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The Halloween Effect: More Than Stock Market Anomalies

While the stock market seems to be falling every day this month, many investors hope the Halloween Effect isn’t just a trick this year.

For decades, many financial analysts have found that stocks perform better between November and May than between June and October. We know this stock market anomaly as the Halloween Effect. It also ties closely to the adage: “sell in May and go away.”

No one is quite sure why the Halloween strategy works. Perhaps it’s because so many people travel during the summer and table their investing activities for a few months. Or maybe it’s just as mysterious as Halloween itself.
Needing to distract ourselves from watching the stock market’s retreat, we wondered if the Halloween Effect seeped into other industries.

Our marketing analytics company certainly sees higher revenue during the holiday months. As our clients increase their marketing spend for Thanksgiving and Christmas, they use more tracking numbers and more minutes. So yes. The Halloween Effect is at play in our industry.

Second, and much more interesting, I was curious if our clients talked about Halloween during phone conversations. And if they did discuss the holiday with callers, would it change any outcomes?

An unusual Halloween Effect investigation

Enlisting one of our resident data scientists, we began digging into the indicators and stats from our Conversation Analytics® software. We were curious if our clients talked about Halloween during phone conversations. To clarify and establish the scope of our spooky inspection, we only looked at business call recordings.

We queried our call recordings and transcriptions, hunting for manifestations of the Halloween Effect.

  • Did the word Halloween get mentioned during calls?
  • What was the tone of the conversations when the word Halloween was detected?
  • What was the result or outcomes of the calls that talked about Halloween?

Remember, these are calls to companies such as dentists, hotels, repair shops, and home services. We didn’t believe Halloween would pop up in too many phone conversations.

From October 12  to October 30, we discovered that our clients and their customers did talk about Halloween. In fact, so many of our call recordings contained the keyword Halloween that we knew the Halloween Effect was casting its magic into business conversations and even with faceless strangers.

What happened when agents mentioned Halloween on the phone?

Our study unearthed some fascinating stuff.

One of our AI-indicators monitors phone etiquette and agent politeness. Call recordings that contained the word Halloween scored very high on both indicators.

Phone etiquette scores for agents were 8% higher than average.
Agent politeness was 71%.

We also discovered that when people talked about this annual holiday, they built a rapport. With this trust, agents gathered more personal information.

Agents got the caller’s name, phone number, and more personal details. When people share personal information, it deepens their relationship with agents and the company. Plus, this step is critical to conversion.

46% more calls ended with information exchanged when reps mentioned Halloween.

Basically, when employees talked about Halloween during conversations, they were much more likely to have productive conversations.

The Halloween Effect is real. It affects the stock market and influences business phone calls.

Identifying the Halloween Effect

Convirza call tracking records phone calls. But the genuine power is in our call intelligence software, Conversation Analytics® services. This technology evaluates and understands what happens during phone conversations. Reports provide clients with more than just keyword spotting. They receive up to dozens of indicators that reveal valuable and actionable data.dozens of With Conversation Analytics® services we can go beyond the keyword ‘Halloween’ and document what occurred on phone calls. We tagged all calls containing Halloween and found more conversion indicators than the normal.

Our Halloween calls produced higher than average:

  • Sales Skills indicators
  • Determine Needs indicators
  • Politeness indicators

Each of these metrics contributed to higher than usual conversions. Also, we found calls were 12 seconds longer than average.

When Halloween was mentioned, phone agents converted more phone calls.  Depending upon the business, our algorithms classify conversions based on various actions such as booking a service, setting an appointment, or exchanging credit card information.

Honestly, the Halloween Effect is less about the spooky, fun celebration and much more about building relationships. The holiday gave agents a way to connect with customers. When reps engaged callers on a more personal level, customers developed trust. The business call transitioned into more of a relationship. The customer was more inclined to hear the message and trust the agent.

How do you build rapport with someone on the phone?

Connecting with customers builds instant rapport. It is not just small talk about holidays, but that can be a good place to start. Asking questions to understand your customer is an essential component of building rapport.

Active listening and probing questions by the sales rep deepen the customer relationship. Subsequent questions must stem from previous answers to build a strong rapport.  If you ask a laundry list of questions, it sounds like a script and is annoying. You aren’t truly listening; you are just spouting off questions. Really connect and try to understand the person calling.

Much like we witnessed the Halloween Effect, you can discover the anomalies in your calls. Schedule a demo with us today.

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