding or any great effort beyond maintaining and tracking a Google spreadsheet?

Here’s the solution lot of our clients use to make their life simple:

Step 1:

Get a unique Exophone for every single vendor. Add the numbers to a Google Spreadsheet doc along with the vendor names and the mobile or landline number of the vendor to forward calls to like this:

cloud telephony for marketplace



Step 2:

Run a short piece of code that Exotel gives you on this sheet.

cloud telephony for marketplace



Step 3:

Create a call flow using Exotel’s app builder.

cloud telephony for marketplace



Drag and drop the connect applet and copy-paste the URL from the Google Spreadsheet.

That URL will return a phone number that Exotel will then dial out.

That’s it! You’re done.

A process that could potentially take you a long time to implement the traditional way is done in a matter of minutes.

Here’s a sample of the daily email report you’ll get on the VN’s you set up for your vendors —

Track exactly how many calls your vendors receive, how many were missed, etc. You will even get information about how the calls are getting distributed throughout the day. This information helps in resource allocation.

To reiterate, who this solution works for:

  1. Marketplace businesses who want to connect customers with multiple vendors.
  2. Businesses that want to connect two people without revealing either person’s phone number to each other.
  3. If you do not have a full-time tech team

Posted by & filed under Call Center, CRM, Customers, Exotel.

Sync your phone system and ticketing software & CRM — Exotel Click2Call Chrome Extension

We use Exotel (the product) at Exotel (the company) for all of our customer communication. We are big believers in eating our own dog food. This is, in fact, the best way for us to stay on top of our product. When we use Exotel everyday for communication with our customers we discover ways in which we can make product better. And I don’t think we would have ever come up with these integrations otherwise.

We primarily use 2 tools to manage our business — our CRM & helpdesk software. Shuffling between these 2 tools and the Exotel dashboard to make calls proved to be a hassle. So, we decided to figure out a way to make calls via Exotel directly from any browser window. And the result of that is the Exotel Click2Call Chrome plugin . This chrome plugin detects phone numbers in your chrome browser window and allows you to call these numbers with just a click via Exotel.

The set up process is really simple:

  1. Download the Chrome Plugin
  2. Set it to auto-detect phone numbers
Exotel Chrome Plugin

3. login to the Exotel account

And you’re all set to start calling.

Scenerio 1:

Our sales engineers use Pipedrive to manage our leads. Anytime they want to call a prospective customer, all they need to do is click on the number displayed and the call goes through from their Exotel account.

exotel integration with pipedrive

After every call to a customer is done, we update details about the call along with the call recording in Pipedrive using the passthru applet . This works for incoming calls as well. So, everytime a sales agent looks at a customer on Pipedrive, they have all the context they need on the deal in one place.

pipedrive call details

Scenerio 2:

We integrated our ticketing software, Freshdesk, with Exotel to ensure we don’t miss calls. Here’s a detailed post on what we and how we did it.

In short, anytime we miss a call on Exotel, (which we try really really hard not to), the missed call information is sent to Freshdesk a ticket. This ensures that we don’t ever miss out calling anyone back.

Missed calls appear as tickets in our helpdesk software and these have strict SLAs in place Just clicking on the number displayed in this ticket will connect them to the customer via Exotel

Scenerio 3:

Our support email address is hello@exotel.in and this we manage via Freshdesk. So, very often we receive emails from customers with issues that require us to speak to them because talking might be an easier way to solve their issue rather than back and forth emailing.

Again, click on the number, call — it really is just that simple.

 

chrome extension ticket call

 

In all of the above cases, as soon as you click on the number displayed, Exotel connects the call to your number and then to the customer you’re trying to reach.

 

chrome extension call

 

Pick up the call and wait for the customer to be connected and continue talking like you always would.

The recordings of these calls can also be found in your Exotel dashboard.

Posted by & filed under Guest Post.

If you have a product or service you sell online, having an online payment gateway is a no-brainer. When we started out at Exotel, in spite of being a SaaS company, we didn’t accept online payments. Our payments were made via cheque or sometimes even cash. There were lots of delays. At times we couldn’t coordinate collections at the right time. And this delay affected account setup and customers being able to get started. One of the things we prided ourselves about at Exotel is the simplicity of the set up process. Actually, cloud telephony gives you the liberty to do that. Not having an option to pay online also turned out to be another factor contributing to the buyer’s decision cycle.

We got an online payment gateway in place when we scaled to about 50 customers to collect payments online. Initially, our customers showed some reluctance to use online payments. We offered gentle nudges by way of discounts to encourage our customers to pay online.

Even now, we offer our customers the flexibility to use other modes of payment but more than 70% of our customers regularly prefer to pay us online.

If this doesn’t seem like a nudge enough for you to try out online payment methods for your business, you should hear from our friends at Instamojo. Ruchir Kanakia , from Instamojo gives you several reasons why you should consider enabling online payments for your business.

Over to Ruchir.

online payments

Instamojo , as a product, marries commerce to payments. It is the simplest way to setup an online payment system for your company. We have over a thousand merchants who are registered on our platform. We strive to make online payments easy, seamless & hassle free for all our merchants

You should collect payments online for your business for the following reasons

  1. Scalability – Companies can scale from 100 payments to 50,000 payments with little or no effort on their system. Hence, it is very easy to scale an online payments system as opposed to managing cash which involves hiring more people and installing monitoring system to prevent theft.
  2. Cash Management- Banks charge a small fee everytime cash is deposited over a certain amount in an account. Also, human effort is involved in carrying a large sum of cash to the bank. Hence, you end up spending more over a period of time. You need to factor in duplicate and torn notes which cause is a major issue while accepting cash.
  3. Account Reconciliation – If you accept NEFT, Cheque or Cash, tracing a transaction back to a buyer is very difficult. Also, someone has to manually reconcile the accounts and the buyer cannot avail of the service or product unless the vendor provides him with a credit line.
  4. Limited Time – NEFT transactions can be initiated only between 9 am to 5 pm on a working day. Also, to manage cash you need an employee or person. It is possible to accept online payments anytime and you can serve your customers 24*7.
  5. Productivity- You need to spend so much time thinking about and managing your payment processes whereas the same time can be used to focus on growing your core business.
  6. Buyer Preference- More & more buyers now prefer to pay online. Hence it is always good to give customers as many options as possible to buy a product or service. It goes without saying “Customer is King”

Posted by & filed under Events, Exotel.

Exotel 2014 - A Review