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You know dentistry changes lives.
But first, you have to get them in the chair.

One of the biggest challenges of running a successful dental practice is deciding how best to invest your marketing dollars so you can get as many new patients through your door and into the chair as possible.

If your marketing budget is being wasted on ineffective advertising that fails to generate results, you will always struggle to succeed.

To avoid this, you must be able to identify exactly which of your marketing efforts are generating phone calls from potential patients, and which ones are underperforming or failing entirely.

In addition, you must make sure that your team members are properly trained to handle these phone calls, and will follow up with each lead to ensure that you convert as many of them into new patients as possible.

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dental-marketing--call-tracking-software

Every touchpoint with a potential patient must be optimized in order to generate the maximum ROI from each dollar you spend on advertising.

To solve these problems, more and more dental practices are turning to call tracking software to provide the insights they need to make smarter decisions and generate better results from their marketing efforts.

In this article, we’re going to provide an in-depth overview of the different types of call tracking software, when to consider a call tracking software for your practice, and how to evaluate and choose the best one for your dental practice’s specific needs.

Gain Control of Your Dental Marketing Spend with a Call Tracking Software

What Is Call Tracking Software & What Is It Used For?

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Calls to U.S. businesses from paid ad campaigns have grown an astounding 110% since 2014. BIA/Kelsey predicts that there will be 162 billion calls to businesses by 2019.

In addition, calls convert 10-15 times more often than web leads.

With phone calls driving so much revenue, it’s more important than ever for your dental practice to be able to accurately track each call that comes in.

Unfortunately, many dental practices fail to collect this information accurately, and don’t have any idea which of their marketing efforts are working or how potential patients are finding them.

Until recently, most businesses would use a single phone number for all of their marketing efforts (website, radio, signs, direct mail, flyers, billboards, online ads, magazine ads, etc.).

No Tracking Calls Diagram

If a customer called that phone number, the business would have no idea which one of their marketing efforts was responsible for the call. It could have come from a billboard, or it could have come from an online ad; there was no way to tell. Businesses would buy advertisements in many places, cross their fingers, and hope for the best.

If leads or sales numbers dropped, the business would have no idea why, or how to adjust their advertising budget to fix it.

If you’ve ever called a business to ask a question or book an appointment, you might have been asked, “How did you hear about us?”

Whether you answer, “I found you on Yelp”, or, “I found you through a Google search”, the business is likely recording these responses to determine which of their marketing efforts are working, and where to direct their marketing dollars in the future.

This is a very basic form of call tracking and it depends on your staff being able to remember to ask each time, and for the caller to remember where they heard about you. In other words, it’s not very accurate or efficient.

 

Fortunately, call tracking software provides a powerful, yet incredibly simple solution to all of these problems.

With call tracking software, you assign a unique phone number to each of the different ways a potential patient may find you. The software then tracks which of your marketing efforts are generating phone calls, and which aren’t. All of the phone numbers still send the calls to your dental practice or call center.

Once you eliminate the advertisements that aren’t performing well, you can identify which of the remaining advertisements are bringing in the most profitable patients, and adjust your advertising budget accordingly.

By redirecting resources from low-performing ads to the highest-performing ads that also bring in the highest-value patients, your practice can maximize its return on investment (ROI), decrease marketing costs, and dramatically improve revenue and profits.

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Why Is It So Important? What Are the Top Benefits of Using Call Tracking?

Call Tracking and Analytics

Can you say with confidence how many phone calls your practice receives each week from potential new patients? Or what percentage of callers your front-office staff persuades to come in for a first appointment?

In our experience at Patient Prism®, most dental practice owners and managers don't track the number of new-patient calls they receive. Even fewer watch their front-office conversion rates.

These numbers are more important than many other commonly used marketing metrics because they tell you how much of your marketing investment actually generates revenue.

Because most dental practices don’t track these numbers, many unknowingly waste 30% to 80% of the money they spend on ineffective marketing that fails to generate results.

Whether you are using traditional media (local newspaper, billboards, radio ads, etc.) or online channels (your website, Facebook, Google Paid Search, etc.), call tracking software can help you identify quickly which campaign and/ or channels are making the phone ring in your dental practice.

Call tracking software allows you to:

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Listen in on calls
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Understand ROI for each marketing channel
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Identify waste in your marketing budget
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Increase ROI and profitability

If your practice doesn't track and monitor call metrics, you're likely to discover a big opportunity when you start doing so.

Some practice owners are ready to capitalize on the opportunity. They may expand their practice, hire an associate, open another office, join a dental support organization, or even look into starting their own DSO.

