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Call tracking for business: detailed guide

Call tracking

Despite the availability of a large number of communication channels, 61% of Ukrainians choose a phone call to order a product or service. When assistance with a product or information about a service is needed, 58% of customers turn to the technical support service by phone. Thus, a phone call remains an effective way to establish contact between customers and businesses. And it’s time to talk about call tracking – a method of tracking inbound calls and a powerful tool for marketing analytics. The purpose of this material is to provide complete information about call tracking:

  • What is call tracking?
  • How does call tracking work?
  • Types of call tracking
  • Benefits of call tracking for business

Also, to help make an informed choice, the article extensively compares statistical and dynamic call tracking. So, let’s go through everything step by step.

What is call tracking?

The term appeared in the Ukrainian business environment thanks to the English term “call tracking,” which means tracking calls. Essentially, call tracking is a technology that captures information about inbound calls (phone number, advertising that prompted the call, call duration, etc.). This data helps marketers understand which marketing efforts lead to phone leads and optimize their campaigns accordingly.

Since we’ve mentioned leads, it’s necessary to provide another definition of call tracking as a tool for analyzing marketing activity. In other words, call tracking is part of the lead generation process that determines which specific marketing actions prompted an existing or potential customer to pick up the phone and make a call.

Why use call tracking?

Call tracking records all phone inquiries and helps evaluate the effectiveness of advertising. By knowing exactly which ads bring in traffic, you can analyze how each advertising channel performs.

Imagine a company suddenly receiving twice as many orders as in the previous reporting period. What led to the increase in sales: improved call center agent productivity, banners on main city streets, or perhaps the new targeting specialist did a great job? Without analyzing calls and ads, it’s unclear how the increase in call center conversion rate was achieved and how to use this successful experience in the future to continue growth.

The call tracking system helps determine which advertising works best on which platform. Calls from customers are automatically sorted by categories: who they are, how much they spent, and where they found out about you.

How does call tracking work?

Call tracking is a call analytics system based on number substitution. With its help, you can determine which channel (online or offline) calls are coming from to the sales department. To make it easier for you to understand how call tracking works, let’s provide an example:

  • Suppose a company uses various advertising channels to promote its products or services: banner advertising, press advertising, radio, television advertising, contextual advertising on the Internet, social networks, targeting, landing pages, etc.
  • Each channel corresponds to a specific phone number that customers can call.
  • Calls from customers through landline or cloud PBX call center systems reach the company’s call center or outsourced call center that handles inbound calls.
  • Call center software records which number the customer called from, whether they made a purchase, submitted an application, or declined a product/service.

Typically, call tracking systems are integrated with CRM call centers. In addition to tracking call information, this provides the ability to include a range of other features, such as creating and updating customer data in the customer card, Automatic Call Distribution routing, call recording, call quality assessment, transcription of phone conversations, advanced reporting capabilities, AI-based call analytics, etc.

Types of call tracking

Currently, three types of call tracking are distinguished: static call tracking, dynamic call tracking, and combined call tracking. Let’s discuss each type in more detail.

Static call tracking

Static call tracking is a method of tracking the source of phone calls that uses static phone numbers tied to specific advertising channels. Each advertising channel or marketing source receives its unique number, and when a customer calls that number, the call tracking system identifies which channel the lead came from. The tool helps analyze the effectiveness of individual traffic channels and find opportunities to reduce the cost of each new lead.

Advantages of static call tracking

Static call tracking is a simple and cost-effective way to track conversations with customers and obtain high-level advertising analytics. It is particularly effective for tracking advertising materials with clearly defined points of contact, such as magazine advertisements, flyers, or billboards. Among the main advantages of static call tracking are:

  • Ease of setup, as a large number of virtual numbers are not required.
  • Improved customer experience, as customers see the same phone number associated with a specific campaign.
  • Simplified reporting: since each number in static call tracking relates to a specific campaign or channel, reporting and data analysis are relatively straightforward.

Dynamic call tracking

Dynamic call tracking assigns numbers not based on traffic source but on specific website visitors. For this, a database of numbers is required, and the higher the traffic on the website, the more virtual numbers are needed.

Dynamic call tracking is a more expensive and complex tracking tool. It captures the entire customer journey from the key query that led the customer to the site to the targeted advertisement the customer saw before making the call.

Advantages of dynamic call tracking

Dynamic call tracking allows associating calls with specific user actions, providing additional information about their online behavior, which provides more data for analysis. The advantages of dynamic call tracking include:

  • Personalized experience based on customer preferences regarding search engine, search queries, geographical location, time of the call, and other individual parameters;
  • Accuracy in tracking the customer’s path and advertising activities that led to the phone call;
  • Enhanced web analytics, which helps companies understand the effectiveness of their marketing efforts and optimize customer acquisition strategies.

