What is click-to-call?

The definition of click-to-call (which is sometimes called click-to-talk, or click-to-text) refers to a type of digital communication in which a person clicks a button or text in order to be connected with another individual in real-time. These connections can occur via phone call, SMS or Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP). These click-to-call links are commonly found as buttons on websites. But often, click-to-call can be initiated by hyperlinks over emails and videos.

Current click-to-call technology does not require customers to download software other than standard plugins (such as Flash). Since customers don’t need to download software, it has alleviated customer concerns about downloading malware or spyware. A lot of current click-to-call technology is a clientless web-to-phone service, in which the call takes place outside the user’s computer.

Providing customers with a click to call option is seen as a form of direct response marketing, because it enables customers to directly get in touch with a company after viewing marketing materials like websites, paid search ads and other types of digital content.

How Basic Click-to-Call Typically Works

At it’s most basic form, click-to-call technology works by the end user enters her phone number and requests a call. An intermediary service then dials the end user and other third party and initiates a conversation between the two parties.

Click-to-call for Inbound Sales

The term click-to-call can be misleading, since clicking the button doesn’t always actually dial another party. Often it just requests a phone call. Many companies use this technology to enable customers to request an immediate call from a sales rep. In these cases, a customer using click-to-call can demonstrate high demand for a company’s offerings and warrant immediate follow-up. Since click-to-call solutions are designed to connect highly sales ready prospects with reps in real-time, they can have a dramatic increase in inbound sales ROI.

Click-to-call for Outbound Sales

Click-to-call technology can also be used to help inside sales reps making outbound phone calls. Inside sales solutions that integrate with a CRM tool like Salesforce can enable reps to click to dial prospects directly from a CRM lead or contact view. This can enable reps to dial without having to take the time to actually manually dial a lead. The result is that inside sales reps can contact more prospects in a single day.

Click to Call and Mobile Adoption

Increased adoption of mobile devices may be making click-to-call more popular. For example, Google currently offers businesses the option of implementing click-to-call technology. Google’s click-to-call implementation has achieved widespread adoption. According to research from eConsultancy, 40% of mobile searchers use Google’s click to call. eConsultancy also has reported that more than 50% of mobile searchers find click-to-call useful. The fact that so many consumers are using click-to-call to dial business from mobile devices is having a far-reaching effect on the amount of inbound calls that businesses are receiving. BIA/Kelsey has predicted that inbound sales calls are set to more than double over the next two years.

eConsultancy’s shows that statistically significant portion of customers would be disappointed if click-to-call options weren’t available.

  • 36% of mobile searchers indicated they would be more likely to explore other brands if click-to-call was not available when required.
  • 32% would feel frustrated or annoyed and 30% would be disappointed in the brand in the event that click-to-call technology was not readily available.

Click-to-Call Across Various Industries 

eConsultancy studied click-to-call usage across several industries.

Percentage of respondents that have needed to call companies across each industry:

  • Local services – 63%
  • Automotive – 42%
  • Tech businesses – 38%
  • Travel – 36%
  • Hospitality – 27%

eConsultancy’s study focused on business-to-consumer (B2C) industries. However, there are many B2B companies that are utlizing click to call technology to connect prospective customers to sales reps in real time as well. Click-to-call technology has been shown by Forrester Research to increase ROI by an average of 143% upon implementation.