Don’t Be an April Fool — 13 Tips for Using Your Call Tracking Data
For a long while, offline and online marketing analytics were two separate things. Online, print and television were spaced out, and you had separate strategies and processes for each. Thanks to modern data and analytics tools, however, this is no longer necessary. You can blend all the marketing niches to make your data work for you, as opposed to against you.
Leveraging your marketing data has never been more important, as customers demand always-on, omni-channel experiences that span multiple platforms and channels. A customer reaching out to your business might do so via phone, email and even text. The trick is not just tracking all those conversations, but merging the data so it contributes to the larger picture.
Historically, companies have struggled to capture and extract lead source information from telephone calls. That’s because it’s easy to forget about verbal phone conversations in the hyper-digital world we live in; most of our interactions take place online. But phones are still relevant, which means call tracking data is still relevant, too. In fact, phone calls are 10 times more likely to convert than a web form, which means call tracking data is still important.
Phone numbers and verbal interactions are real-world sources of incredibly useful data. You’re likely collecting the data already, and have been for some time. What should you do with it, though? What are some ways you can use this data to your advantage? Call tracking and call monitoring tools can provide the answers.
Tracking, storing and scrutinizing a variety of information is the backbone of marketing and analytics. Yet modern AI and automation tools are only just now starting to make use of dark data. Capturing or classifying telephone leads and merging that information with existing data isn’t easy to do, nor has it really been possible in the past.
But now, phone numbers and verbal interactions are real-world sources analytics platforms can tap into. Merging this information with the rest of your data is highly beneficial. For example, you could see inbound phone calls from existing or high-profile prospects, know which location gets the most calls and be able to tell which of your custom phone numbers converts best.
Below, we explore 13 different ways you can leverage customer and business analytics captured within your phone conversations with customers. And if you don’t have a call tracking system in place, it’s easier than you think to get started.
- Leverage Your CRM to Subsequently Rate and Capture Leads
Online or print-based leads are comparable and ratable, which makes them more lucrative in many cases. You can gauge — sometimes even right up front — whether pursuing a prospect is worth your time and resources. Over the phone, however, things are a little different. To make matters worse, a majority of CRM systems make it challenging to capture or classify these leads. Naturally, many companies write off the channel when it comes to collecting this kind of information.
The problem is, customers will often place a telephone call or reach out verbally for reasons that are conducive to building a lead. Industries with complex, costly products or services — such as automotive or health care — may do more business over the phone because people call to ask specific questions. Phone calls are 10 times more likely to convert than a form for this reason.
You need to find a CRM that can handle this kind of data so you can capture, classify and reference it later.
- Measure the Incoming Data
This point ties in with the one above. Rating and capturing are similar processes, though they are not exactly the same. Rating involves taking a look at singular or smaller segments of calls and data. Measurement is more about understanding the entire flow — the bigger picture, so to speak. For instance, you should be measuring the total volume of calls your business receives. Breaking that down further, you should be able to categorize what calls are associated with specific products or services, too.
It’s also about the performance metrics. How many calls are your employees answering? How many were for support or problems, and how many of those issues did they solve? How many calls did you miss? How many leads slipped through your fingers? What’s the average duration of each call, and what caused it to end prematurely, if it did so? What are the peak times of day for incoming calls? What times are most effective for answered calls?
You can find answers to all of the above questions by measuring the incoming data, which should be one of the first things you set up. Your company can then leverage this information to see how efficient or well your sales and support teams are doing. You could better understand the processes, and identify what areas need improvement or outright reboots.
- Use Call Tracking to Determine Advertising Effectiveness.
You’ll want to be able to clearly attribute your incoming calls back to a marketing channel or point of origin. What influenced that prospect to call, rather than use another form of communication? What advertisement directed them to the phone number? Which ad campaigns are getting the most results? Call tracking allows you to attribute calls to their source, which then allows you to rate and measure your marketing tactics and discern what is driving conversions. You can roll all this into your general marketing strategy.
- Provide Attribution
Next, you’ll want to find a way to track and use data associated with the channels themselves. In other words, you’ll want to be able to clearly attribute calls back to a marketing channel or point of origin. What influenced that prospect to call, rather than another form of communication? What keyword, marketing campaign or web page directed them to the phone number? When they called, what were they looking for? What kinds of prospects or clients are calling?
The most important aspect is obviously attributing calls to their source, which allows you to rate and measure your marketing tactics and discern what is driving conversions. Of course, you can roll all this into your general marketing strategy to help improve your advertising, content and more. But by providing attribution, you also gain a variety of insights about your audience and the channels they’re using.
- Segment or Categorize Customers
One thing that happens naturally with online customers — especially when tracking their activities — is that you categorize or segment them. This step is essential — after all, it’s the whole concept of a demographic. You need to understand the age, generation, income bracket and interests your prospects are tied to. This step is a little more difficult with phone calls or conversations, because you’re probably not asking the customer to provide these details.
However, there are other ways to categorize your phone callers, and that’s the point. Learn to segment them as necessary based on your business and marketing processes. Are they calling to buy a product, find out more information or request help from your support team?
