Your website witnesses increased traffic and prospective patients call to acquire more information. However, it takes a little more to capitalize over their curiosity, to take them from a phone call to the aesthetic service you offer.
How do you ensure that you and your staff take these informational calls and convert them into appointments? All it takes are three simple steps. Keep reading to learn more.
Once a potential patient has decided to explore your services, every interaction must facilitate their journey to a “yes.” This usually begins with their first phone call to your office. To make the best first impression and avoid losing a potential patient, ensure your staff makes it a priority to answer all calls promptly. According to one survey, up to 80% of callers will hang up if their call is sent to voicemail, while another survey found that callers will only stay on the line for 90 seconds before hanging up. Further still, the survey reports that over a third of callers who hang up will not call back. This will be the first point of contact any new patient has with your clinic, so you need to ensure your staff is addressing each call promptly, politely, and professionally. Ideally, do not place the caller on hold, but when you can’t help it, playing music or relaying an update notifying them of a new service or offer at your clinic, will increase their likelihood of staying on the line. For an added personal touch, have your staff note their own name when greeting callers in addition to your clinic’s name.
Want to increase the number of calls your clinic receives? Optimize your clinic’s website SEO and ensure your business has a registered Google My Business account. Google My Business accounts allow your clinic to update information regularly, highlight current promotions or new services, and even integrate an easy-click button to prompt prospective patients to call your clinic. It is worth noting that 81% of U.S. consumers now own a smartphone and only 17% rely on at-home broadband Internet to do their online browsing. With this in mind, ensuring prospective patients have an easy way to reach out to you by registering your clinic with Google My Business is a simple way to boost calls. As a bonus tip, add quality images to your listing–this has proven to significantly boost clicks, calls, and website visits.
By the end of this first call, the prospect may be ready to schedule an appointment. While 70% of consumers prefer to book their appointment through an online booking system, 50% of consumers still book appointments over the phone. That’s not to say they don’t have their frustrations doing so. Hold time is a top concern, as we’ve mentioned above, so ensure your staff have easy and fast access to your scheduling system.
Keeping in mind that the caller’s time is valuable, make the process straightforward. Gather only information that is absolutely necessary for booking the appointment over the phone; you can request more detailed information when they arrive for their appointment. It is essential to have your staff check with the patient first on available dates and times prior to offering them a slot. The more your staff impresses their target patients on the first call, the more trust these patients will place in you during their first in-person consultation.
Many potential patients may have questions about your procedures and prices during this first call. These questions must be answered with great care. This first point of communication will go a long way to solidifying their expectations in terms of trustworthiness, outcome, and cost, so staff training is crucial. Each member of staff must be a great ambassador for your practice, so training those, who will be answering the phones, using standard real-life examples of calls they may receive can be very beneficial.
It is important that, during this interaction, staff ensure that they treat each prospective patient uniquely, ensuring a customized experience. Scripts are discouraged. Instead, staff should feel comfortable in connecting with the caller to increase your clinic’s potential conversion rate. In fact, it is estimated that 86% of consumers will happily pay more for a service or product simply for a great customer experience. Further still, according to PWC, consumers are willing to pay up to 18% more for services when they feel they’ve received a positive customer service experience. Finally, by the end of 2020, customer experience is predicted to overtake price as a factor in consumers’ purchasing decisions and the top way consumers will differentiate brands. All in all, it’s clear that this first customer experience is a significant step in building out a long-term patient-provider relationship. Ensure your clinic invests in this key part of your practice.
You may decide that any questions beyond the most routine FAQs should be handled by a specially trained staff member or patient care coordinator. While all staff must professionally represent your clinic to prospective patients, your care coordinator should be the go-to person for anything above and beyond basic questions. A care coordinator essentially serves as a salesperson. He or she must represent your philosophy and have a deep understanding of the treatments your clinic offers, being able to answer all questions, make suggestions to the prospective patient, and eventually book them for a professional consultation. In other words, your care coordinator will speak to your target market on your behalf to establish a relationship that you will further develop in your consultations and subsequent treatment sessions.
For more information on how to help convert prospects to paying patients, download our invaluable eBook, “Mastering the Art of the Aesthetic Consult” today