Leveraging the Human Factor: When Digital Strategies Alone Can’t Revive Slowing Results

Bryan Throckmorton, Managing Director Digital Strategy and Transformation Segment Lead
Devin Butler, Associate Director Demand Generation

Businesses are constantly searching for new ways to match messaging to eyeballs, or put succinctly, trying to adapt new strategies to engage effectively with customers where they are consuming content. But what happens when these digital marketing and advertising efforts start to lose steam?

Slowing results are common in today’s fast-changing digital landscape, and it is forcing companies across various industries to reassess the effectiveness of their digital marketing strategies. Understanding the wider context influencing digital marketing and advertising trends is a challenge, and it’s also difficult to gauge whether the message is getting to the right audience, or more importantly, capturing the audiences’ attention.

Go deeper: Take the energy and utilities space as an example. Utility companies frequently rollout digital campaigns on how to become more energy efficient and reduce costs. Campaigns promote things like smart thermostats, power backup-options for residential customers and leveraging no-interest loans and government-aided optimal rate planning for commercial enterprises. The campaigns are initially successfully, but they tend to hit a wall or underperform after the initial waves of deployment. Why is that the case and how can utility companies solve this slow down puzzle?

A key point: The answer or missing piece to the puzzle is the human factor. Combining digital and teleservices programs has proven to generate better results than just digital alone.

To understand how the combination works, it’s important to recognize that there are subsets of customers who a) are not going to pay attention to any digital push and b) don’t understand it well enough to decide to act. This means that once the results from campaigns start to decrease in effectiveness, organizations should pivot to a straightforward tactic such as teleservices, which allows companies to add a humanistic approach that can engage, surprise, and delight a broader audience. Teleservices are the opposite of the “IVR death march” that is very efficient for some companies but can drive consumers crazy.

With teleservices, proactive, knowledgeable and empathetic agents take their time to explain offers and benefits, or even aid in the enrollment process, building trust with the consumer or business. Much like any marketing tactic, teleservices require thoughtful planning and a focus on results. However, it also takes trained and skilled callers to execute the program, tight integration with the client’s systems (such as CRMs), and the ability to quickly learn important specifics around the individual programs and campaigns.

Finding the right partner who understands how to execute a program and how to use it to complement existing digital campaigns is crucial. Also, teleservices can have broad application across different industries, but they are particularly effective for consumers in the energy and utilities, technology, and college/university space.

All teleservices are not created equal. When evaluating teleservices, it’s important to consider the following recommendations:

Understand your audience: Analyze your target audience to assess their preferences, behaviors and communication channels. This understanding will help tailor your teleservices approach to resonate with your audience effectively.

Evaluate cost-effectiveness: Compare the potential costs of implementing teleservices with the expected benefits. Consider factors such as equipment, software, staffing, training, and ongoing operational expenses. Assess whether the potential return on investment justifies the expenditure.

Define your goals: Determine what specific objectives you aim to achieve through teleservices. Whether it’s increasing customer engagement, generating leads, providing support, or conducting surveys, having clear goals will guide your evaluation process.

Analyze competitive landscape: Research how competitors in your industry are leveraging teleservices. Identify gaps, challenges, and opportunities that can inform your strategy and help differentiate your approach.

Pilot testing: Consider conducting a pilot program to test the feasibility and effectiveness of teleservices before full implementation. Use the pilot phase to gather feedback, fine-tune processes, and identify areas for improvement.

Final word: Teleservices empower all staff members to effectively communicate and achieve goals. The targeted audience will benefit from streamlined communication, increased productivity, and improved collaboration. Embracing teleservices will help your organization stay connected, adapt to remote work, and enhance overall performance.

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