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Inbound calls to businesses over the holidays are on the rise, according to new data out Monday from call analytics provider CallRail.

The company analyzed inbound calls to more than 100,000 businesses that used its service on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Green Monday in 2015, 2016, and 2017.

The data shows that the combined call volume on those key shopping days has increased 379 percent over the past two years.

Calls on Green Monday made an astronomical jump. Green Monday, the second Monday in December, is considered one of the most profitable sales days of the year. CallRail’s research showed that calls to businesses on that day have risen a staggering 1,621 percent over the past two years. Black Friday saw a 229 percent increase and Cyber Monday, a 235 percent rise over the same period.

People do make calls on smartphones. “Whether it’s an appointment a customer needs to make or a question about inventory, many people still favor picking up the phone for expedient responses,” said Jules Tompkins, CallRail’s content and communications manager.

Tompkins says the increase in call volume is largely due to the rise of smartphone use as well as how phone numbers are displayed prominently in search results.

The human touch. It seems a sure bet that one of the reasons consumers call a business is to talk to an actual human being. But aren’t chatbots the new customer assistants?

Tompkins says no. “Chatbots and other machine-automated forms of communication may be sufficient modes for a number of activities, but we believe that most people often still want to speak to a human when it comes to performing a transaction, scheduling an appointment, or inquiring about pricing,” he said.

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Why it matters to marketers. Clicks and conversions aren’t the only way to measure shoppers’ engagement — don’t disregard your phone calls. The report underscores the importance of measuring phone calls performance from online campaigns and recommends prioritizing customer support training to ensure callers get the right information quickly — particularly during the busy holiday season.

“What this increase in call volume means for businesses across all industries is that they need to focus on calls, not just clicks, this holiday season,” Tompkins said. “Paying attention to why your customers are calling –– what questions they’re asking, what’s confusing them, what products or services they’re interested in –– is an important part of providing great customer service and driving more business leads year-round.”

This story first appeared on MarTech Today. For more on marketing technology, click here.

About The Author

Robin Kurzer started her career as a daily newspaper reporter in Milford, Connecticut. She then made her mark on the advertising and marketing world in Chicago at agencies such as Tribal DDB and Razorfish, creating award-winning work for many major brands. For the past seven years, she’s worked as a freelance writer and communications professional across a variety of business sectors.

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