A lot has been said and done in regards to Reliance Industries Limited’s ambitious launch of Jio this past week. But, being a Call Analytics Company, I thought I’ll chime in and add a bit of fuel to the fire that is doing the rounds.
So, how does Reliance Jio impact enterprises in India?
After analyzing more than a million calls in 2015 and 2016, we were sure that Toll Free wasn’t the option Indian consumers were looking for, when trying to make an enquiry. Yes, I am not talking about customer support calls, but sales enquiry calls. The obvious conviction was that Toll Free would always land to an IVR which Indian consumers never wanted in the first place. But, several enterprises we dealt with, thought otherwise and we couldn’t convince them even with the data of million calls.
But with Reliance Jio’s promise of zero charges for lifetime voice calls, my question is this – If all voice calls go free in the future, what is the relevance of Toll Free Numbers?
I strongly believe that Reliance Jio is not only wiping out charges for voice calls, but it is eventually wiping out the concept of Toll Free, which never gained traction in India. Similar to the era of pagers, where mobile phone revolution wiped out all pagers used by consumers, Toll Free Numbers will ultimately fade away.
The reason why we developed “Call Analytics for Marketers” is that smartphone searches are rapidly overtaking desktop searches. Many people are navigating from smartphones which makes it easy for consumers to make calls while browsing. Moreover, making a call was just a matter of a click, whereas, forms are annoying for consumers in the smartphone era.
With Jio making its entry, it is obvious that phone calls are going to grow exponentially high as consumers don’t need second thoughts before making calls. We expect at least 100% growth in consumer calls in 2017. But, are enterprises in India equipped to handle these calls and monetize them?
What we have seen over the years with Waybeo is that enterprises in India mostly believed in an outbound approach to reach consumers. Even for an inbound form filled lead, companies followed a cold call approach and ended up struggling to meet the bottom-line. Call centers never realized the power of Inbound Calls and always believed that calling the customer back is the right approach. But, quite often it was demotivating for the sales representative when the customer says “I am busy now. Call me later.” Sales people in India never make more than 3 attempts to make contact with customers and mark all those inbound leads, which were hot at one point of time to “cold closed lost” deals.
Reliance Jio has given the freedom to people – “to make phone calls whenever they want without giving it a second thought”. It would be the best approach to reach customers, if enterprises are trying to generate inbound phone enquiries. With Google launching “Call Only Ads”recently, it shows that consumers need an option to make an enquiry only when they are ready for it. That’s the right time to attract consumers and sales can eventually shoot up beyond set targets. But handling inbound calls requires a responsive and aggressive mindset which is missing in domestic call centers. Domestic call center mindset needs to evolve to tap into this opportunity.
With access to internet data without giving it a second thought of switching it off or on, gives an average Indian the freedom to access more data. More data translates to more information. With more information going public, we are essentially creating what is often called as “Informed Customer”. We believe if an “Informed Customer” is making an inbound sales enquiry via call, that’s the best moment to pull in the crowd.
I strongly believe Inbound calls are the future and we at Waybeo are ON the right track.