OptiCall has been a leading medical contact center for 22 years. We’ve handled millions of calls and web leads with the goal of maximizing every patient experience.
In this webinar, we brought together our leadership team to share our proven methods that have resulted in 15 to 25% increase in conversions for every practice we work with.
Inbound Marketing has Changed
- 94% of the marketing budgets are focused on persuading the customer to contact a medical practice, but only 6% of those budgets are spent on answering your call or managing.
- The top two drivers or marketing leads are Word of Mouth and Internet Searches. Word of Mouth Referrals used to be #1, but in 2020, we saw Internet take over, and it’s been the leader ever since.
The way patients learn about practices has changed dramatically.
Even the questions that people ask has changed. At the same time, cosmetic or elective procedures have become a commodity and people are basing decisions on price.
But now, prospects have of other ways that they can research.
How “friendly” are you to do business with?
Back in the day, practices were spending a fortune on radio or print ads. And these were the most effective ways to get the phone to ring.
Now, there’s so many different ways that people can hear about our practice above and beyond just word of mouth, and the Internet has become the number one lead source in referring these patients in.
What we mean by this is:
- How easy is it for prospects to find your practice when doing a simple Google search?
- Is your website mobile optimized?
- Is your phone number clickable?
- Is it easy to quickly and seamlessly book a consultation a couple clicks?
- What do you do about phone calls or inquiries that come in after hours?
- Are there ways for prospects to engage? For example, self tests where they learn more about what procedure may be right for them before they come into your office?
- Finally, when people search for you online, how are your reviews? Not only quality but quantity.
Also, competition used to be between practices – one practice versus another in in a market. Now the biggest competition in customer service includes companies outside our industry.
That means consumers are expecting medical practices to have the same level of excellent experience and convenience they receive with companies like Amazon, Apple, and Uber.
A recent article had some powerful stats:
- 73% of consumers will jump ship on a company if they have one bad experience.
- About 50% of Millennials and Gen-Xers will write a negative review if they have one bad experience.
- When it comes to Gen. Z, 75% will write about that bad experience that they have one time.
Medical practice demographics are skewing younger now for certain procedures like refractive surgery, which means we need to pay attention and adjust our approach to different generations.
What makes an exceptional client experience?
- Relationship-Building – The relationship they build with their customers that makes them feel cared for.
- Consistency – The experience doesn’t change based on who they’re speaking to. It’s ingrained in the company culture.
- Client Engagement – Offering different ways customers can engage – phone call, text, online – based on their preferences.
- Problem-Solving – How they react when something goes wrong. If there is an error, they make it right with the customer.
- Employee Training – they make training a priority so employees have the skills and tools, not only from a technical standpoint on how to do the job, but on the whole concept of hospitality.
Case Study: A Poor Experience
Our CEO Bill Mercier recently visited a practice for a refractive surgery consultation.
The initial phone call and process for setting up the appointment was great. But it became a different experience when I walked in the door.
First the parking was very difficult. I have a big truck that I could not park in their garage and the machine that validates parking was broken.
The bathroom required a key to use, which means only one person could use it at a time. However there were multiple stalls, so it could actually accommodate more people.
Because of the delays in using the restroom, patients were being called for their appointment that were in the bathroom, which created inefficiencies and delays.
Once in the patient rooms, they conducted diagnostic testing to see what I could potentially be a candidate for. However, there were no lifestyle questions asked nor was there any inquiring about why I’m looking into having refractive surgery.
The doctor came in and talked through some of the procedure details, then they put a video on about the practice and what to expect with the RLE procedure. It felt flat and mechanical versus getting someone excited.
Finally, there was no close at the end of the appointment. I basically said “So I’m done? That’s it I’m good to go?”
And they said “Yep you’re good to go.” And I walked out.
There were so many opportunities within this experience that unless I was begging to have the treatment done, I could easily walk out.
It’s safe to assume this happens in a lot of practices and it would be a good exercise if you have somebody that can go through that experience to report back and let you know what happens.
Proven Best Practices for Maximizing the Patient Experience
When you think about the amount of money spent on marketing to prospects, you’ve got to make sure your infrastructure can manage prospects. Otherwise, you’re wasting time and money.
OptiCall recently conducted a study of over 50 practices throughout the country and found most practices don’t have a process in place for managing inbounds calls or web contact forms. If they do, it’s not consistent.
Here we’ll share some of OptiCall’s best practices that have proven to boost conversions.
Managing Inbound Calls
Practices are doing a lot more digital marketing now than ever before. That means, total inbound lead volume has significantly increased. However, we’re still finding inbound phone calls have a much higher conversion rate than leads from web forms.
You can maximize every phone call by following this checklist:
- Was a name and number collected? That way if you get disconnected, you have a way to call them back.
- Was a referral source asked? Most practices don’t ask the caller how they heard about them and it makes it difficult to quantify their marketing efforts.
- Did they offer to have the caller come in?
- How well did the counselor try to engage the caller? You can engage with the caller by pre qualifying them or asking questions about what motivated them to call or maybe how long have they been considering having the procedure done. This also helps build rapport with the caller. It shows that you care and you’re listening.
- How do you overcome an objection? So this is really important on the call. For example, price is the number one question that comes up on elective calls, have some talking points to demonstrate value.
- If they aren’t ready to book, do you have information you can send them and a plan to regularly stay in touch?
- Was the call answered or did it go into voicemail? We live in a world where people want instant gratification. If they get a voicemail, more than likely they’re going to hang up and pick up the phone and call one of your competitors. Often times, practice practices don’t even know what they’re missing because prospects aren’t leaving messages, they’re just hanging up. We have some stats that show less than 27% of people will even leave a voicemail and then you have to reconnect with them where who knows if they’ve connected with another practice since then.
Managing Web Leads
When it comes to managing inbound web leads
When OptiCall conducts web assessments, we find it can take hours or even days for a medical practice to reach back out to prospects.
Data shows that even a delayed response of just one hour decreases the likelihood a prospect will book by 50%.
Not only is a fast response time important, but the ability to text message boosts the likelihood your practice will be able to connect with the prospect. When consumers see a number they don’t know pop up on their phone, they often send the call straight to voicemail. A text message let’s them know it’s your practice
Qualitative assessments are an important component for measuring practice performance, but it’s also necessary to continue to track key metrics in order fully understand any gaps your practice may have.
When prospects aren’t ready to book
There will always be prospects who simply aren’t ready to book. But that doesn’t mean your work is done in trying to book a consultation down the line.
Part effectively managing inbound phone calls and web leads, includes a consistent process for follow-up. Our data shows, having a follow-up plan that includes text messaging, emails, and phone calls over a 30-day period increases conversions by 20%.
Are you ready to deliver on your patient’s expectations?
It can be overwhelming for practices to implement the kind of changes necessary to improve the patient experience and drive more booked appointments.
OptiCall can help by providing a free practice assessment to understand:
- How phone calls and inbound web leads are being managed
- The type of experience your staff is providing
- Data on response times, number of missed calls and calls that go to voicemail
- And other opportunities your practice may be missing
From there, we can tailor custom solutions aimed at boosting performance while driving cost efficiencies.
There’s no need to wait. Contact us today to get started.