With the ideal CRM, you can also merge existing customer data to include important details. For example, credit card companies know just about everything about a customer. This information includes their age, credit rating and what they did last summer.
- Call Tracking Can Help Categorize Customers to Enhance Marketing Strategies
Another way in which call tracking is extremely helpful is by providing information such as a caller’s age, location, or income bracket, so you can categorize them into groups to see which demographics seem to be responding best to your advertising efforts. Then when you plan future marketing campaigns, you can look at these patterns to determine the best places and times to feature your ads in order to reach those with whom you will most likely get the best results.
- Record Your Calls
Hopefully, you’re already recording all relevant calls and interactions. If you’re not, you need to start doing so immediately.
Sometimes, it’s just not viable or possible to extract all usable data or information from a call while it’s happening, or even shortly after. Maybe your reps are super-busy and don’t have time to jot down details, or maybe there was a glitch related to either human or computer error. Whatever the case, if you have recorded your interactions and calls, you can always return to them later, and review them again for further clarification.
For instance, if you’re not sure why a customer converted, but have a good idea, you can just listen to the call to confirm your suspicions. Doing so turns questionable data into actionable intel. Of course, in the worst-case scenario of a lawsuit, you can also use recorded calls to protect your company or organization in court.
- Use Call Monitoring to Gain Valuable Information
Once someone calls in to your business, the next step is converting them into an actual customer. A call monitoring tool allows you to listen to the phone conversations that occur and see what factors contribute to people making the final decision on whether or not to do business with you. Are they intrigued by the mention of a particular sale you were offering? Do the calls tend to end when certain aspects of pricing are discussed? Call monitoring can help answer such questions and give you insights into what your callers really want.
- Find Your Pressure Points
In marketing, a lot of what we do involves optimizing or improving processes that are already in place. Sure, you might jumpstart a new campaign, but you’re likely going to use strategies and content that worked for you in the past. If it’s broken, why fix it? However, you need to understand whether or not something is working before you can decide whether it’s worth duplicating later.
A vital part of your process should be finding your “true north,” or pressure point, as we like to call it. What makes your phone customers convert, quickly and reliably, more than anything else in your arsenal?
Was it something as simple as a conversational and warm operator? Was it because your customer had little to no wait times when calling in? Or was it simply because the rep greeted the customer by name and title immediately upon answering the phone? Obviously, you cannot understand any of this without the necessary call data, so get cracking.
Find your pressure points. Optimize them. Deploy them.
- Nail Down Real-Time Updates
This tip is relatively straightforward. Whether your phone system is manual or automated, you need to process and record information in real time. If a call has a reference or tracking number associated with it, they need to be connected and synced instantly. If you have no previous data on a new customer or lead, you need to be collecting as much as you can during the current interaction, and storing it as soon as possible.
The way you handle this step will largely be influenced by the tools and systems you adopt to manage, measure and track your data, so keep it in mind when you make those decisions.
- Consider a Speech Analytics Tool to Enhance Call Recording
The above suggestions can be enhanced even more with the implementation of a speech analytics system, which can scan all calls quickly for common words and phrases. Not only does this save a great amount of time when compared to listening to recorded calls manually, but it also makes it far easier to detect trends and patterns that contribute to customer conversions. By accessing and extracting this key data, speech analytics can help you make informed strategic business decisions both quickly and accurately.
- Trim the Fat
Smart marketing isn’t just about collecting the data and putting it to use — it’s about highlighting the right data. Chances are, you’re going to have a lot of waste somewhere in the process. Usually, you can trim this and keep things lean. How so?
Well, if you know your system takes at least a minute to connect to a live person, you can eliminate tracked data for all calls that were under a minute. There’s no point in storing or handling this data because you know it’s definitely not related to a lead — it’s just a failed call.
- Balance Your Workforce
If your business is understaffed, it’s going to be detrimental to your operations — and that’s true for any aspect of business. Thankfully, we have modern data analytics, automation and monitoring tools to help offset some of the operational needs. That still doesn’t change the fact you’ll need to have plenty of resources to review, identify and put all the data you’re collecting to use.
Do you have enough phone reps to answer calls in a timely manner? Have you trained them properly in the use of your tools and systems? Do they know what to record and notate during a call? Do they know how to extract further information from a prospect or customer? And, finally — do they have time to do what you need them to?
All these things matter, so spend some time balancing your workforce and team to find the optimal setup.
Rushed Decisions Mean Poor Results
As you know, you really need to dot your “I’s” and cross your “T’s” in marketing — it’s just the nature of the business. Rushed decisions will contribute to poor results, plain and simple. That’s true of any medium, be it online, print or even verbal communications. It just so happens one of the best ways to remain informed in today’s hyper-connected world is to track, measure, categorize and assess incoming data.
At 800response, we have the tools and the capacity to track and merge all this data and build a much clearer profile of customers and prospects. You’d be silly not to leverage that, especially when it comes to your call tracking and phone-based data.
If you’re interested in putting your call tracking data to use — or tracking it in the first place — be sure to check out 800response. We can help you build detailed reports on first-time callers, repeat callers, call summary and additional analytics.