Or they may simply want to enjoy life more, knowing they’ve created the practice of their dreams.

How Does It Work?

In simple terms, call tracking software provides you with a unique phone number for each ad campaign and marketing channel you wish to assess, such as your website, billboards, radio ads, direct mail, etc.

These phone numbers can either be local or toll-free numbers.

When callers respond to the phone number on the ad, they are all automatically routed to your main business line(s).

Tracking Calls Diagram

When callers respond to the phone number on the ad, they are all automatically routed to your main business line(s).

You can then view a report of how many calls came from each ad or marketing channel, and gain insight into how best to spend your marketing dollars in the future.

Some call tracking software will also track how many calls are not being answered by a live person. If you have a lot of calls going to voicemail, you may want to adjust staff schedules so you have better phone coverage. Or, it may help to add more phone lines.

Most call tracking companies will provide call recordings, which can give you greater insight into how your front office team is handling incoming phone calls. This feedback is crucial, as all of your marketing efforts hinge on each phone call being handled effectively so that the leads you are paying for get turned into booked appointments. All the money you spend marketing and generating leads will go to waste if the phone conversation is handled poorly and no appointment is booked.

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While call recording is great, it takes a lot of time to track and analyze how your staff are taking calls. When you’re running a busy dental practice, you often don’t have time to listen to lots of recorded calls, or spend lots of time providing training to your team.

The very best call tracking companies for dental practices go a step further and provide call analysis by experienced coaches as well as highly-effective training videos to give your team members the positive reinforcement and information they need to improve their phone skills and conversion rates.

Who Should Use Call Tracking?

Call tracking software is particularly helpful for any dental practice in the following scenarios:

  • You have been spending a lot on advertising, but don’t know how to evaluate which marketing tactics and channels are producing the most revenue.
  • You would like to adjust your advertising budget, but feel you don’t have enough data to make informed decisions.
  • Your call tracking metrics are gathered manually by your front-desk staff, but you feel this method isn’t reliable or efficient.
  • Your calls are handled and dispatched through a call center and you want to gain better insights into their performance and more control over resources in multiple offices.
  • You feel that there could be improvements in how your receptionists/call center agents handle calls, but aren’t sure how to identify and correct call handling issues, or you simply don’t have the time.
  • You feel that too many calls are going to voicemail during busy times of the day, and need better data so you can schedule adequate phone coverage during those busy times.

While every dental practice is unique, it remains true that any business that utilizes more than one type of marketing channel to generate phone calls needs to be tracking where those phone calls are coming from.

Call tracking software is the most reliable way to track these call metrics so that your practice can get the most out of every marketing dollar you spend.

What Are the Different Types of Inbound Call Tracking Software Solutions?

The key differences between the various types of call tracking software

Inbound Call Tracking Software Solutions

  • Call Tracking Software
  • Call Management Software
  • Call Coaching Software
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Call Tracking Software

The purpose of basic Call Tracking Software is to measure your call conversions and give you a clear picture of how well each of your marketing efforts performs.

Key Features:

  • Assigns a unique phone number to each of your ad campaigns and marketing channels so you can measure their effectiveness
  • Records calls so you can replay them to identify issues and improve staff performance
  • Advanced call tracking software will provide additional key performance indicators (KPIs) including call connection data, call abandonment data, call categorization, booking status, relevant call information such as services requested, and staff call-handling metrics
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Call Management Software

Call Management Software goes beyond basic call metrics and recording, and provides you with the ability to spot failed calls and recoup lost revenue, improve staff planning and utilization, and much more.

Key Features:

  • Calls are visually annotated so you can see how and where your office handles calls ineffectively, without having to listen to the entire call

  • Know how much revenue you've lost or gained because of the way your office handles incoming calls

  • Receive alerts of a failure to convert a new-patient call into a booked appointment so that you can follow-up quickly to persuade the caller to reconsider

  • Schedule adequate staff coverage during times when inbound call volumes are highest to improve service and increase revenue

  • Prepare comprehensive reports fast and efficiently, and track performance across multiple offices or practices

  • See how well your call centers handle inbound calls. Keep them accountable, down to the level of individual agents

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Call Coaching Software

A Call Coaching Software includes all the features of a Call Management Software, and incorporates an additional, human element to coach and train your staff to handle inbound calls more effectively.

Key Features:

  • Industry-specific call coaches identify problems with calls, annotate the calls with insights on why the caller did not book an appointment, and provide tips on how to win back that patient
  • Quickly see where calls go wrong, without having to listen to each recording. With call annotations, you can go straight to the most important sections of each recorded call
  • Call coaches identify the behaviors each staff member should improve, and provide customized training
  • Use a learning management system to assign individualized training, track how individuals benefit from the training, and see changes in their performance over time.

