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“Never underestimate the essence of (telephone) calls to business growth and success. Click-to-call, or click-to-talk, is a means of communication whereby a person clicks a button to connect to another different person in real time,” – TenFold.com

Communications is key to life on earth. This phenomenon evolved over many millennia as human beings learnt to connect using early human utterances that evolved into proto languages, drum beats, smoke signals, vocal whistles, etc. In later times, sign language helped educate the differently abled, teach children in modern schools, execute stealth military attacks on land, to entertain audiences in the Silent Era of Hollywood, etc. In modern times, the digital signal can bounce off satellites to enter our homes, computers, cell phones, smart devices, industrial machinery, domestic gadgets, etc. Now, human ingenuity and the compulsions of commerce have joined forces to create the modern click to call option that helps businesses connect with consumers through human voice. This does sound anachronistic – how can the human voice take precedence over all things digital? The technology validates the age old fact that even in the raging digital age, consumers and customers value a live voice conversation with a human agent. We shall examine the click to call option from multiple perspectives in the paragraphs below.

Market pundits aver that click to call has emerged as a popular consumer option because this free service is easy, flexible, informative, and operates in real time. Consequently, consumers put a lot of stock on this mode of communication. This feature has also gained momentum because brands and businesses realized that human interaction converts website visitors and casual surfers into paying customers. Further, the customer’s experience of connecting with a human representative easily trumps options that include live chat, email, and online consumer forums, chat bots, etc. In addition, the click to call option boosts customer convenience because it removes the telephone from the picture. Consumers need no longer pick up the phone; dial the number displayed on a website, and wait for a response. The click to call button does the ‘heavy lifting’ of eliciting an appropriate human response. The interested consumer just needs to speak up and convey the problem, issue, or query etc.

Technology plays an outsize part in driving the usability and sheer utility of click to call options. The voice-over-Internet-telephony technology that enables click to call is now truly ubiquitous and cost-efficient. It can connect disparate points in different continents for less than a few cents per minute. Further, modern click to call technology does not force users and customers to download any kind of software. This has helped alleviate any customer concerns about inadvertently downloading malware, etc. Consequently, click to call has emerged as an extremely important aspect of modern business productivity technologies. We may state that the sheer convenience of using this feature is driving a new wave of commercial communications that heavily hinge on the human element.

A recent study by a commercial think tank estimates that consumers will spend an estimated $1.12 trillion through click to call mechanisms in the next two years. The popularity of this commercial device is driven by the fact that customers often want quick access to a range of product and service information before committing to a purchase decision. Once embedded on a web page, the click to call feature displays a phone number and is ready to initiate live conversations. In addition, market surveys reveal that consumers that initiate calls tend to be “ready-to-buy” thereby validating high call-to-conversion rates. Click to call functionality also offers brands and businesses an opportunity to up-sell to consumers via telephone. This boosts the overall sales of a business organization. Market strategists also note that a prominently displayed telephone number on a commercial website encourages higher conversions.

Industry observers estimate that click to call activity can easily reach 2 billion by 2020. In response, a prominent social network operator introduced click to call functionality in a bid to fashion better online advertisements. Similarly, a search engine behemoth is now offering “call only” advertisement format because consumers “live both online and offline, and the smartphone connects these two worlds.” The realm of e-commerce has learned that consumers trust an e-commerce website at higher levels when telephone numbers are included in websites and apps. These facts reveal interesting facts about consumer psychology and business reactions thereof. The power of the human voice is staging a massive ‘comeback’ even as digital technologies strengthen their grasp on human civilization. In light of the above, we may state that commercial organizations are solving customer problems and driving outcomes that include higher sales.

The fact that click to call is essentially a free service is driving its popularity with customers. Click to call features do not amount to any material costs for the enterprise or for the customer. These connections operate over the Internet and establish the validity of ‘free’ technologies. The sheer convenience of clicking on an on-screen button endears click to call functionality to the average consumer. Further, calls originating from this feature can be routed to appropriate members of a company’s back office operations. What ensues is top-rate professional assistance for the calling customer. Businesses can gather data and compile statistics from such communications. This information can indicate the most popular web pages in a commercial website. Consumers that avail the click to call feature can boost analytics dashboards by indicating their preferences for a product or service. The immediate assistance enabled by click to call functionality removes any scope of consumer irritation that arises from ‘call waiting’ or lengthy queues.

Click to call technologies have wider relevance beyond the utilities for commerce. This technology dovetails with the modern emphasis on mobile communications through cell phones and smart devices. For instance, one can initiate a voice call from a variety of mobile devices such as cell phones, smartphones, connected tablet devices, smart watches, desktop computers, laptop computers, Bluetooth headsets, etc. Any device that can be loaded with a tiny SIM card or can connect with the Internet is able to initiate a conversation. These devices are the modern day equivalent of the storied smoke signal or the fabled drum beats deep in the untamed jungles. The relevance gains additional heft when we consider the centrality of the human voice in click to call functionalities. The myriad manifestations of the digital ubiquity in which we immerse ourselves find key functionality in the primordial human voice. Interesting studies in modern culture can proceed from such observations.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined the click to call phenomenon from multiple perspectives. Brands and businesses that operate an online presence are increasingly deploying said functionality in a bid to woo consumers. The phenomenon has gained immense currency and is now invading social media and search engine result pages. We may say that click to call is the proverbial pied piper drawing immense numbers of customers and online audiences in the wake of its siren song. That said, businesses could invest in refinements by placing such functionality in commercial social media handles. Once this trend gains critical mass, we may see significant reversals being inflicted on automation paradigms at customer contact centres. May the best man win!

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