The Importance of Call Tracking for Healthcare Companies

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 | By Tim Stoddart

Over the last 20 years, the expansion of the internet and search engines like Google have changed the way people find and choose a healthcare provider. Even though most people start their search for a doctor online, inbound phone calls are still a vital part of the customer journey to wellness. Once people find a healthcare provider they like online, the majority of them pick up the phone to call and make an appointment. In fact, a study conducted by Google found that approximately 56% of people who conducted a search for a healthcare provider online ended up making their initial appointment over the phone. Overall, in the healthcare industry, 88% of patients book their appointments on the phone.

People don’t call healthcare providers only to schedule appointments, either. Many patients have questions about business hours, insurance plans, co-pays, and more. Others simply prefer speaking to someone over the phone rather than scheduling an appointment online. In a time of COVID-19 when things are rapidly changing, patients have a lot of questions and concerns that they are making phone calls to get answers to. Needless to say, inbound phone calls are an important aspect of healthcare marketing.

If you’re doing paid advertising, you’ll need a report that tells you how successful your efforts are. If you’re investing in SEO, you’ll want to use tools like SEMrush and Google Analytics to track your progress and update your strategy. The same idea applies to phone calls – if you’re not keeping track of the number of phone calls, conversions, and where those phone calls come from, you won’t know which marketing channel is bringing you the most traffic and leads. Call tracking for healthcare companies allows marketers to analyze your call data so you can improve your marketing strategies and the overall patient experience.

The Basics of Call Tracking

Call tracking allows healthcare marketers to track the customer journey up until they make the phone call. You’re already tracking user behaviors on your website, the effectiveness of your ads, and your website traffic, so call tracking is the next logical step. Digital marketing helps patients find your business, but if phone calls are the manner in which customers are making their appointments, getting more phone calls should be your ultimate goal. 

In order to get more phone calls, you have to understand where your phone calls are coming from. Are people calling you because they see your Google My Business listing? Or, are they calling because they found your website or stumbled across one of your ads on social media? Knowing where your phone calls come from can help you determine which marketing channel is most effective. This way, you can adjust your marketing strategy or allocate more funds to different channels accordingly.

Other useful information marketers can gather from call tracking include:

  • The cost of customer acquisition and how to reduce it
  • The average length of each phone call 
  • Number of phone calls received each day
  • Which time of day you have the highest call volume
  • Quality of customer service and how to improve it
  • Detailed buyer insights about the patient journey and how to optimize it
  • How phone calls are driving revenue
  • User behavior patterns and trends
  • How users and traffic respond to call ads and website phone numbers

Types of Call Tracking

The two primary types of call tracking are known as dynamic call tracking and call number tracking. Dynamic call tracking assigns unique phone numbers to each and every person who visits the website using a code on the site. When a person makes a phone call, dynamic call tracking allows marketers to track everything they did on your website before calling you. There are two categories of dynamic call tracking: channel-based tracking and dynamic number insertion (DNI).

Channel-based tracking assigns unique phone numbers to each marketing channel that is outside of your website. Using this method, for example, you’ll use different phone numbers for organic traffic, paid traffic, and social media traffic. DNI, on the other hand, automatically swaps the phone number on your website with unique tracking codes that are used to follow and examine user sessions and behaviors. The DNI call tracking method will provide you with information like the page they called you from, their marketing source, device type, and location.

Call number tracking, on the other hand, uniques unique phone numbers in both on and offline ads, such as in email marketing, print advertising, and snail-mail. These unique phone numbers allow you to understand where your phone calls come from, but don’t provide you with as much comprehensive and detailed information as dynamic call tracking methods do.

Popular Call Tracking Vendors

There are many different call tracking vendors out there, and in the next section, we’ll discuss what to look for when finding a call tracking vendor for your healthcare organization. A few of the most popular and well-known call tracking vendors are:

  • CallRail – software that tracks and analyzes phone calls and web forms. It is also able to integrate with most existing marketing and CRM programs.
  • DialogTech – provides call tracking and marketing analytics for inbound phone calls. This is a great option if you don’t have an existing marketing and CRM program.
  • Hubspot – offers free CRM and sales suites that have a call tracking feature that will log your calls and generate customizable reports.
  • Infinity – a cloud-based call tracking platform that is best suited for small businesses that are looking to scale up their business or open new locations.

How to Choose a Call Tracking Solution for Your Healthcare Company

Every call tracking software is different and offers unique customer packages, so you’ll need to take a look at the different packages, prices, and offerings to decide which is best for your business plan. In addition, this software can be complex, consisting of detailed user dashboards, call recording, and more, so you’ll want to make sure the vendor you choose has everything you need to be successful, laid out in a way you can easily understand. Here are a few important capabilities that you should consider when trying to choose the right call tracking software for your healthcare organization.

Collect Real-Time Data on Caller Profiles

Your call tracking software should help make your team more helpful and effective over the phone. In order to do so, you need call tracking software that gathers accurate information about each caller in real-time. Gathering real-time data on callers’ information, while they’re on the phone with a representative, can help make your services more personalized. 