While there are many options for call tracking software, Patient Prism® offers the only Call Management Software tailored just for dentistry.

We provide software that helps monitor and manage the way your staff handles inbound phone calls. We also provide training to improve the performance of your staff.

Patient Prism® is the only provider of Call Management Software that:

  • Uses patented visualization technology, so you don’t have to listen to individual calls (CallViz™)
  • Alerts your office within 1 hour of a failure to convert a new-patient call into a booked appointment
  • Provides deep insight into patients’ spoken words and correlates them to booked & unbooked appointments (CallViz™ Keyword Cloud)
  • Offers a comprehensive online learning management system (academy.patientprism.com)
    Focuses exclusively on serving dental practices

While every dental practice is unique, it remains true that any business that utilizes more than one type of marketing channel to generate phone calls needs to be tracking where those phone calls are coming from.

Call tracking software is the most reliable way to track these call metrics so that your practice can get the most out of every marketing dollar you spend.

How to Choose the Right Call Tracking Software For Your Dental Practice

Here are a few questions to ask that will help you make your decision:

What does the software measure?

Not all dental call tracking systems measure the same things. You want to know how potential patients are finding your dental practice so you can judge the effectiveness of your marketing strategies. You want to know why people are calling and what services they need. You also need to know how many calls lead to booked appointments. And if they didn’t book, you need to know why not.

Was the software built specifically for the needs of my industry, and is it easy to implement?

Trying to implement a complex, “one size fits all” software solution into your dental practice can be extremely frustrating, time-consuming, and expensive. The more tailored the software is to your industry’s unique needs, the quicker and more seamless it will be for you to implement it into your practice. It’s well worth choosing a call tracking software system designed specifically for dental practices so you can avoid the frustration, setup time, additional staff training, etc. that comes with other types of software.

How will the call tracking system help improve the call conversion skills of my team?

A patient’s first phone call to your office is likely to be their first impression of your professionalism. While most call tracking companies provide basic data for each call, the best ones also include coaching videos and tips from top dental consultants so your team can improve their phone skills and conversion rates.

How is the data presented?

You and your team are busy. You need the information you get from your service provider to be quickly accessible and easy to understand. Here’s a big question to ask: do you need to listen to each call to learn what happened? Or does the software give you a visual representation of the call, showing why the call did not convert? Is it annotated so you can see important caller data, such as services desired?

How accurate is the data?

Some call tracking services promise the moon. But when you start digging into the calls, you might find they were mis-classified or they cited incorrect data. In some cases, the mistakes were made because the company is outsourcing the review process or is using flawed artificial intelligence algorithms. Make sure to ask what their call tracking accuracy is, whether they audit their own call coaches to ensure accuracy, and whether they are HIPAA-compliant or not.

What measures are in place to ensure the call tracking software performs at its optimal level?

It’s important to ask if the company has triple redundancy. Will they confirm that you will have access anytime you want it? You don’t want the system to crash. Make sure to also ask how long they will store call recordings and call data that can be accessed by your team. Lastly, ask if they are a Google Partner and if their software directly integrates with Adwords.

Can I get a personalized demo?

It’s one thing to check off your list of requirements and features, but when it comes to investing in such an important tool that you will be using on a daily basis, you want to make sure that you can really get a feel for how it all works together. Ask for a personalized demo where you can see exactly how the software works to meet your dental practice’s specific needs.

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Examples of Successful Use of a Call Tracking Software

In our case study, we followed 2 dentists that nearly doubled their growth in just 2 months by implementing call tracking software.

In the case study, you will learn:

  • How a fast-growing dental practice turbocharged its revenue and new-patient growth with small but important changes to front-office processes. They didn’t have to spend a dime more on marketing. They just started converting more new-patient inquiries into first appointments.
  • How a practice can grow faster with fewer offices. The dentists thought they would need to open another location to grow revenue. They discovered they could grow more profitably by focusing on effective call conversion.
  • How dentists can also improve service to patients by paying closer attention to their front desk
Read the Full Case Study

Call tracking software is the best secret weapon any size of dental practice can use.

Now that you know about dental marketing plans and how to identify where you’re losing potential patients, the simplest choice you make for your dental marketing is to identify which channels are making your dental office’s phone ring and how to maximize your new patient conversion ratio. See how Patient Prism® can help you achieve great results.

Grow your revenue, sharpen your dental marketing plan, and watch in real-time how your front office team handles new patient appointments. It’s easy when you choose Patient Prism.

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