In the healthcare industry, inbound phone calls have always played a significant role in the customer journey. In fact, Google reports that 56% of patients schedule their healthcare appointments over the phone even after doing extensive research online. On the healthcare provider side of things, speaking with patients on the phone can be a powerful way to guide them in the right direction and drive marketing and revenue objectives while doing it.

Since the beginning of the 2020 global pandemic, healthcare providers have experienced a particularly acute increase in call volume, with hospital calls increasing by 23% between February and March 2020, according to DialogTech. Why?

As it turns out, in an atmosphere of uncertainty, people just want to hear a real person’s voice. Many patients have questions about how your business operations have changed, or if the same treatment options are available to them as usual. They also want information about telehealth, rescheduling previous appointments and follow up care, and what safety measures you’ve put in place to make sure they don’t get sick while visiting your physical location. With things changing so fast, a lot of people prefer to call because they lack confidence that websites and Google listings are accurate and up to date.

They want to hear a voice of authority assure them about how to safely receive care.

patients are calling healthcare providers more frequently

We healthcare marketers have an opportunity to harness this surge. Using call tracking solutions, we can analyze call data to improve the patient experience and enact target marketing strategies—just like we do for paid advertising, SEO, and social media campaigns. If you don’t already have call tracking software in place, now is the time to introduce it.

 

How Call Tracking Works

Call tracking is a natural extension and supplement to all of the work you’re already doing to track user behavior on your website, the way people interact with your ads and social media campaigns, and the effectiveness of your Google My Business Listing. Call tracking software helps you determine how callers found you, why they are calling, and how you can improve the experience once they’re on the phone.

By utilizing call tracking software, healthcare marketers can map the customer journey up to the point of the phone call. This helps marketers determine which print and digital campaigns, website resources, and keywords are leading to calls so you can allocate your budget and adapt your marketing strategy accordingly.

The two main methods of call tracking are call number tracking and dynamic all tracking.

Call Number Tracking

Call number tracking uses unique trackable phone numbers inserted into ads both on and offline, including in direct mail, print advertising, email marketing, and digital ad campaigns. In the ads for your campaign targeting young families in the community, for example, you would provide a unique number for those prospects to call for more information. Without utilizing call number tracking, there is no way to trace which of your promotional ads are converting people into callers and into customers.

example of call tracking for a dental group print campaign

You can use unique phone numbers within print and direct mail campaigns to better understand the campaign’s ROI.

 

Dynamic Call Tracking

Dynamic call tracking uses a website code to assign unique phone numbers to individual web users.  Once a person calls, you have access to what they were doing before they dialed your number. Within dynamic call tracking, there are two primary methods most marketers use:

  • Dynamic Number Insertion (DNI) automatically swaps the number displayed on your website with a unique tracking code to follow unique user sessions. When a person calls, you’re provided with their website behavior, marketing source, IP address location, device type, conversion page, etc.
  • Channel-based Tracking assigns unique phone numbers to online marketing channels outside of your own website, including search engine results, organic traffic, and marketing channels.

If you’ve built marketing campaigns where the purpose is to drive inbound phone calls, call tracking is essential in understanding which campaigns are most effective at bringing in these kinds of leads. This is where you’ll get the hard data you need to better manage your marketing budget and close the loop on leads that come in over the phone.

 

8 Things to Look for in a Call Tracking Solution

8 Things to Look for in a Call Tracking Solution

Call tracking software can be highly sophisticated, with capabilities including everything from caller intelligence, lead scoring, dashboards, and call recording for later analysis. There are many vendors to choose from and each offers unique customer packages, so we recommend doing your own due diligence to choose the appropriate software for your needs.

In addition to being easy to use, customizable, and scalable for future growth, the following capabilities should be considered non-negotiable when you’re shopping around.

1. Caller Profiles

This should go without saying, but your software should capture your caller’s location, website behavior, demographic data, and previous history. The more you know about your caller, the better positioned you’ll be to add value to their journey and turn a call into a conversion.

2. Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

Also known as “intelligent call routing,” IVR is an automated system that connects callers to the proper departments based on their spoken answers to recorded prompts. Call tracking programs should either integrate with your existing IVR system or provide their own. Again, each interaction with your IVR represents a useful data point.

4. Real-Time Analytics

Equip your people so they can be more effective on the phone. Real-time analytics allow your teams to pull up caller information while they’re on the phone for more personalized service that helps build trust and drive better outcomes.

5. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Integration

Your call tracking software program should integrate with your existing CRM (presuming you use one to track sales and accounts). You’ll need this kind of integration to streamline customer information from the first contact to appointment follow up, a core tenet of improved patient experiences.

