Friday, June 27, 2014
Any business that routinely converts sales over the phone can put call tracking software to good use. But while most companies instinctively track web traffic via analytics, it’s surprising how few have caught on to the potential of tracking call metrics.
Call tracking is surprisingly under-represented in the hotel industry, considering what an obvious match they make. Let’s say you own an independent hotel in Florida. You offer the same amenities as the large brand chains, at a similar price, but you can’t compete with their marketing clout. Your budget won’t allow an all-out advertising assault, so you adopt a piecemeal approach, buying billboard space one month and a radio spot the next.
Spreading your bets this way pleases your accountant, but without call tracking, you’ve no way of knowing which channel is the most effective. With it, you can tell which leads were generated by which medium, and at what times each produced the most results.
An in-depth analytics report for phone leads should be as a high a priority as it is for web traffic. Here’s what call tracking can do for you:
  • Track leads generated by ad campaigns. Tracking, recording and analyzing call data from a marketing campaign will set you up to focus only on the most profitable avenues. You can learn which demographics are most likely to call, and devise your next campaign accordingly. The more information you have on who’s calling your hotel, the better your chances of growth.
  • Help train staff. Call tracking enables you to record each phone call and evaluate the quality of your customer service. Play the perfect call (and the one where everything went wrong) to new staff to teach them the right and wrong way to deal with customers.
  • Provide insight into customer preferences. Recorded calls can be converted into raw text that will show you the most common queries or complaints. Is every third caller requesting fruit in their room? Maybe it’s worth putting fruit in every room as a matter of course. Perhaps your staff are hearing constant complaints about the wi-fi speed in other hotels – make yours faster and you’ll give yourself an edge. The possibilities for improving the user experience with call tracking are almost limitless.
  • Manage investments. Before call tracking, managing the investment that is a phone marketing campaign was tricky to achieve and produced imperfect results at best. By tracking and recording phone calls, you can manage according to yield more accurately, thereby eliminating unnecessary advertising that doesn’t provide an ROI.
As online commerce becomes increasingly conducted via mobile devices, tracking the performance of your mobile website is crucial. Yes, you can find out a lot from web analytics, but once those users have clicked your phone number, the only way to keep tabs on the lead is through call tracking. What are the customers who phone directly from your mobile site saying about it? Are people pointing out that the click-to-call number should be bigger? Or the site was hard to navigate?
Post-website data can tell you a lot about the online experience, as well as the obvious metrics such as conversion rates. Understanding what your customers are saying at every stage of the transaction is absolutely essential to retaining their business. Call tracking can do this for you and your hotel.