As you start promoting your healthcare business online and running ad campaigns, you will begin to receive new patient enquiries.
Prospective patients might engage with your ads and want to learn more, but how do you get them to go from being interested in your treatments to getting them booked in for a consultation and converting them into patients?
There are a couple of crucial steps you’ll need to carry out to get them into your consultation room. Read on to find out how you can boost patient lead conversion in your clinic.
Firstly, it’s important to note that each person will be at a different stage of their journey. Some might be enquiring to learn more about the treatment or understand the cost as they shop around, while others might be ready to commit.
How you treat these leads after they have contacted your clinic or filled out an online form will be instrumental in whether you can convert them into a patient. Understanding where they are at is key.
How to contact a lead
So, you’ve started receiving new patient enquiries or leads through your landing page. You’ve collected their contact details and know the treatment they are interested in.
You or other team members will need to follow up with each enquiry. We recommend you select a couple of staff members to train in the follow-up process to make it as seamless as possible. It is also helpful for patients to have the same point of contact for all enquiries.
The best way to contact a lead is by phone – using the clinic’s mobile, and if you don’t have one, now is the time to get one!
Until this point, they probably haven’t had any human interaction, maybe just automated messages.
This is your chance to build trust between yourself and the patient while creating rapport. Your friendly voice at the end of the phone is an effective way of getting the lead to engage, increasing the chances of them converting.
If the prospective patient doesn’t pick up, what should you do?
Don’t bother leaving voicemails.
These rarely get responded to, and they will especially put off younger generations. Those under 35 are unlikely to answer the phone to an unknown number, so bear that in mind when calling.
You should also avoid emailing, as less than 25% of emails from practices get opened, and much fewer are actually responded to.
A better way to follow up with a lead you haven’t been able to contact by phone is with a personalised text message. The open rate is much higher at around 95%.
Using WhatsApp messages is another method that works very well. WhatsApp is the most popular messaging platform, and it’s becoming necessary for healthcare businesses to utilise it for new patient enquiries and communicating with existing patients.
You can also contact leads by following the method they used to get in touch with your clinic, for example, with Facebook Messenger.
When should you follow up?
The sooner, the better!
In fact, research shows that if you contact your leads within five minutes, your chances of converting them are much higher than if you contact them an hour later.
Also, if you have been contacted by a patient who has been shopping around other healthcare businesses, they are 50% more likely to buy from the first business that responds.
This further reiterates the importance of a quick follow-up. Check out this short video from our CEO at Ignite Growth, who talks more about this.
How persistent should I be?
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again! Persistence is vital with follow-up. Many people will be too busy to pick up the phone, or they will ignore calls altogether. Don’t let this deter you.
Once you’ve made a call with no response, send a quick, personalised text or WhatsApp message straight after.
Hi James! I just tried ringing you. It’s Mary from Forte Road Clinic. I saw you signed up for a free consultation for our hair transplant treatment. When is a good time to talk?
Still no reply?
You can try calling a day later and then send a follow-up message.
Hi James! We still have a few appointments this week if you would like to book in. Let me know! Mary from Forte Road Clinic.
While you might feel like you don’t want to hassle people, remember that they have shown interest and sometimes need a bit of a push.
Call and send a final message to see if you can get a response before writing them off! In total, you should make 6-8 attempts to contact a lead through a combination of phone calls, WhatsApp messages and text messages.
What should I say on the phone?
Ok, so you’ve called your lead, and they’ve picked up. Great!
The important thing is to build rapport. You don’t want to jump in and try to book a patient in when you haven’t offered them value or built a relationship with them.
You’ll want to ask how they are and about which treatment they are interested in. You could ask why they are interested in it and if they would like to complete the treatment by a certain point.
Learning about your patient’s needs and desires helps build trust.
Not all leads will be at the same stage. Some will be enquiring about a treatment, others ready to commit, while some might need some reassurance. Getting to know them will help you suss them out and offer them the best service adapted to their needs.
A vital point of this conversation is to add value to the treatment without talking about the price. Talk about the fantastic results they can achieve by signing up for the treatment and any freebies included if they sign-up on the day.
If they ask about the price, highlight the financial plans you offer and explain that any queries can be resolved in person at the consultation.
When you do book them in, try and book them in for an appointment within the week. If you offer dates further away, they will be less interested and more inclined to decline or cancel the appointment.
How to book patients in for treatment?
You’ve convinced the prospective patient they should come in for a consultation. While the hard part is over, you still need to convert those leads into actual patients. This is your time to shine.
First thing is first, make the patient feel welcome and comfortable. Your reception staff should greet those entering the clinic warmly. If it is for an Open Day, provide free snacks and offer drinks. This will make them feel valued!
Don’t overbook and allow the waiting room to fill up. This is your chance to show how smoothly appointments throughout their treatment will go.
During the consultation, provide value. Explain the impact the treatment will have on their lives.
If it is body contouring, explain if you will provide post-treatment care, such as access to a dietician.
With hair transplants, you could talk about the long-lasting results. You can also show case studies of before and after treatments and answer any queries they may have.
Take this opportunity to get to know them. Ask your prospective patient questions about what they want from the treatment.
You might already have an idea if you’ve communicated with your staff beforehand (which you should do!), who have taken notes during the follow-up call.
Patients want to feel heard and understood, so make sure you know what was discussed on the call so that you can refer back to that.
This is also your chance to show off your expertise. They want to be assured they are in safe hands and will be getting the best treatment possible.
Once you’ve provided value, and only once you have, you can discuss the cost. If you offer payment plans, now is the time to discuss them.
In this blog, we’ve included some of our essential tips to get those patients booked in for a consultation and then booked in for a treatment. You should now feel more confident in your follow-up process!
At Ignite, we offer full training to the staff at healthcare clinics to ensure they won’t be losing valuable leads by not following up appropriately.
We’ve found a solid follow-up to be crucial for a successful campaign. To find out what some of our clients are saying about us, check out our success stories here!