6. Reporting Tools

Use your solution’s reporting suite to track and measure user behavior over time, access historical trends, optimize your conversion funnel, and determine the return on investment (ROI) of your marketing and content strategies.

7. Keyword Tracking

Customer language and customer voice can unlock very powerful insights for marketers. Know which keywords are driving which users to phone in, then use this data to refine each part of the journey, from ad creative to your landing page.

8. Call Recording and Analytics

Call recording alone is useful for manual analysis and patient service improvement. Automatic analysis can take a large volume of calls and identify commonly used keywords and phrases that you may or may not be marketing to, pain points and objections, or complaints. It then organizes that data in a way that’s easy to consume, spot trends, and share.

 

Integrating Your Existing Analytics Tools with Call Tracking

Call tracking software integrates with your existing analytics tools to give you the full picture of the patient acquisition journey, which closes a gap that many healthcare marketers have been neglecting to fill for quite some time. Because people are calling you, right? How much do you actually know about that slice of your inbound pie?

The truth is that most patients do a lot of research and investigation before they decide to reach out to healthcare providers, even if it’s by phone. They ask their friends, perform internet searches, read patient reviews, check out your website, and visit your social media platforms. Multi-channel attribution lets you track a patient’s journey from the first ad they click, across several website visits, to the moment they pick up the phone and dial. Patient Stream

This data can be fed into your existing analytics tools. Artificial intelligence (AI) software like Cardinal Digital Marketing Patient Stream, for example, automatically optimizes all of your marketing efforts across all channels to help maximize ROI in a proactive and automated way. Your electronic medical records (EMR) solution can integrate directly with the proprietary Patient Stream AI to stop campaigns that aren’t delivering new patients and increase spending on campaigns that are producing conversions. Google PPC campaigns, Facebook Ads, call tracking, website analytics, and any other tools you’re using to track user behavior and conversion funnels can also be integrated and examined holistically.

 

 

What are Some Common Call Tracking Vendors?

To give you a feel for what a call tracking solution might look like in terms of fit and feel, we’ve provided a brief overview and review of three popular solutions

CallRail

leading Call Tracking Vendors

CallRail tracks and analyzes phone calls, web forms, and static and offline call tracking. It also integrates seamlessly with many of the marketing and CRM programs you may already be using. The software has robust functionality and offers a number of ways to customize your reports to your campaign strategy. CallScribe, for instance, automatically analyzes phone conversations to find custom keywords and optimize them for organic search. Reports are customizable based on campaigns, marketing sources, keywords, lead scores, etc.

HubSpot

For those of you who do not already have a CRM and marketing automation software, HubSpot might be your perfect software option. HubSpot offers a free CRM and sales suite with a built-in call tracking feature. This all-in-one software option automatically logs calls into your CRM, generates customizable reports and dashboards, provides robust email functions, includes website Live Chat, and more.

 

Infinity

If you are a small organization with the intention to scale drastically in the medium to long term, or if you have multiple locations, Infinity may be the call tracking solution for you. Infinity is a cloud-based call tracking platform appropriate for small businesses, enterprises, and everything in between. Infinity provides highly customizable solutions and onboarding so that if you do have multiple locations, everyone is receiving a controlled training experience. Because it is cloud-based, Infinity can easily keep pace as your business expands to new locations.

 

A Tried and True Way to Close the Loop

Healthcare providers are receiving more calls than ever and capturing the data on those callers has never been easier with modern call tracking software. The more data marketers collect on their patients, website users, and audiences, the clearer and more detailed your customer map becomes. Understanding how patients are finding you and the steps they take before reaching out to book an appointment helps you develop a comprehensive marketing strategy that gets the most bang for your advertising dollars.

It helps your people be much better on the phone, too, delivering more personalized experiences that patients expect nowadays.

When choosing software for call tracking, consider your current and future needs. If you intend on scaling up, put in place a highly scalable call tracking solution now. If seamless integrations without costly professional services are a must, focus your vendor search accordingly. And remember: call tracking software is yet another tool in your marketing suite to help you attribute leads, better understand the patient journey, and optimize each step from start to finish. The recent spike in phone calls is more than just an opportunity for healthcare marketers to capitalize; it’s a chance to bring value and personalization, to each and every call, something your patients will thank you for.


Alex Membrillo Cardinal CEO

Alex Membrillo

Founder and CEO

Alex Membrillo is the CEO of Cardinal, a digital marketing agency focused on growing multi location companies. His work as CEO of Cardinal has recently earned him the honor of being selected as a member of the 2018 Top 40 Under 40 list by Georgia State University as well as 2015 and 2016 Top 20 Entrepreneur of metro Atlanta by TiE Atlanta, Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2016 Small Business Person of the Year,and the Digital Marketer of the Year by Technology Association of Georgia (TAG).