How to Pick the Right Call Tracking Provider

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When it comes to picking a call tracking provider, there’s no shortage of vendors to choose from. It’s a bit like picking a coffee shop. Most stores have basic black coffee, lattes and cappuccinos. But there are other factors to consider when picking your favorite java stop: signature drinks, location, atmosphere, etc.

In the same way, most call tracking companies offer the basics, which include toll-free numbers, local numbers, inbound call tracking and various call routing options. The key to finding the provider that works for you is to make sure the vendor offers features that meet your company’s unique needs and preferences. Let’s look at a few of these features.

Campaign Targeting


Good marketers know that targeting everyone reaches no one. If you’re using call tracking to improve your marketing efforts, look for features that help you improve your targeting:

  • Local and Vanity Numbers — Check to see if the call tracking provider you’re considering can provide you with the numbers you need to target a specific geographic region or demographic.
  • PPC and Organic Search Call Tracking — To track and optimize for online-to-offline conversions, you need to know which keywords actually led to phone calls. Using a technology called Dynamic Number Insertion (DNI), pay-per-click (PPC) and organic search call tracking provide keyword-level call attribution so you can optimize your online campaigns.
  • Call Mapping — By providing a visual representation of which regions your calls are coming from, call mapping helps you improve geographic segmentation.

Reporting


With the rise of Big Data, you’re bombarded with enough data as it is. More data isn’t better unless you can use it to meet your objectives. Evaluate the types of metrics the call tracking vendor provides and make sure the call tracking dashboard can be customized to your preferences. Some of the reports you might look for include:

  • Total calls per hour, day, etc.
  • Total missed calls per hour, day, etc.
  • Total rescued opportunities
  • Total number of after-hours calls
  • Call activity by customer or agent
  • Total calls per campaign
  • Campaign ROI

Call Evaluation


Are your sales reps calling customers back? Are your customer service agents providing the kind of service that represents your brand well? What are customers saying during phone conversations with your employees? Your call tracking service should empower you to confidently answer all these questions through call evaluation features like these:

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  • Outbound Call Tracking — If you need to make sure your agents are returning or following up on calls, outbound call tracking is a must. Surprisingly, though, not all inbound call tracking providers give you the option to track outbound calls.
  • Call Recordings — Listening to call recordings helps you look beyond call metrics to get a better picture of how conversations with customers are going. For example, a high number of calls in response to a campaign looks good on paper, but if all those calls are from people calling to complain, that’s not good. If your agents regularly place outbound calls, make sure your provider offers outbound call recording, as some companies only record inbound calls.
  • Speech-Recognition Technology — Reviewing call recordings can take hours — what manager has that much time to spare in a day? Look for a tool to automatically scan your recorded inbound and outbound calls for key phrases of your choice (product names, curse words, etc.). By knowing which calls contain those words or phrases, you can narrow down which call recordings you need to listen to.
  • Call Evaluation Professionals — While technology is great for picking up certain words, sometimes it takes a human to pick on up nuances. Too many leads and customers are lost to bad phone service and process deficiencies. But once again, who has hours a day to listen to phone calls? Trained call evaluation professionals can listen to your calls for you and notify you of any call handling errors and potential missed opportunities.

Productivity Tools


The more convenient and efficient a tool is, the more likely you and your employees are to use it consistently, which in turn leads to better processes and more accurate data. Here are a few features to look for:
  • Mobile App for Missed Opportunities — While it’s important to keep track of your missed sales opportunities, it’s not as effective if you’re only acting on the information half the time. If you’re going to track missed opportunities, make your call tracking provider has an app that allows you to receive missed opportunity alerts, listen to calls and add notes to recent calls while you’re on the go.
  • Desktop Application — When a call comes in, a desktop application shows the caller’s information and the associated campaign in a small popup window. That way, you don’t have to have a browser open to look up call tracking data.
  • CRM Integration — Requiring your staff to manually enter call tracking data into your CRM and vice versa is a sure way to end up with incomplete or incorrect customer data. Be sure you can integrate your CRM with your call tracking platform.
  • Click To Call for Outbound Calls — When your agents are returning customer calls, having a Click To Call button within the call log allows the employee to return calls quickly and avoid dialing errors.
  • Call Safe — When placing outbound calls, it’s imperative that you comply with the federal Do Not Call (DNC) list. Look for a tool that automatically scans phone numbers against the DNC registry as an additional layer of protection.

Feeling overwhelmed yet? Get in touch with us and we’ll help you identify the features and services that’ll help you meet your goals.

Originally posted in April 2014; updated in October 2018.