Some of the data collected for each caller’s profile include their location, demographic, user behavior on your website, and any previous history they have with your site. The more information you know about your caller in real-time, the more effective your representatives will be on the phone and more likely your caller will turn into a real conversion.

Make Use of Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

If you’ve ever contacted your health insurance company or doctor’s office and were brought to a recorded line with pre-programmed options such as “press one for office hours” or “enter your customer ID followed by the pound sign,” you’ve interacted with IVR software. Also referred to as “intelligent call routing,” IVR is an automated software that accepts caller input, either by voice or by touch, in response to pre-recorded prompts, to help connect them to the right department.

Many call tracking programs offer their own IVR systems. However, if you already have an existing IVR set up, you’ll want to make sure the software you choose will integrate with your existing system. Each interaction you track with your IVR provides you with useful data about why people are calling you and what information they are looking for.

Call Recording, Keyword Analytics, and Reporting Tools

Every call tracking program has a user dashboard with reporting tools and analytics. You can use these tools to track user behavior over time, identify which keywords are driving phone calls, see what your return on investment (ROI) is, and determine how you can improve your content, landing pages, and conversion funnels to earn more phone calls.

Another way to analyze your phone calls is through call recording. Although software reporting suites can gather a large volume of information about phone calls and user data, manual phone call analysis is key to improving patient experience. By recording and analyzing your phone calls, you may be able to identify key phrases or questions that you aren’t already marketing towards. Call recording can also help you spot possible issues in the way your phone calls are handled so you can take steps towards improvement and evaluate which calls result in an appointment and which ones don’t. This way, you can spot trends in your callers, learn more about your audience, and optimize your marketing strategy accordingly.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Integration

When choosing call tracking software for your healthcare company, it’s important that you make sure it will integrate seamlessly with your existing CRM program. This information is needed to collect and keep track of customer information and potential leads from the initial point of contact to their first appointment and beyond. If you don’t already have your own CRM set up, you’ll want to purchase call tracking software that has its own CRM system that you can use.

Connect Your Call Tracking Software to Your Web Analytics Tools

Once you’ve chosen a call tracking vendor, you’ll want to integrate your existing analytics tools with your call tracking software. By doing so, you’ll be able to see the entire patient journey – from the way they found your website to the moment they schedule their appointment. If you invest a lot of time and effort into your healthcare marketing strategy, but have no way to analyze, track, record, and respond to your phone calls, a lot of potential patients are going to slip through the cracks. When you integrate everything together, you close an important gap that many healthcare marketers fail to fill.

Patients tend to do a lot of research before choosing a healthcare provider. They might ask for recommendations on Facebook, perform a search on Google, read patient reviews on review websites, and even visit a provider’s social media platforms. When you know exactly how users are finding you online and where they are calling from, you can identify the most profitable marketing channels and focus your marketing efforts on optimizing the channels that are more likely to bring you phone calls and conversions. In order to understand this user behavior, you have to look at your web analytics as a whole, including your organic search traffic, PPC and Facebook Ads, Google My Business listing, and call tracking.

Get Started With Call Tracking for Your Healthcare Organization Today

In a time of COVID-19 where office hours are constantly changing, more and more services are going virtual, and patients have a lot of questions, healthcare providers are seeing a huge increase in the number of phone calls they’re receiving. According to DialogTech, several healthcare industries saw an increase in inbound call volume from February 2020 to March 2020 alone, with hospitals, urgent care centers, and telehealth lines seeing 23%, 29%, and 52% increases in inbound phone calls, respectively. As a result, there is a huge opportunity for healthcare marketers to boost client conversions. All you need to get started is call tracking.

Using call tracking to understand how patients are finding your healthcare organization before they reach out to you will help you optimize your marketing strategy for a bigger ROI. Not only will call tracking help boost your conversions, but it will also help your representatives provide more personalized experiences on the phone, ultimately providing for more satisfied patients. 

When you choose a call tracking vendor, make sure to consider your present and future needs. If you don’t already have CRM software, choose a call tracking vendor that does. If you need your software to integrate with your existing CRM and web analytics tools, you’ll want to do that research, as well. However, call tracking is only one tool in the bigger picture of digital marketing, and sometimes, it’s best to leave the entire process to the experts. 

At Stodzy Internet Marketing, we’ll handle your web analytics, CRM, and call tracking for you. All you’ll need to do is go through your monthly reports and speak with your phone representatives about their performance, if necessary. There is no better time to capitalize on the healthcare industry and call tracking allows you to add personalization and value to your phone calls so you can better serve your patients. If you’re ready to get started with call tracking for your healthcare company, give us a call today. 

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Tim Stoddart

Tim Stoddart is the CEO of Stodzy Internet Marketing. He lives in Nashville with his wife and hit adorable pitbull, Alice. Tim loves to write about digital marketing and personal growth. You can learn more at TimStodz.com

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