The Healthcare Customer Journey – Why You Need To Track Calls

Eric Bloomberg Account Executive,


Even in today’s digital world, a phone conversation is often the best way to earn a patient’s business. It’s why for many businesses, and particularly those in the healthcare industry, an inbound phone call is often the most valuable conversion from their marketing efforts.

Using call tracking solutions to measure the performance of digital and offline advertising, marketers are now able to better optimize their strategy to drive leads and grow revenue.

Data and insights from call tracking — also known as call analytics, call attribution, and call intelligence — enable healthcare marketers to generate better-converting calls, decrease their cost per patient, personalize the patient experience, and drive growth.

Understanding the Healthcare Journey

To understand the impact call tracking can have, let’s first look at what the healthcare industry looks like today. Frankly, it’s huge! It’s also growing.

That means healthcare providers have to stand out and offer a seamless patient experience. Today, 77% of patients used a search engine prior to booking an appointment. Around two-thirds of all healthcare shoppers visit two or more healthcare sites before booking an appointment.  

How patients choose a health care provider- DialogTech

These shoppers are inundated with ads, with US hospitals, healthcare systems, and clinics spending almost $2.3 billion on advertising according to Kantar Media. The market is saturated, so standing out and offering a better experience is life or death for many healthcare marketers.  

Patients may be doing their research online but they are converting over the phone. According to Google, 56% of patients schedule an appointment with their provider over the phone.

Understanding where these calls are coming from — whether it be paid search, social, out-of-home, direct mail, or the classic newspaper ad – is important so you can invest in the media channels, ads, keywords, and campaigns driving the best calls to your clinic, hospital, or system.  

While understanding where your most valuable calls are coming from is important, the appointment process is just the start of the patient experience.

As a healthcare marketer, helping to ensure that patients follow through on their appointment and show up is just as important as driving new leads. Appointment reminders via phone and text are great ways to ensure your patients are making their appointments on time. 51% of patients that received one of these reminders reported feeling more valued as a patient.

The phone is valuable in patient retention- DialogTech

Ensuring that your receptionists are handling calls properly is also essential to a quality patient experience. Recording and transcribing calls is an easy way to understand how calls are being handled by your office staff.

All of this customer data means that partnering with a HIPAA compliant call tracking provider is essential.

How a Dental Support Organization Increased Marketing ROI and Decreased Cost Per Patient

Imagine knowing where each and every one of your calls is coming from — and why they are calling — and reallocating your digital spend to prioritize the channels driving the best leads.

That is exactly what a dental support organization did by utilizing the DialogTech call analytics platform.

With 25 offices nationwide, this dental support organization (DSO) has helped over a million children in underserved communities gain access to quality dental, vision, and orthodontic care.  

The DSO’s marketing team generates new patients through a wide variety of marketing channels, including paid search and Facebook ads, television and radio ads, and targeted direct mail. All advertising is direct response with a primary call-to-action to call to make an appointment.

“Around 80% of patients who contact us through our marketing do so over the phone,” said the DSO’s Director of Marketing.

“Our primary goal is to help new patients call our call center to book appointments for their children at one of our 25 locations, and it’s vital that we know exactly how our marketing campaigns — both online and offline — are driving calls and appointments to each one.”

A key challenge the DSO needed to address was the lack of visibility into advertising ROI. Since they had a large budget for advertising, understanding the return on the spend was critical to running the business. Were potential patients calling based on the ads they were investing in?

To get the answer, the DSO inserted unique tracking numbers from DialogTech on their website and in their print, radio, and TV ads so they could detect who was calling from each ad. The DSO learned lead quality and advertising effectiveness varied by channel. Call tracking revealed just how much return they received on that spend.

“Before DialogTech, we had no idea how our marketing was generating calls and what our cost-per-call was for each marketing channel,” said the Director of Marketing.

Using DialogTech to get insights into phone calls and eliminate the blind spot in their marketing analytics has been a game-changer for the DSO.

“Now that we have complete analytics on marketing performance, we are able to make smarter optimizations. With the help of call analytics from DialogTech, we’ve decreased our cost per lead by over 50%, so we can invest our marketing dollars for what is generating the newest appointments for children in need of healthcare.”

Enhancing the Healthcare Caller Experience With Call Tracking and Analytics

Not only were they able to understand where the calls were coming from and optimize their media spend to the channels that brought those calls to fruition, they were also recording and transcribing the calls to understand caller intent.

Using DialogTech’s Conversation Insights™ technology, the team has selected a robust set of keywords for both the caller and the agent that, when spoken during a call, indicate the nature of the call and whether it is from a new patient or existing client.

DialogTech’s conversation analytics technology automatically tags calls where these words and phrases are spoken and lists them for the DSO’s marketing team to review, along with detailed information on the marketing source of the call. It saves the DSO time, while providing actionable insights.

“DialogTech shows us every call where important words are spoken by the right party, and that helps marketing see how to allocate budget to drive the most new-patient calls,” said the Director of Marketing. “Seeing that AdWords unbranded keywords generate calls and appointments from new patients at a higher rate than direct mail in a specific market, for example, is powerful data to improve our marketing and reduce our cost per call.”

The DSO is especially impressed with the speed of the insights. “With the help of DialogTech,we can reliably understand how our marketing is doing very quickly. We can know if a new test or strategy is working right away.”

Call Tracking Is Healthcare Marketing’s Competitive Edge 

The competition is fierce in the healthcare industry. To gain a competitive advantage, businesses must be innovative and stray from ineffective habits.

By adding phone calls as a data point in reporting, healthcare marketers are able to follow the patient through their entire customer journey — online and offline. It allows marketers to truly understand which offline or digital campaigns, ads, and keywords are resonating most with their patients.

To learn how other top US hospitals, healthcare systems, and clinics have driven growth by generating more calls and appointments from patients, take a look at our ebook, The Secret to Healthcare Marketing ROI: Inbound Calls or contact us to chat with a digital marketing expert at DialogTech today.

We share 6 call-related strategies that top healthcare marketers use to acquire and retain patients.

Download our ebook and start implementing the strategies today.