The definition of click-to-call (which is sometimes called click-to-talk, click-to-dial or click-to-text) refers to a type of digital communication in which a person clicks a button or text in order to be connected with another individual in real-time. These connections can occur via phone call, SMS or Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP). These click-to-call links are commonly found as buttons on websites. But often, click-to-call can be initiated by hyperlinks over emails and videos. It is intended to help save time by ensuring that customers don’t have to manually enter business phone numbers into their phone or break from the context of web browsing in order to make a phone number.
Current click-to-call technology does not require customers to download software other than standard plugins (such as Flash). Since customers don’t need to download software, it has alleviated customer concerns about downloading malware or spyware. A lot of current click-to-call technology is a clientless web-to-phone service, in which the call takes place outside the user’s computer.
Providing customers with a click to call option is seen as a form of direct response marketing, because it enables customers to directly get in touch with a company after viewing marketing materials like websites, paid search ads and other types of digital content.
At it’s most basic form, click-to-call technology works by the end user enters her phone number and requests a call. An intermediary service then dials the end user and other third party and initiates a conversation between the two parties.
The term click-to-call can be misleading, since clicking the button doesn’t always actually dial another party. Often it just requests a phone call. Many companies use this technology to enable customers to request an immediate call from a sales rep. In these cases, a customer using click-to-call can demonstrate high demand for a company’s offerings and warrant immediate follow-up. Since click-to-call solutions are designed to connect highly sales ready prospects with reps in real-time, they can have a dramatic increase in inbound sales ROI.
One of the most common applications of click-to-call for inbound sales teams is that prospects can request phone calls from within an AI-powered chatbot. AI-powered chatbots are growing in prevalence for inbound sales and the ability for customers to click a button to be connected with a sales rep via the chatbot is a powerful tool available to businesses.
Call tracking systems enable business to serve up dynamic phone numbers that are tied to specific search keywords or ad sources. When combined with click-to-call, reps can not only receive calls from customers but be alerted to exactly why the customer called. As an example, imagine that a customer searched for “Marketing automation” and then clicked on a Google ad for a marketing automation vendor. That ad might go to a landing page with a phone number that is specific to that ad. Then, when the customer clicks to dial the company to learn more, the rep would know exactly which ad the customer clicked on based on the specific dynamic number that was clicked.
Click-to-dial technology can also be used to help inside sales reps making outbound phone calls. Inside sales solutions that integrate with a CRM tool like Salesforce can enable reps to click to dial prospects directly from a CRM lead or contact view. This can enable reps to dial without having to take the time to actually manually dial a lead. The result is that inside sales reps can contact more prospects in a single day.
Click to Dial can also be directly integrated with sales sequences and playbooks, enabling reps to focus on next best actions without having to worry about manually entering numbers or breaking from their workflow. Click-to-dial functionality keeps reps in a seamless workflow, making it easier for reps to gain key benefits like dialing more prospects and having more conversations every day.
Click-to-call has been proven to be extremely effective! So how much can it impact sales ROI? Research from Forrester, a prominent market research company, has revealed that click-to-dial functionality can increase ROI by an average of 143%. It’s no wonder that more companies are looking for ways to make it easier for reps and customers to automatically dial numbers via their browser.
Increased adoption of mobile devices may be making click-to-call more popular. For example, Google currently offers businesses the option of implementing click-to-call technology. Google’s click-to-call implementation has achieved widespread adoption. According to research from eConsultancy, 40% of mobile searchers use Google’s click to call. eConsultancy also has reported that more than 50% of mobile searchers find click-to-call useful. The fact that so many consumers are using click-to-call to dial business from mobile devices is having a far-reaching effect on the amount of inbound calls that businesses are receiving. BIA/Kelsey has predicted that inbound sales calls are set to more than double over the next two years.
eConsultancy’s shows that statistically significant portion of customers would be disappointed if click-to-call options weren’t available.
eConsultancy studied click-to-call usage across several industries.
Percentage of respondents that have needed to call companies across each industry:
eConsultancy’s study focused on business-to-consumer (B2C) industries. However, there are many B2B companies that are utilizing click-to-call technology to connect prospective customers to sales reps in real time as well. This is becoming increasingly true as B2B buyers act as consumers, conducting more and more of their own research as individuals before making purchases as a group with other key stakeholders.