Open Request to Call Tracking Vendors
18/05/2012 | Written by | Categories: Announcements

Phone operator receiving a call

My simple description of call tracking solutions is they present unique phone numbers on a website so that when a website visitor calls, you can view their website behaviour prior to the call. The person answering the phone can see the traffic source of the visitor and what pages they viewed – with this information being used to help the caller. Information on the call itself can be captured and call performance evaluated. The outcome of the call can then be pushed back into the web analytics tool.

I must admit first off that I have never used a call tracking tool. The above is all taken from what I have read about call tracking, website information from vendor websites, a demo of a leading tool and discussions with other vendors. I may be have misinterpreted something and if that is the case, I apologise in advance.

The purpose of this blog post is to request an improvement in the features offered or to find a vendor who can deliver against my requirements. I have talked to four vendors, which I believe includes leading solutions, and right now none of them offer what I need.

Required Call Tracking Solution

One of my clients is an online retailer. They get calls each day from potential customers, mostly asking for clarification or support but a few placing their orders over the phone. In order for my client to effectively optimise marketing spend, we need these sales to be captured within the web analytics tool, in this case Google Analytics.

Some of the vendors I have talked to can provide a partial solution to my requirements. They supply unique phone numbers that rotate on the website and, assuming the call was made within X minutes of being on the website, the visitor can be identified. A virtual page view or event measurement can be triggered for Google Analytics, which will appear to be from that visitor. One vendor can even capture the revenue from a sale within that event measurement.

That’s great, I can get phone conversions (by setting up goals) which will help to understand which traffic sources drove the most number of conversions, both online and via the phone. And provide additional insights into website behaviour that leads to sales.  But I want more insights than these existing solutions provide.

I want the Google Analytics measurement to be an ecommerce measurement. My belief is the tricky part is creating the ability to trigger GA measurements linked to the visitor who made the phone call. Once that problem has been resolved, and it has been, the ecommerce measurement is just a different structure and a lot more fields that need to be populated. But that is just more detail and so just takes time, not the development of a new technique.

The process I would love to have for my client is:

  • visitor enters website and is assigned a unique phone number
  • phone number is called
  • pop-up screen appears to confirm who the visitor is
  • phone operator is able to view the visitor behaviour on the website
  • phone operator selects the purpose of the call within a pop-up window
    • e.g. lead, sale, support, enquiry, post sales support
  • depending on the purpose of the call, further information is recorded within the pop-up window
    • e.g. if a support call, the nature of support required is recorded
    • e.g. if an order is placed during the call, all details of the order including which products are purchased is recorded
  • a Google Analytics measurement is triggered relevant to the call purpose which records the purpose of the call and any additional information about the call
    • it would be an event or page view if the call purpose was an enquiry, for support or a lead
    • it would be an ecommerce measurement for a purchase
  • this GA measurement is recorded against the visitor who made the phone call

So how about it, can any call tracking vendors deliver on this? Do any companies want to agree this would be incredibly valuable and they would pay for it – thereby incentivising the vendors to prioritise this in their roadmaps? Anyone got anything else to add?

For reference, Google has published a list of Call Tracking Vendors that integrate with Google Analytics (I don’t have time to contact them all individually).

5 responses to “Open Request to Call Tracking Vendors”

  1. Arpit says:

    Can we really do call tracking? Or is it just a request? Can we do that using site catalyst?

    • Peter O'Neill says:

      Call tracking is definitely possible, lots of companies are currently using it and integrated with their web analytics package (would definitely be possible with SiteCatalyst). However I can’t find a vendor who can trigger an GA ecommerce measurement – which I find weird as they can trigger GA pageview and event measurements.

      • Carlton says:

        Posting any GA data is simple. The difficulty is getting the actual sale value from the offline transaction. That would require writing a desktop app for the call center and having the agent enter specific sale information. Once again, doable but more complicated. Maybe a good way to approach this is to use conversion value in a GA funnel and then use the call details posted back to the website as the “success” page. You wouldn’t get actual sale value BUT you would get an assumed conversion value.

  2. Nikki says:


    We can give you unique phone numbers based on where the customer is referred from (online banner ad, AdWords click, email campaign). Based on the number that is called, the agent answering will know what online ad this caller is responding to. As far as web session information being passed to the agent in real time, you would need a more robust logging system for website visitors because Google Analytics is not real time. We offer call recording so that calls can be reviewed and documented after the call, but we do not currently offer a post call survey that documents these outcomes. If you were interested in our live agents taking the calls, we could provide this functionality. We do offer Google Analytics integration that will pass call data into GA for you to then set up eCommerce and specialized reporting goals. Please give us a call to discuss more. 800-775-7790. I would be happy to discuss with you personally as I handle all our marketing.

    Best regards,
    Nikki Lee

    • Peter O'Neill says:

      Hi Nikki,

      Thanks for the response. The solution I am after has to include generating GA ecommerce measurements for people who call through – most vendors can provide the unique phone numbers & some level of GA integration. So thank you but still hoping someone else can do what I am need.

      BTW, GA reporting is not real time but GA measurements are sent in real time – that is the information that I believe is passed to the person answering the call.



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