Follow Up on “Info Only” Calls for Immediate Practice Profitability
The “Top Tips for Immediate Practice Profitability” series has so far addressed proven strategies for lowering costly Appointment No Show/Cancellation and Surgery Cancellation rates. Today we will delve into the often overlooked, but paramount for revenue growth, “Info-Only” call follow-up.
Just about every time I am in an office conducting a practice evaluation I overhear a staff member on the phone with a caller asking for information (usually the cost of a procedure). Inevitably, the staff member provides the answer and the call ends. When I ask about the caller I am usually told they were just shopping.
I want to shout: “YES! Of course, they were shopping! We are in retail medicine and patients are demonstrating consumer behaviors at this point more so than patient behaviors! But shoppers become buyers and when they are ready we want them to buy from us!”
Based on the call I just witnessed, the likelihood of the patient remembering or calling us when they are ready is slim to none.
We’ve spoken about the importance of this first call and its relation to practicing profitability ad nauseam, so I will not get into those specifics here. Instead, I want to shift gears and speak on the importance of following up with these callers. This is one of the biggest sources of hidden revenue opportunity I see in practices today, and also the easiest to fix!
It is crucial during this call to get the patient’s contact information for inquiry follow-up, to send information on the provider & procedure of interest, and to add to an email list for continued lead nurturing. Something as simple as I would be happy to send you some information on Dr. Wonderful and our practice is all that is usually required!
I can tell you I do tons of secret shopper calls and the vast majority never even ask for my name, much less contact info for follow-up. This gives practices that do follow-up and stay top of mind a real competitive advantage.
Don’t make it easier for your competitors to grab these patients when they are ready to buy. Have a repeatable & documented plan for follow-up, always let the patient know the next steps, and then follow through!
At the very least, “Info Only”call follow up could be something as simple as:
- Send information immediately (via snail mail, email, or text messaging)
- Call the patient 2 days later to make sure they received the information you sent, ask if they have questions, use the time to build a connection & sell the provider again.
- Send an email with patient reviews of the procedure the patient is inquiring about 1 week later. The subject line could be: Hear what our patients are saying about their breast augmentation results!! or something similar.
I work with practices that have 10 or more of these follow-up communications over the course of 6 months or so. Research shows that more contact equals higher patient conversions, as long as the sales method is consultative in nature, meaning the patient has a perceived need and we have the best way to help them reach that goal.
Staff members that are well-versed in consultative selling techniques have higher conversion rates which directly corresponds to practice growth & bottom line!
How well does your staff handle initial phone calls from prospective patients? Click here and type Free TSS in the Contact box. Your practice will be secret shopped by phone within 2 business days. You will then be provided with a complimentary 30-minute call to review findings and receive practice specific recommendations No Strings Attached!
To Your Success!