Monday, May 25, 2009

How intelligent are your Toll Free Numbers, Landing Pages and Promotional Codes?

Sending a toll free number (800, 866, 877 etc.), links to special landing pages, micros sites or promotion codes in the print material or email is a common practice. However before you send that promotion to your customers, make sure it can be tied back to campaign and the offer that you sent. Make sure your site, automated phone system and customer service reps. know what those special promo codes or toll free numbers mean. Do not waste your customer and your own time.

The point of that promotion is to grab customer’s attention and get share you their wallet. When a customer takes action on the offer that she just received, the customer expects that the web page/site or the human answering that call is intelligent enough to provide information on that offer and help her convert. I am however amazed how often this minor detail is totally missed due to lack of communication between marketing, sales and customer support.

I recently received a direct mail from Comcast “Free DVR for 1 tear and 1 year installation”. I called the 866 number listed on the mailer. To my disappointment, I was greeted with a standard recorded message that had nothing to do with the mailer I received. The system asked me some standard information to identify me but I did not hear an option that was even remotely related to what was mentioned on the letter.

So what was I suppose to do, which option should I have selected? I did nothing. The message repeated itself and then finally it (automated system) transferred me to a human representative.

Human representative made the same mistake as did the recorded message. She asked me how she can help me. I told her about the mailer I received and was calling about it. She goes "Great ! I can get that to you for free and there will be $14.99 charge for installation". I reminded her that my offer also said that I will get free installation. She asked me to be on hold for few minutes while she checked the offer I might have received.

She came back and gave me free installation because apparently the mailer I received had the code for free installation. I was not able to locate any code on my mailing but it seemed like there was some database she could go back check about my offer.
As a consumer, I was a little disappointed with this experience. I am enjoying my free DVR service though.

Even though this is an example of the toll free number, the same principal applies to web. If you do send out that special landing page or promo code make sure it provides the customers with relevant information and take them into easy conversion path. Do not waste their time. If you do provide a toll free number on that landing page, make sure you customer service/sales reps know the offer that those toll free numbers belong to. Customer is ready to be converted, don’t waste their time, just do it (convert them).

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