As a marketer at a financial institution, creating revenue generating appointments to fill your pipeline is a key part of the job. More and more, you’ve observed that your customers are looking to connect with your organization online, through a number of channels–mobile app, website, — and scheduling appointments is no exception. Customer behaviour has evolved, and it’s time to digitally transform the appointment scheduling process and optimizing your calls-to-action is a great place to start.
The Definition of a Call-To-Action
In short, a call-to-action is a “next step” that you would like your customer or prospect to take that leads them closer to the final destination: making a purchase. Often paired with a link, it includes a short, powerful message to incite a reader, prospect or website visitor to complete an action.
How Calls-to-Action Impact the Sales Funnel
For financial services organizations, new business is typically generated through an in-person interaction between an advisor and the customer, therefore appointment CTAs are an obvious entry point to your sales funnel.
It’s important to optimize your CTAs with persuasive messaging and intuitive, actionable prompts that are available wherever your customers are contemplating taking that next step: on your website, landing pages and in your email marketing, for example. And it’s crucial that you make this step, and the steps following it as effortless as possible.
Hubspot found that conversion rates increased by almost half when they streamlined the number of steps it took to complete the action.
Here are some common CTAs with lengthy completion steps that could cause your prospects to lose patience, abandon the action and drop out of the sales funnel:
- CTAs that read “Call XXX-XXX-XXXX to schedule an appointment,” that direct customers to a contact center to complete the action.
- Providing generic ‘Contact Us’ form to request an appointment without a rigorous follow-up process, or timely response.
- Service or need specific actions either don’t exist or require your prospect to search branch websites in order to identify locations that meet their needs.
Removing friction in the appointment scheduling journey will help reduce leaks in your funnel AND improve customer experience. Below are the 3 steps to implementing calls-to-actions that drive revenue instantly.
Step 1: Eliminate Friction and Implement an “Always-on”, Self-serve, Appointment Scheduling Tool.
If you’re looking to optimize appointment generation through your website and other digital channels, implementing a self-serve solution is one of the best shortcuts to capturing more appointments.
Time and convenience are highly valued by customers, a study by Forrester found that 72% of customers prefer to use self-service rather than phone or email support. Implementing a self-serve appointment scheduling channel is a great way to simplify the customer appointment scheduling experience while enabling you to gather valuable marketing data to help better plan future campaigns.
Self-serve appointment scheduling provides customers with the ability to independently schedule an appointment online, allowing them to choose the time and location they desire and informing them immediately that their appointment has been scheduled. With 64% of consumers saying that they expect companies to respond to them in real-time, this helps eliminate the tumultuous task of manually scheduling appointments and saves both employee and customer time.
We’ve also observed that our clients’ customers are reaching out to connect 24/7 through online channels, expecting responses in real-time and often, after-business hours. And in fact, we found that after implementing an always-on self-serve channel for our customers, an average of 41% appointments were scheduled between 5pm and 9am. That’s almost half of an organization’s overall number of scheduled appointments that never would have been captured, had it not been for this channel!
Not only will implementing a self-serve channel help drive leads, but new customers will start their journey with a better perception of your brand. This provides a better foundation to build a relationship and can help with customer retention further down the line.
Step 2: Track & Measure Call-to-Action Conversion Rate.
Once you’ve implemented a self-serve appointment scheduling channel and are driving prospects to schedule an appointments online, the next step is to begin tracking the performance of your CTAs and landing pages so that you can further optimize.
A conversion rate is commonly referred to as “the percentage of users who complete a desired action.” In order to get a full picture of your website CTA conversion rate though, here are a few key metrics to be tracking to identify low hanging fruit and areas of optimization:
- Landing page traffic: How many visitors are coming to the landing page?
- Landing page bounce rate: How many visitors aren’t finding what they need on the landing page?
- CTA actions completed: How many customers completed an appointment scheduling from that particular landing page? This can be tracked by landing page, service, the specific text that instructs what action to be taken, to name a few.
What’s a good conversion rate? Across industries, the average landing page conversion rate was 2.35%, yet the top 25% are converting at 5.31% or higher. The better the conversion rate, the better the results.
Step 3: Optimize CTA Performance with A/B Testing.
To further optimize CTA conversion rate, there are a number of variables you can experiment with, from landing page layout, headline, CTA language, text or button colour and other design elements. Making ongoing improvements to your landing pages and calls-to-action, optimizing performance, can make a difference to your bottom line.
Whatever your CTA performance today, though, there’s always room for improvement. Tracking, testing, tweaking these variables is how you can optimize CTAs. Ask yourself these questions:
- Could the wording of our CTAs be clearer?
- How strong is our value proposition?
- How is the CTA sized in proportion to the rest of the page?
- Does the CTA blend into the background of the rest of the page?
- Does the CTA look clickable?
- Is the CTA connected to the customer need at this stage of the buyer’s journey?
In the next blog post in this series we’ll dig deeper into how to A/B test your CTAs to improve performance.
As you consider your options for driving more leads to fill your pipeline, keep in mind that digitally transforming your appointment scheduling journey with Coconut Software will deliver measurable results, across the sales funnel. With the right technology and the right strategy, you’ll see more CTA clicks, more conversions and more, higher-quality appointments.
- Ready to figure out where prospects are dropping out of your appointment scheduling pipeline? Schedule a Digital Funnel Assessment.
- Interested in learning how appointment scheduling can help your entire organization engage more efficiently and effectively with customers? Download our Customer Experience Whitepaper.
“Don’t wait to implement appointment scheduling–do it immediately! You can miss out on valuable appointments if your customers have to wait until working hours to call and schedule in. Whether the business is ready or not, your customers are ready to start scheduling appointments online.”
–Shara Abrams, Senior VP, Operations at Jackson Hewitt
With Coconut Software, you can streamline the customer appointment scheduling journey across all channels.
- Whether it be the contact center, your mobile app, or directly with your staff member – capture, centralize and create consistency for an intelligent customer experience.
- Together we will design your very own unique customer-facing scheduling flow and confirmation emails that align with your branding guidelines and vocabulary
- Implementing a self-serve scheduling channel and accepting appointments around the clock will give your appointment volume a boost.
- And with all staff schedules, locations, and services streamlined in one central platform, self-serve customers are provided with more options, filtered to accommodate to their needs.
Ready to get started? Schedule a consultation today.