Call tracking, like web analytics, is a powerful tool for businesses to better understand their current and potential customers, the effectiveness of their sales process, and the impact of their own employees. While tracking calls is not new, recent changes in technology now grant companies far more flexibility in how they track calls, what calls they track, and what insights they glean from the data they gather. Here are just a few of the methods that businesses can employ to track calls and the ways they can learn more about their customers.
- Use unique phone numbers to measure the relative effectiveness of ads. Advertising for business is a challenging field that relies on intimate knowledge of changing public perception and client psychology. In order to better shape marketing efforts for your business, you can use a different phone number on each ad that you run. This will help you to see which ads entice people to call; in other words, which calls to action are strong enough for your potential customers.
- Track calls through your system, once they come in. Once calls come in to your business, tracking enables you to follow a potential customer through your automated phone system. By reviewing which options callers select, which department they’re routed to, or how long they’re on the line, you can get a better feel for their thought process and what impact your ads may have had on their thinking, as well as the effectiveness of your call-routing and interactions with company staff.
- Record calls to hear customer thoughts and measure perception. Another option for call tracking is to record all incoming and/or outgoing phone calls. This has multiple advantages, one of which is the ability to hear what questions are being asked by customers, what concerns they raise, and what items seem to be focal points after seeing one of your ads. If you’ve attached unique phone numbers to each different ad that you’ve run, you can see which ads generate various questions or doubts, which may need to convey more information, and which ads are particularly effective.
- Hear customer responses to staff interaction. The other major advantage to recording calls is that it allows you to listen in on your own sales representatives and the way customers respond to them. You can hear how your employees interact with current or potential customers, what sales techniques are being routinely employed, and how customers are responding. All of this helps you to better know your customers, so that you can increase the effectiveness of your future marketing and sales efforts, as well as improving staff efficiency.
- Tracking sales conversions. This is perhaps the most significant benefit to call tracking, because it ties everything together. A properly-implemented call tracking system, including the right combination of options, will allow you to track a new customer sale all the way from the initial advertisement they see, through your dial-in phone system, interaction with sales reps, to the closing of a sale and even product delivery. While any single sale will provide only limited insight, gathering this kind of data en masse will provide you with a tremendous amount of knowledge about your customers in aggregate. You can see which ads are working, whether your phone system allows callers to get quick an accurate answers to relevant questions, what issues are important to them, and how best to convert these calls to sales.
Without a doubt, the benefits of call tracking – when used properly – are numerous and critical to better understanding your customers. However, call tracking is not a goal in itself. The information gleaned from these types of systems is worthless unless it’s used to improve your customer experience. Careful study of the data you gather can help you to streamline your company’s sales process, increase sales, and improve overall customer satisfaction to keep clients coming back.
Obviously, no one system will work for every company. For those who want to know more about their customers, understand their behavior and their perception of your company and its products, a call tracking system is a great place to start. Over time, you will learn which tools provide the most valuable insight to your business, and you can focus your efforts to yield the highest return on your investment. Begin by exploring options for tracking calls as a first step to knowing your clients better, improving marketing efforts, and boosting your profits.
This guest post is courtesy of John Taylor. John is a long-time professional with over two decades of experience in analytics and communications technology. He works as the Senior Data Analyst at Fone Dynamics, a leader in call tracking, voice, and SMS communication. When John steps out of the office, he loves to spend time with his family and bike riding.