OK so about 2 months ago I removed the phone number field on my Shopify store with a “call me back” button. When a visitor to the website clicked that button, they would be able to enter their phone number and choose which method they’d like to be contacted back (either SMS, WhatsApp or Phone call). From here, I would get an email alerting me about the call back request (later I added a Facebook Messenger bot, so then I got an auto messenger alert with the phone number too).
EDIT: Since the post has gotten positive feedback I thought I’d share the link to the button app I created (you can see it was shared originally in the final Result point below: https://apps.shopify.com/raven) end edit…
**Here are the main reasons why I made the switch:**
1. I didn’t want my customers waiting on the phone. Many times I’m not available to take the call, so I didn’t want a customer to call and then go to voicemail, during which time they might go to a competing website. So with this, once they submit their info, I assumed they would wait for the call back and not need to continue searching elsewhere.
2. I could save the phone numbers. Before the button, a customer would have to pick up their own phone and dial me, and I didn’t have a system in place to save those phone numbers to follow up with later, for example. But when a customer submits their number then I can store it, and I like that. It gives me the option to create an SMS mailing list, for example, if I wanted to do that in the future. In addition to this, I also wanted to store on which URL’s of my page the phone calls were coming in from. When someone pressed “call me back” and submitted their phone for me I could also store which page they were on so I know what they were interested in.
3. Email is dying. Kind of related to point #2 above. My email open rates were dropping like a rock, so I wanted to collect some other form of contact information. I had read that SMS open rates are 95%, where as with Email it’s considered good to have 30%. Additionally, when someone wants an answer to a question they want to talk to someone, not sign up for a never ending wave of spam email. The ‘contact us’ form also didn’t do the trick, because it takes ages for someone to reach out to me, so I can understand why others wouldn’t want to use that on my website. Usually someone just wants a quick response. Also, the live chat widget on the website. If I’m not online (as a small business this is often since I have so many others things to do) then my visitor is sitting there waiting forever. I had a huge problem with this with Facebook Messenger. I had the Messenger chat button on my website before, but FB would never alert me when someone answered, so I had no idea anyone messaged unless I logged into my business page and looked for it – which again I don’t have time to do as frequently as required to make it worthwhile.
**This was the result:**
1. Within the first week, I had made an extra $420 in sales. I know this to be true because since I saved the phone numbers, and I made phone numbers required on my checkout process, I could cross-check which phone calls resulted in a sale.
2. My revenue per call back request was just over $50. So anytime I got a call me back request alert, that was basically worth like $50 in sales to me, so of course I was going to call that person back right away. I basically started calculating the total number of converted sales made (where the customer left their phone number and had requested a call back to that phone number) divided by the number of phone calls requested.
3. Even though I offered SMS and WhatsApp requests, most people still used the Call feature. I thought that was interested, I thought more people would request an SMS back or WhatsApp back given our chat-based culture these days, but that wasn’t true. I guess people want to speak with someone before opening their wallet to also “size them up” and evaluate if they want to do business with you? Not sure yet on this one…
4. The number of phone calls went up, compared to when a customer had to manually call themselves. I noticed that the increase in calls were actually sales related. Whereas before my phone number was really only being used by existing customers to do post-sale support. With the “call me back” button I was getting a much higher percentage of just generally interested customers wanting more information before making their purchase. The increase in calls was very very welcome, because I believe the phone call is the best way to develop a relationship and establish brand awareness (it’s an uninterrupted 5-10 minutes with an interested customer).
5. I got a message back from one of my visitors saying the “call me back” feature was the best customer support experience he’s ever had. He ended up buying almost $180 in products from me. Because of the auto-alerts I had set up for myself, I was able to call him back within 2 minutes.
6. I started getting less spam phone calls from telemarketers. Honestly before that, I don’t know why, I would get like 3-4 phone calls from robot voice telemarketers pitching small business services. When I made the switch to the call back button, that scaled down dramatically, I only get about 1 per day now.
7. I learned that people have more variety of questions than I thought. Before I had a mental assumption that my customer base has maybe 4 FAQs (warranty, assembly, shipping time, and return policy) – but on teh phone I realized it’s so much more. People were asking about whether it was Child Friendly, or Senior Citizen friendly. People asked about the materials used in manufacturing, where it was made. Also questions about bulk pricing if they wanted to buy 10 of them! So yeah, it was just really cool that I was able to learn more about my business and my market when I was on the phone with people.
8. I decided to publish the feature as an app for other merchants to also use, since I had so much success with it on my store. It’s called “Raven Call Back Request” and it’s listed on the Shopify App store. There is a free plan, which I think most small businesses would fall under, so most likely it’ll be free for most. Here is the link if anyone is interested: https://apps.shopify.com/raven or https://www.connectwithscout.com/raven-callback/
Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. I’m really looking forward to hearing them.
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