I talk to Marketplaces about call tracking a lot. The Marketplaces range from automotive and real estate platforms to on-demand platforms that allow you to request almost any kind of service.

If you are looking to maximise your call tracking deployment here are a few things to think about.

First things first. Why are you tracking calls?

At Sudonum we use three broad categories to help Marketplaces contextualise their thinking around call tracking :

  • Analytics to help you communicate the real value of your Marketplace to your users.
  • Privacy and trust to keep your users’ contact information safe and enhance trust in your Marketplace
  • Optimising the experience. The more you see (and understand) of the on and off platform interactions, the better you are positioned to curate the experience your users have.

Analytics

Measuring calling activity is the most obvious reason a Marketplace starts to think about tracking calls. Calling activity accounts for up to 60% of unique response on automotive and real estate marketplaces in some of the markets Sudonum operates in. Depending on the user experiences (and data) you want, you can consider straight number replacement or dynamic number insertion (DNI) or automatic call back (Yes, at Sudonum automatic call back = call tracking too).

Straight number replacement involves replacing a seller's real number with a virtual number and is  the most common approach. DNI models are more complex because tracking numbers are served dynamically when a listing is loaded or show number is clicked/tapped.  Automatic call back is an emerging model born out of the frustration a Marketplace experiences when they are blamed by buyers for the poor response times of sellers.

Through many call tracking deployments in some crazy markets we’ve learned a few things when using calling tracking as a value driver to the supply side of your Marketplace.

  • Call quality is important - don’t compromise. This sounds obvious, but it’s the foundation of buyers and sellers being able to hold a conversation.
  • Paying sellers should all get calling tracking. Giving professional sellers a choice will disappoint you every time. You get no data and your sellers will never see all the value you generate for them. There will always be some sellers who insist on not having call tracking. Deal with those on a case by case basis.
  • Bundle calling tracking into your revenue model. You are not selling a VW car where all the cool things are optional extras. A winning strategy requires you to be bold and back your decision to demonstrate more value.
  • Communicate calling activity clearly. It has been our experience that integrating call analytics into your seller tools is the only way to ensure value is communicated in a space that the seller will see. If you are shipping your seller to another dashboard or experinece you are in trouble.
  • Your Customer success team. should be prepared to field a few questions related to call tracking. Things go wrong. Your call tracking partner should put you in a position to deal with the easy questions.
  • Record calls if your jurisdiction allows it. Listening to calls is a fast way to learn a lot. Recordings will highlight opportunities to learn from world class and poor interactions.
  • Prepare your clients for the calls they will receive. If you are going to announce calls to your sellers “Call from Property48.com” tell them to expect it, or they will think that calls from you are robots.
  • Call tracking is not only about replacing numbers. If you are struggling with the quality and consitencey of seller response times. Consider a smart call back solution.

Privacy and trust

I’m hard pressed to name any significant service that does not rely on your mobile number  to either identify, authenticate or help you recover your password.  Having your users' mobile numbers on the internet is a bad idea. The internet is full of bad actors gathering information, which is then brokered in dark corners. Now they have machine learning and artificial intelligence to supercharge their efforts.

One of the most important functions of a Marketplace is to create trust where there is none. All transport platforms vet driver partners. As a Marketplace you have vast teams and machinery moderating and approving content, listings, sellers etc. With all this going on why give away your users’ most important global locator/identifier, their mobile number?

Use call tracking (in this case also called number masking) to ensure sellers only receive calls from your efforts while they are using your Marketplace.

Things to consider when pursuing a Privacy and trust strategy:

  • Tell sellers when you replace their numbers. More importantly tell them why. Give them a call or send them a message, use the opportunity to show them you give a shit. They will love you for it.
  • Protecting sellers from unwanted calls is a key. A good call tracking partner will have a proactive approach to eliminate unwanted calls.
  • If you don’t show numbers consider using automatic call backs, triggered by actions buyers take that will connect them the seller immediately.

Optimise the experience

Marketplaces are amazing matching machines where every user interaction is a signal of how efficiently you are doing this. Not all signals are equal. Consider the value to your sellers of 10 'show number clicks'  vs 4 'unique call records'  that have recordings and caller numbers. There is a very big difference.

Earlier we referred to automatic call back as a call tracking method. If you want to create a wow experience for users connect them with a seller in less than 45 seconds from them requesting more information. “Oh wow you called so quickly” is a common response. This kind of experience creates a little bit of magic for users who have been conditioned to expect poor response times. It also reinforces trust in your platform.

Many a Trustpilot score has suffered when frustrated users blame the Marketplace for poor response times. Don't be that Marketplace.