Combined (mixed) call tracking

This is a versatile option for comprehensive advertising analytics if a business conducts advertising activities not only online but also offline. Combined call tracking combines static and dynamic tools. Typically, it is used in the following format:

  • Dynamic call tracking for gathering data on digital channels;
  • Static call tracking for offline advertising.

All call information goes into a unified report, where the effectiveness of all advertising campaigns can be tracked. So, let’s list the advantages that businesses gain from using call tracking.

Evaluation of marketing effectiveness

Before the COVID pandemic, companies allocated 7-12% of their revenue to marketing. Since 2021, marketing budgets have started to increase. Today, consumer goods manufacturing companies can spend up to 15% of their revenue on online advertising alone. Call tracking tools for e-commerce provide valuable statistics, showing which marketing channels, campaigns, and keywords drive the most phone calls and how many of these calls come from potential customers. This allows marketers to better understand which marketing efforts are effective and which are not.

Optimization of marketing efforts

The customer journey is becoming more complex. Potential customers often interact with multiple channels before making a purchase or completing a desired action for the business. Call tracking tracks and takes into account all possible ways in which customers interact with the brand, including advertising in various media, search queries, social media, direct website visits, email interactions, and more. This helps understand the full path of the customer to making a purchase or other desired action and optimize marketing efforts to achieve better results.

Improvement of customer service

Call tracking plays an important role in improving customer service in several aspects. Firstly, call tracking helps businesses understand the specific needs and issues of their customers through call analysis, enabling them to improve products and optimize services according to customer needs.

Secondly, by recording and analyzing calls, relevant managers can monitor the quality of interactions with customers, identify areas for improvement, and provide targeted training to their staff. As a result of these aspects of call tracking’s impact on customer service, metrics directly affecting the customer experience are improved.

Database development

The significance of data in shaping business strategies is becoming more apparent with each passing day. Call tracking serves as a vital tool for gathering and analyzing data, enhancing customer service, streamlining marketing efforts, and facilitating well-informed decisions for business growth.

Through the seamless integration of call tracking software with business CRM call center systems, companies gain access to comprehensive, real-time customer information. This data serves as an invaluable resource for analysis and generating accurate reports.

Increased sales

Finally, the call tracking system is crucial for the sales team. When the sales department has a more precise understanding of what the customer interacted with before they called, they can specifically focus their efforts on the solutions that interest the customer the most. This data can also provide more opportunities for cross-selling, as the sales manager understands the customer’s needs based on their initial search data.

Static and dynamic call tracking: which one to choose for business?

The choice between dynamic and static call tracking depends on many factors, such as the industry, the complexity of marketing campaigns, target audience, and more. From general trends, it can be noted that static call tracking is useful when a business rely on VoIP call center, has several marketing channels, small advertising campaigns, and offline advertising (radio, television, print advertising, outdoor advertising). Dynamic call tracking is the best choice for a large number of traffic channels, businesses primarily operating online (e.g., e-commerce), and a large advertising budget.

An important factor in choosing call tracking for a business is the price. Typically, static call tracking is cheaper because it only requires a few virtual numbers. Dynamic call tracking involves significant expenses for virtual numbers and system setup.

Before choosing a service and type of call tracking for your business, evaluate your company and answer three questions:

  • What is your advertising budget?
  • What traffic sources do you use for promotion?
  • Do you plan to launch offline advertising or are you promoting exclusively online?

If you have a small business, a few advertising channels, and a limited promotion budget, choose static call tracking. You will be able to receive data on the effectiveness of traffic channels, identify channels with low conversion and weak ROI, turn them off, and redistribute the budget to traffic sources with higher conversion rates.

For large businesses, with many clients and traffic sources including organic and paid search, social media, referral and affiliate programs, the choice leans towards dynamic call tracking. In this case, advanced analytics will help you more flexibly analyze and adjust marketing activities, find insights, and use them in other channels.

And if your company operates not only online but also offline, it makes sense to try combined call tracking.

Call tracking for business: conclusions

Despite the rising popularity of text-based communication methods (online chats, messengers, chatbots), the number of calls in companies is not decreasing. This means that call tracking will continue to play a key role in lead generation. Considering the advantages of call tracking for business mentioned above, it can be concluded that it will be most effective in e-commerce, finance, medicine, real estate, and other industries that use phone calls for lead generation or sales.

Regarding call tracking as a marketing tool, it is evident that its use contributes to improving marketing strategies and prevents spending on ineffective marketing channels.

It is also worth noting that besides enhancing marketing strategies, call tracking for business is also an effective means of optimizing processes in one’s own call center and controlling customer service in cases where call handling is outsourced.

About author

Фахівець з маркетингу компанії Global Bilgi
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