Want to Double your Marketing ROI? Get Started with Call Tracking
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Not that many years ago, if you asked your marketing agency “How will I know if my ad campaign is working?” you would have heard this answer: “Stop the marketing and see if your sales drop.”
The marketing world could identify a corollary, but to determine causation they had to use the process of elimination. That’s a highly inefficient, costly, and frankly absurd way to measure the success of your marketing campaign, but it’s pretty much all we had at the time.
In 1992, Call Source premiered as a service designed to help an apartment listing service determine the source of the leads by assigning unique tracking numbers to each advertising medium. Marketers realized there was a much larger audience who would want these metrics, and with time, the marketing world came to realize the significance of proving return on investment to any client who invested in marketing.
How does call tracking work?
That’s a question I hear from clients all the time, even in 2021. Call tracking allows your marketing agency to acquire a dedicated number that is used in your advertising and marketing, replacing your main office line. The phone number is still consistent with any other number you might use to make phone calls.
They essentially act as the “AT&T” of your marketing by owning that number, so that when a lead calls the number listed in the advertisement, call tracking technology instantly reroutes the call to your office. Now, instead of relying on reporting based on anecdotal references to the “How did you hear about us” question, there are real, hard data to ensure your marketing is generating leads.
The keys to a successful call
Every call that is tracked is also recorded on a secure platform, giving you the ability to not only track your marketing efforts but learn about the conversations your receptionist or sales team is having with potential customers offline. When you review these conversations on the call tracking software, there are several key things to listen for:
Does your team sound friendly, welcoming, excited, and engaged when they answer the phone? Do they identify themselves and ask for the name of the person they are speaking with? While this seems like the most obvious, basic part of answering the phone, you would be surprised at the range of greetings that are given. They all depend on how well – or even if – the person answering your calls has been given clear direction on how to present themselves.
While your caller may just be seeking high-level information, they will want to feel like they have a connection with the business they end up choosing. Do your calls reflect an attempt to find a common connection with the caller? Rapport creates trust and intimacy, both crucial to any sale. We ultimately buy from people we like, so ask yourself as you listen to the call – did this sound like a conversation among new friends, or just a transaction?
Price is a common question from callers who want to know what their investment in your business might look like, whether you’re selling tires or cosmetic smile makeovers. You’ll find that most callers start the conversation by asking “what does XYZ cost – can you give me a range?” It’s a reasonable question, but if your team simply blurts out the cost of your product or service, they have taken no time to build value for it. If you don’t find a way to differentiate your business from the competition, you will always, and only, be selling on price. That’s an easy way to lose out on both sales and profits.
It’s amazing how many calls to your business end without someone from your company asking for the sale. Whether that “sale” is an appointment, a free consultation, or a tour of your product, you don’t get what you don’t ask for. If you hear callers asking “So…can I make an appointment?” (often sounding incredulous that they even had to ask), I promise you’re losing far more sales than you’re making because you didn’t help the caller to decide on whether or not to proceed with your business.
Is it legal?
I’ll admit, not everyone in your business is going to be excited about your decision to start tracking calls, especially when they find out the calls are recorded. They will question if it is even legal to record their calls, which is often a defensive tactic on their end because they are insecure about what you will think of their call skills.
Ultimately, each state decides if it is a one-party or two-party notification state. In a one-party state, your caller will hear a short recording before the call connects, something like “This call may be recorded for quality control.” It allows the caller to hang up if they don’t want to be recorded. If your business operates in a two-party state, you simply need to inform your team that you are using a call tracking service. Many employers simply write this into the employee manual, stating that they have the right to record and review calls.
The best part about call tracking is that you don’t have to record every single incoming call. With call tracking, your team is unable to tell if an incoming call is tracked or not, giving you a clear indication of how all calls are handled.
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You don’t know what you’re missing
Statistically, about 22% of all inbound calls to your business are getting missed. When I mention this data to clients, the response invariably is, “well, they leave a voicemail and we call them back.” Except, 75-80% of calls that go to voicemail simply hang up and never leave a message.
If the call was from a prospective customer, most of those don’t bother to call back – they’ve already found another solution down the street from you. The only way to know that you’re missing calls is through call tracking. It’s like a landing page for your phone number.
You might be thinking, “Okay, so I miss a few calls. So what?” Well, if your business misses calls you are both damaging your brand reputation and your bottom line. Let’s do some business math. Assume that your average sale is $500, and your average customer continues to spend about $500 a year with you for the next 10 years. That single missed call now represents $5,000 in potential revenue to your company.
Let’s assume you miss one call a day, a highly conservative estimate. In a typical month, you have now lost out on $100,000 worth of lifetime revenue, or $1,200,000 a year. If you’re in business for 30 years, that’s a potential loss of 36 million dollars!
What seems like a tiny problem is a huge missed opportunity. If you’re operating at even a marginal 10% profit, that’s $3,600,000 that should have been in your pocket for retirement. And none of these statistics even begin to account for the sales that are getting blown once the call is answered.
What did you learn?
Once you have the attribution data you’ve gleaned from your call tracking efforts, it’s important to make sure that you take action. If a strategy isn’t driving enough calls, review your message and your offer. If you’re getting calls but the callers haven’t qualified leads for your business, change your medium. If your team isn’t converting qualified calls, invest in sales training.
After all, that, assuming you’ve given each strategy enough time to perform, you should be able to stop investing in the marketing that is not producing results and reinvest in the strategies with the strongest return.
Did you get the message?
I’m optimistic that by this point of the article, you are a huge believer in the importance of call tracking. This is not a “one and done” strategy either. Your team will change over time, and when there’s no accountability, people will fall into bad habits.
As they say, “marketing without measurement is like driving with your eyes closed.” An investment in call tracking allows you to refine your marketing strategy, train your team, and learn what drives your customers. Best of all, the ability to double your marketing ROI is nearly guaranteed.