How do I get new patients into my practice?
In the highly competitive market of medical aesthetics, business owners and doctors often find themselves at a loss for new patients. The solution to this growth-rendering and revenue-restricting issue is quite simple. It all starts with driving new patients to your “virtual medical office”, commonly referred to as your website. This is done by establishing a strong and organic online presence for potential new patients to discover your practice. The most effective way to accomplish this is through a blend of organic Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, blogging, email campaigns and social media postings. All these efforts are guaranteed to drive potential new patients, but how do we get them to schedule a consultation?
How do I convert potential new patients from my website into consultations?
Now that we have a new patient on your site, the process to schedule a consultation needs to be extremely simple. The site needs to provide clear calls to action for a potential new patient to be able to contact the practice. The practice phone number needs to be displayed prominently on not only the home page of the site, but every page of the site. Along with the phone number, there needs to be an online form that the potential new patient can fill out to contact the practice. It doesn’t matter how you go about it, but the key to generating new patients and increasing your number of monthly consultations involves gathering as many names, phone numbers and emails as possible. Having a large ecosystem of new and old leads is essential to growing your business.
Increasing consultations: Receiving a phone call vs. making a phone call
When the phone rings at your practice, the process of answering needs to be positive, efficient and strategic. Answering the phone professionally and passionately will help to increase consultations. Passion isn’t normally associated with answering phones at the front desk, but what practices need to realize is that answering that phone call is the first opportunity to establish an emotional connection with a potential new patient. This is crucial when it comes to the decision-making process of the potential new patient. As Tim Sawyer, Co-Founder/President of Crystal Clear Digital Marketing, states, “People buy on emotion and fill in their reasoning with logic.” In addition to a positive attitude, the front desk employees need to be efficient in handling multiple calls and strategic with their time on the phone. According to a 2017 study done by Affiliated Communications, 60% of customers felt that being on hold for one minute was too long. This stresses the importance of being efficient with time on the phones and acquiring the necessary info to follow up with potential new patients. If the front desk is not capable of maintaining a positive attitude while at the same time gathering information quickly and efficiently, practices should consider the training of an outside consulting service.
Having a system in place to make phone calls is an entirely different animal. In today’s society, it is becoming more and more difficult to get new patients on the phone. Due to an increase in phone scams and suspicious unknown callers, the percentage of phone calls missed from practices to potential new patients has skyrocketed. How do we avoid this growing issue? The answer is very simple. At the practice, there needs to be a system in place to reach out to potential new patients who fill out an online form on the website. A phone call needs to be made within 60 SECONDS. If that potential new patient is called within 60 seconds, the practice has a 391% higher chance of converting them than if they wait. Why is this true?
1. They just voluntarily gave their info to the practice and are expecting a phone call; this is the hottest lead that you can get at your practice! Don’t let them cool down!
2. Something on your website established an emotional connection with that person; you need to harness that connection and now connect them with someone in the practice.
3. You are stopping the researching phase of that lead. If you can establish an emotional connection with the lead and someone in the practice, they will feel much more comfortable booking a consultation. Once that consultation is booked, the potential new patient has then “checked their box” and will be less likely to continue searching for that procedure and ultimately finding your competition.
4. The ancillary benefit to all of this is that not only will your number of monthly consultations go up, but the percentage of consultations that show up will increase as well! This is again because of the emotional connection that we have established between someone in the practice and the potential new patient. Having a human-to-human interaction has been proven to produce less consultation “no-shows” than an online booking feature.
What to take away
Create a funnel. Potential new patients need to be funneled from an online search, through your virtual medical office and into your practice. This is achieved by having a strong SEO strategy, a properly formatted virtual medical office and a system in place for contacting and following up with potential new patients. Most importantly, don’t forget… “People buy on emotion!” Use that to your advantage in your practice. Contact us today at Crystal Clear Digital Marketing to learn more information!