When patients call your dental office to make an appointment, do you know where they're calling from? How they found your practice? And what neighborhoods you should be targeting with your marketing? With call tracking, you can. Here's some of what you need to know.
First, the Basics: What is Call Tracking?
Essentially, call tracking is a system that allows you to organize how patients call into your dental practice. By assigning a unique phone number to each marketing channel, call tracking lets you know where your calls are coming from and which dental marketing efforts are more effective.
What can Call Tracking do for Your Dental Practice?
Tracking phone calls can help you gather robust data about patients who pick up the phone with the intention of reaching your practice. This data, or analytics, can help you make important decisions for your practice. Call analytics can give you:
Invaluable Insights Into Your Dental Marketing Efforts
No more struggling with multiple sources of data to try to understand which dental marketing campaign is more effective. With call analytics, you'll have information about your highest performing campaigns, as well as your lowest and those in between. You'll be able to simultaneously monitor how your website, PPC ads, billboards, TV ads, and other advertising assets are doing and their performance.
Streamlined Marketing Strategies
When you know which campaigns work and which don't, you'll be able to cull the low performers. For example, if your billboards aren't bringing in near the calls that your PPC efforts are, you might want to have your billboard taken down and funnel the monthly fee to your pay-per-click budget. This means that you're never sinking time, effort, or funds into marketing strategies that aren't bringing patients to your door.
You may simply want to cull low performing dental ad campaigns to trim down your marketing budget. Call tracking can help you lower your overall expenses, so you're not paying for ads that aren't working. If television ads are your second-to-lowest performer after billboards, perhaps you could cut your TV spot and absorb the profit.
Improve Patient Experience
Not only can call tracking provide you with a wealth of information about where your calls are coming from and which marketing campaigns are effective, it can also help you monitor and improve the customer service experience. In most cases, individuals dialing into your office have never been there before. When a phone call is the first contact patients have with your office, it's critical that they have a positive experience.
Listen in to how your administrative staff is answering calls and questions prospective patients have. Identify effective communication strategies and ineffective ones, and use them as training tools for new staff or to brush up the skills of your current crew.
How to Start Tracking Your Dental Practice's Calls
To start tracking calls for your dental practice, you'll need to sign up for a tool like CallRail or What Converts. Then, you'll need to make sure you assign a unique phone number (often toll-free, but may be local) to each of your marketing campaigns. For some campaigns, more than one dedicated phone number is recommended. Set up email alerts for new leads and review as they filter in.
Key Metrics to Monitor
The most important metrics you should be watching are:
- How many calls each channel gets. This is the primary indicator of which ads are generating brand awareness and motivating potential patients to pick up the phone.
- How many calls your practice misses. What percentage of calls are abandoned? This can clue you in on several important issues, like the need to increase your administrative staff or hire an answering service.
- The average length of calls. How long calls are can indicate which patients are highly motivated. Your practice should follow up with them if they miss their appointment.
- Where calls are located. Calls coming from a certain geographical region can indicate an interested audience in that area. You may want to funnel marketing funds there to generate more brand awareness.
- What time calls come in. If you have a lot of calls come in at a specific time, it can indicate the need to take action. For example, calls that come in at night means that you may need to either invest in an answering service or adjust the timing of the ads appearing on the channel the calls are coming from.
Call Tracking for Dentists Can Improve Your Bottom Line
Ultimately, call tracking can improve your dental practice's overall bottom line. You can hone your marketing efforts to only your most effective channels that are bringing in the highest number of leads and redistribute funds where needed, making your practice more efficient.
All of these serve to boost your bottom line and return on investment (ROI). Use the data you obtain from call analytics to make critical decisions about which marketing avenues your practice should pursue, what your campaigns for each channel should look like, and other important issues.
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Treloar & Heisel, Inc. and its divisions do not offer marketing advice. Please consult a professional concerning this topic.