How much money are you losing?
It’s one thing to let opportunities slip by because we’re too busy to notice. It’s another to ignore them while they’re tapping us on our shoulder. And that would be a leaky phone.
You may be asking, “what the heck is that?” Stay with us here.
Imagine trying to catch water in a strainer. Even though the holes are tiny, the water will never fill up past a certain point. Similarly, if you’re letting calls go to voicemail or putting clients on hold, you’re creating “leaky phones” and you’re losing prospects. Let’s put that in perspective:
On average, 34% of phone calls made to a medical office are not answered by a live person.*
It sounds crazy, but think about it – how many times have you called your own medical provider, only to be greeted by a prompt to leave a message? You likely immediately hung up and called back until someone answered, or in the case of a new service, never called back.
Which brings us to our second point – only 37% of those people actually leave a message.**
So how much could this simple oversight potentially impact your practice?
Based on our records the average practice receives approximately 750 phone calls a month, and 1 in every 5 of those calls is an appointment opportunity. That’s 20% of all calls.
That means there are: 750 x 20% = 150 appointment opportunities per month.
If 34% of all calls go unanswered, the numbers change to:
750 x 66% = 495 answered calls/month
366 x 20% = 99 appointment opportunities
That’s 51 appointment opportunities lost simply by not answering the phone.
Now assume your average procedure cost is $4,000, and your conversion rate is 50%. Using that math, you could be losing 51/2 = 25.5 new patients : 25.5 x 4,000 = $102,000
That’s $102k a month potentially down the drain. And for many of you, that number could be a lot higher.
When you factor in the 37% that actually DO leave a voicemail, the number of new patients drops to 16, but the result still isn’t pretty:
16 x $4,000 = $64,000 a month in potential lost revenue.
$64k. All because you’re simply not picking up the phone.
About now, I’m sure most of you are saying to yourselves – well, that’s not how we operate – but do you really know? Especially if they’re not leaving a message… (psst, you can check your phones with our free mystery shop.)
But the real question is why. Why are the phones not being answered? We commonly see two main reasons:
1. Your staff is multitasking: they’re currently assisting other patients either on another line or in the office.
2. The patient is calling just outside of your normal business hours.
At OptiCall, we have a solution to fix those leaky phones – our overflow program, First Contact. If someone calls your office, and the phone isn’t answered within 3 rings, instead of going to voicemail the call is forwarded to one of our trained professionals – so the caller gets a live, knowledgeable person.
If they call before the office is open, or after closing, someone is there on the other line.
If they call on the weekend, they are greeted with a ‘Hello, how may I help you?’
The result is no more missed opportunities. No more missed calls, no more calls going to voicemail, and even increased opportunity for additional calls outside your regular office hours.
So what is this coverage worth to your practice? We already went over how much you could be losing – think of how much you could gain, for less than half the average cost of just a single new patient.
*SOURCE: Three Ways Your Office Is Losing New Patients – Patient Pursuit – Published 9/22/2014
**SOURCE: OptiCall/Patient Pursuit monitored call analysis