Contributions to Profit: Track Call-to-Order Conversions
Readers: With this issue we welcome new columnist Jim Gilbert, a catalog and DM consultant and a professor of direct marketing. In this column, which we’ll publish 10 times this year, Mr. Gilbert will offer practical strategies that can help you boost sales and profitability. —Editors
Any time a customer communicates with your company — that is, interacts with you via one of your customer touchpoints — you have an opportunity to increase sales and goodwill. Unfortunately in some cases, it’s also an opportunity to lose sales and goodwill. I can’t stress this enough: You must analyze and consistently monitor all of your customer touchpoints to ensure they’re working to your advantage.
In this article series, we’ll examine your main customer touchpoints. You’ll learn new ways to increase sales and goodwill. I’ll start with the contact center as the first touchpoint to track.
Your CTO Ratio
As a direct marketer, your job depends on making the phone ring. But it’s the contact center touchpoint that truly can make your cash stream sing.
The goal of your contact center should be to turn every call into an order. Thus, it’s mission critical to track your call-to-order conversion (CTO) ratio so as not to leave any dollars on the table.
I’m surprised at how many companies don’t track this metric. Not only should it be examined in total, but also it should be done for every customer service rep (CSR) you employ. Set up tracking methods so you can analyze the reasons people call but don’t buy. Most call center software allows for the CSR to enter a numeric code into the contact history if a call doesn’t result in an order. That numeric code ties into a specific reason for not purchasing. Your system should be able to generate reports based on your CSRs’ input.
Jim Gilbert has had a storied career in direct and digital marketing resulting in a burning desire to tell stories that educate, inform, and inspire marketers to new heights of success.
After years of marketing consulting, Jim decided it was time to “put his money where his mouth was" and build his own e-commerce company, Premo Natural Products, with its flagship product, Premo Guard Bed Bug & Mite Sprays. Premo in its second year is poised to eclipse 100 percent growth.
Jim has been writing for Target Marketing Group since 2006, first on the pages of Catalog Success Magazine, then as the first blogger for its online division. Jim continues to write for Total Retail.
Along the way, Jim has led the Florida Direct Marketing Association as their Marketing Chair and then three-term President, been an Adjunct Professor of Direct and Digital marketing for Miami International University, and created a lecture series, “The 9 Immutable Laws of Social Media Marketing,” which he has presented across the country at conferences and universities.