10 questions to ask before engaging a call tracking vendor

As an agency, you deal with a multitude of clients, all receiving sales through their online channels, but some receive a large proportion of sales through the phone. So what do you do?

Let’s start with why agencies should use call tracking.

For some of your clients, the ability to track their calls is a crucial part of their marketing efforts because it enables them to figure out what’s working – and worth the money – and what’s not. As an agency, it gives you the insight to adjust or recommend campaigns that may drive more inbound sales.

But for call tracking to be effective, you must ensure the call tracking software you use for clients is comprehensive enough to track all their campaigns and agile enough to respond to changes in your marketing. And if it goes beyond just tracking their calls to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their marketing, even better for you and them.

At a recent event we presented at, from an audience of 300+ attendees, 50% of the audience (predominantly agencies), didn’t know that phone calls can be tracked in the same way online activity can. When it was explained to them, it was like a ton of lightbulbs going on.

Of the remaining 50%, it was quite evenly split between agencies that currently use call tracking successfully, and those that had used a call tracking company in the past and had their fingers burned with a bad experience. Unfortunately, the bad experiences were more to do with a vendor’s customer service, inflexible terms of service agreements and inflated costs, than the actual software itself.

By giving you some advice on how to find a good call tracking vendor, our hope is that we can persuade those disappointed agencies to try again, and the 50% that haven’t tried call tracking to start now.

Screening the Vendors: Questions to Ask When Choosing a Call Tracking Tool

When shopping for a provider, there are some questions you should ask to make sure their call tracking tool meets your needs, and those of your clients. It’s also worth remembering that you aren’t just choosing a simple desktop SaaS or Cloud tool, but one that has a solid company behind it that will help you every step of the way when putting the software to good use. So, look for a vendor that will be a partner that will work with you, instead of just focusing on just the software.

1. Can your call tracking software perform across all client campaigns?

No matter who your clients are, large or small, different sectors, you want to ensure your call tracking software works across all campaign activities with different touchpoints. Even if you only have one campaign in mind for call tracking, or think you just need call tracking for online marketing or offline marketing, the point is that your agency can and should grow, and with it your range of clients, so you want a call tracking tool that can grow with you.

2. I only need call tracking for a few months, do you lock us in for a long time period?

Agencies tend to work on a project basis and clients come and go. There’s a good chance you will have a few clients that need their calls tracked, but if this isn’t the case and you no longer need call tracking, there is no point paying for something you no longer need. Ask your vendor what their notice period is as you shouldn’t be tied into any long term agreements.

3. How does your call tracking tool integrate with my other analytics and CRM platforms?

No business wants silos in their platforms, ideally you need them all talking to each other. Ask whether call tracking data can integrate with your website data, your CRM data, and more. Explain what software you use in your business now, and what you might consider in the future, such as Google Analytics and Ads, KISSmetrics, Optimizely, WordPress, Salesforce (Classic and Lightning), etc.

4. Can you track other call-to-actions as well as calls?

If your clients take a large proportion of sales through phone calls, they will probably want to track other personal response channels like Live Chat, form enquiries and email links from your website. Ask your vendor if their software extends to this this functionality.

5. What types of numbers can you offer?

Having the range of number types helps you be more flexible with what you can offer your client and the level of detail they see from their customers’ buying journey. Ask the vendor if they offer static and dynamic numbers as this will give you a range of data for parts of your campaign. For instance, static numbers are fixed number that are ideal for tracking advert responses. Whereas dynamic numbers are unique to each visitor on your website and track their movements beyond their phone call.

6. Can you prompt the call handler to the nature of the call before it’s answered, and record the call?

Knowing a caller’s intent is valuable information for marketers, and the person that takes the call. When a caller rings a tracked number, a ‘whisper prompt’ can reveal which campaign the call is coming from before they pick up. In addition, having the call recorded is a great asset for sales, marketing, training and customer service to analyse the call and understand the needs of the customer. Ask for these options from your vendor as these are ‘must have’ features of any good call tracking software. And make sure you can record inbound and outbound calls.

7. Is it easy to access the call tracking data and can I control it?

The last thing you need is a system that makes it difficult to see and report on the call data. You want to make sure that you report on the data easily, either at headline level, or more granular detail. Ask how you will receive the data and how you can share it internally. Ideally, you want notifications via email, a customisable dashboard and the ability to export reports that you can access anywhere. This is the real sticking point with a lot of users, so do ask for references and people you can speak to about their experience with the software.

8. Do you offer both freephone and local phone numbers? Can I take these numbers with me?

Your call tracking service should be able to offer both local and free-phone options. They should also be able to work with your current number. You should always be able to take your number with you, so do ask about it. Also check the process involved when porting lines away from the call tracking service to ensure you are supported correctly.

9. What support do you offer if there is an outage?

Generally, call systems are very reliable, and downtime is unlikely. If call tracking software reviews list several outages, then you may want to look elsewhere. The questions you need to ask if there is an outage are – what redundancy measures do they have in place, how long does it take to get back up and running, and what support are you likely to expect?

10. I don’t want to miss any leads that go to voicemail, can you help me?

The hard work is done, you’ve set everything up and then an all-important call isn’t answered – then what happens? Your chosen call tracking system should alert you to any missed calls and give you enough details for you to be able to call them back with an idea of why they called you – either by keyword, page they called from or, if they left one, a voicemail.

Next steps

When you’re choosing a call tracking provider, be sure to phone them and use the questions above as a basis for the call. Keep a log of all the answers so you can make an informed comparison at the end, along with other aspects such as costs and set up times. and see which company would best suit your needs.

For more information

We’re extremely proud of our call tracking software at Mediahawk and our pedigree of clients. We’d love to show you how it will work for your agency. For a no obligation discussion or demo to add us to your shortlist, get in touch now.

About the author

Author: Natalia Selby

Marketing coordinator at Mediahawk, with over 10 years experience in analytics, content management and eCommerce.

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