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CallTrackingMetrics is a cloud-based call tracking and contact center solution for businesses and agencies that helps with tracking campaigns, reaching new audiences through integrated text marketing and online forms and using int... Read more
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Digital natives—companies that began as online companies and whose products are largely digital—get a lot of tech things right. As well they should. After all, they get to avoid the awkward growing pains, aka digital transformations, that traditional businesses pass through as they mature to become competitive in the online and digital worlds.
Of the many things digital natives get right, customer communication is at the top of the list. They understand that communication is always contextual and—most importantly—they use the right tools to both identify the context of every interaction and turn that context into action.
Call tracking software is one of those tools. It takes customer communication to the next level, giving insights into who is calling and why, before you even pick up the phone. This Buyer's Guide will help you understand call tracking software and strategies so your company can leverage one of the tools that makes digital natives so successful. Below, we explain:
What Is Call Tracking Software?
Call tracking software is a set of tools that gives companies insight into why customers are calling. No, it can't read minds, but it accomplishes almost the same thing by letting a company know what a customer was looking at when they decided to pick up the phone.
Let's look at an example scenario. Imagine the phone at your small or midsize business (SMB) is ringing. You don't know who the caller is, and there are any number of reasons they might be calling:
- Are they an existing customer or a new prospect?
- Are they calling because they saw your new billboard or newspaper ad?
- Are they calling because they read your blog post about a new product?
- Do they want more information about how your product compares to your competitor's offer?
Call tracking software answers these questions before you even pick up the phone. In small offices, this can be helpful, simply by tipping you off to the nature of the call. More commonly, the information is used to route the calls to different specialists, those trained and ready to handle that specific type of inbound call.
How Does Call Tracking Work?
Multiple phone numbers are the trick that make call tracking software possible. In four simple steps, here's how it works:
- Your company keeps its current, main phone number(s), but also has a bucket of additional phone numbers. Those additional phone numbers are provided by your call tracking software provider.
- The additional numbers are placed selectively and individually on:
- Marketing materials
- Online advertisements
- Select web pages and blog posts
- Flyers and handouts
- Any other promotional materials or public-facing resources
- When a customer calls in on one of those phone numbers, your call tracking software provides the context—either through a computer interface or by routing the call to specific extensions.
- With that context in front of you, you're able to extrapolate a great deal of information about the nature of the call and respond accordingly.
Call tracking software needs to work closely with other IT systems, so it's implementation must be carefully planned and considered.
How Is Call Tracking Software Implemented?
Call tracking with CPaaS usually requires more do-it-yourself engineering and is advisable only for companies with complex call routing implementation requirements. Imagine, for example, you need call tracking to work in tandem with your company's smartphone app. That's the path Uber took when building its app on top of the Twilio CPaaS.
Common Features of Call Tracking Software
As noted, call tracking software can be purchased as a stand-alone product. But even then, it's always implemented with some type of business telephony system, from a basic two-line office phone system to a full-on call center platform. For this reason, buyers should expect some crossover functionality between call tracking software and other telephony IT.
Common and core call tracking software features include:
|Tracking numbers||The extra telephone numbers provided by the tracking software company and placed on marketing materials, advertisements and other public-facing resources.|
|Automatic call distribution (ACD)||Automatically routes calls to specific (internal) extensions or branch offices, depending on the context of the originating call.|
|Software integrations||Helps integrate call tracking into other business software platforms. This can, as an example, pull up a customer's CRM record when that customer calls.|
|API access||API access provides tools for developers to integrate the call tracking software functionality into other business applications.|
|Call reporting||Provides a dashboard interface for tracking overall success of various tracked numbers, calls and campaigns.|
|Call recording||Record and review calls from a centralized dashboard. This preserves recorded calls for compliance, training and quality control.|
|Call monitoring||Lets management listen in on active calls, sometimes with additional barge and whisper functions. (See No. 4 here for more detail.)|
|AdWords call tracking||Connects tracked numbers to individual Google AdWords campaigns giving you insight into the performance of different ads, phrasings and keyword targets.|
|Vanity phone numbers||Vanity phone numbers—phone numbers that spell words and can improve call-in rates—are offered by some call tracking software services.|
TrackMyLeads uses call tracking to compile and track success rates of various campaigns
Call tracking software can be a relatively challenging software purchase, due to the complexity of its implementation and its unique integration requirements. If your company has plans to upgrade its call center or telephony platform, then the easiest solution would be to find one that incorporates call tracking functionality off the shelf.
Alternatively, many of the stand-alone call tracking solutions can be used with most common business phone systems. Browse the list of products above or give our advisors a call and we'll help you come up with a shortlist of products that will work for you.
Your Guide to Top Call Tracking Software, February 2021
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