America’s Call Centers Revealed – New Marchex Institute Call Analytics Data Shows How a Warm Greeting Is Worth $20 Million

Mar 2, 2016

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar. 2, 2016-- A smile may be worth a thousand words, but a warm greeting over the phone may be worth $20 million, according to a new report titled “America’s Call Centers Revealed,” released today by the Marchex Institute, the data and insights center for mobile advertising analytics company, Marchex (NASDAQ:MCHX).

Marchex Call DNA® technology analyzed conversations, hold times and call outcomes from a data set of more than two million phone calls placed by consumers to businesses across a wide variety of industries in 2015. The data found that showing a consumer basic courtesies during a phone call can have dramatic returns to a business’s bottom line. In fact, the study shows that when a call is answered with a warm greeting, a consumer may be 22 percent more likely to buy a product or service.

“We have all heard that being nice to your customer is good for business,” said John Busby, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Consumer Insights. “This study clearly shows that putting the golden rule to work inside a call center can truly turn into gold for that business.”

Key findings from the study:

  • Consumer phone calls that resulted in a purchase were answered with a warm greeting 63 percent of the time, compared with 41 percent of calls that did not result in a purchase. For a large call center, a warm greeting can equate to $20 million in additional revenue annually.
  • When consumer phone calls started off with an open-ended question, such as “Why are you calling today?”, conversion rates were 30 percent higher than when a consumer was asked a closed question.
  • Clear, no-pressure incentives lead to happier customers and more sales. Consumers that were offered an incentive to “buy today” were 20 percent more likely to buy.
  • Hold times are a huge source of losses for telesales teams. 50 percent of callers that hang up from hold time do so in the first 3 minutes. Americans are expected to endure 900 million hours of hold time in 2016, according to an earlier study from the Marchex Institute.
  • IVRs, or phone trees, can be confusing and frustrating to customers. 11 percent of prospective customers hang up during an IVR.

“Consumers spend more than $1 trillion over the phone each year,” Busby added. "The good news for businesses from this study is that when they invest in better customer experiences it can lead to considerably higher revenues."

Consumer adoption of smartphones is expected to prompt Americans to make more than 100 billion phone calls to businesses in 2016. Marchex Call DNA® enables marketers to better understand and improve customer service and business performance during these calls.

A full copy of the study can be found at

About Marchex

Marchex is a mobile advertising analytics company that connects online behavior to real-world, offline actions. By linking critical touchpoints in the customer journey, Marchex’s products enable a 360-degree view of marketing effectiveness. Brands and agencies utilize Marchex’s products to transform business performance.

Please visit or @marchex on Twitter (, where Marchex discloses material information from time to time about the company, its financial information, and its business.

Source: Marchex, Inc.

Marchex, Inc.
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Trevor Caldwell, 206-331-3600
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