While shopping online before purchasing is common, not all transactions can end online. There are some products and services that require more than a click and a credit card to acquire. Take insurance policies for example. Insurance is a personalized product and one size does not fit all. After performing online research, the next step in the journey typically results in a phone call. Insurance marketers understand this, which is why the call to action for several promotional tactics such as paid search and direct mail is often a phone call.
So, what happens when that call comes in?
The Marchex Institute recently analyzed more than 850,000 calls to more than 100 insurance agencies from nearly 400 paid search campaigns. Our findings are summarized in a report, but one finding is especially significant:
Across paid search campaigns, calls fail 33 percent of the time.
While there is room for improvement across the board when it comes to call handling, calls from call extensions and click-to-call ads clearly aren’t being handled effectively. The answer to why this segment faces such inconsistent responses from brands may be in the routing.
In measuring the calls to insurance agencies, we looked at agencies with at least 100 inbound marketing calls per month. These businesses range in size from a single agent to larger agencies with more staffing. We also only considered calls that came in during business hours. This group had a 14 percent failed call rate, performing 60 percent better than calls coming from paid search. One possible reason for this is that it took less time to reach a representative.
For the paid search campaigns, calls could be routed to an agency, but oftentimes, calls were routed to the brand itself or to a call center. In this case, the caller would need to go through a longer process to reach their local agent. In many cases–28 percent, in fact–the caller abandoned the call while engaging with the interactive voice response (IVR) system.
This insight could be a valuable learning for brands seeking to improve the customer experience and optimize their marketing budget, particularly, their paid search channel.
Read the full study for other insights including call handling tips for IVR systems and brand representatives: Marchex 2018 Insurance Benchmark.