It’s a hot social media channel right now, right?
Everyone is talking about using it to build your brand so you can attract more patients to your clinic.
Yep… Just yesterday I was having a conversation with a clinic owner I know (Roger) and he was raving on about how he wanted to spend more time building an instagram channel because everybody is doing it.
Look. I think that’s great. As clinic owners, we all need to keep on the pulse and try various marketing channels to attract patients and customers.
But, when it comes to getting more new patients, there is one major thing most clinic owners overlook.
You don’t need to spend countless hours on social media.
It doesn’t have to cost you extra money.
And, you don’t need to get more traffic to your website.
What is this thing?
Read on and I’ll reveal, how to get more patients leveraging the assets you already have in-house.
3 Types of Traffic
Since digital marketing is the major form of marketing these days, it’s easy to get caught up in all the things you can (or must) do to attract patients.
Essentially, everything you do is a form of marketing.
And regardless of what “marketing” channel you decide to use in your business, let me explain something I’ve learned, something invaluable...
To experience exponential growth for your clinic, you need to understand this...
There are only 3 type of types of traffic.
TRAFFIC #1 Traffic you control
Any kind of paid traffic is traffic you control.
For instance, pay per clinic ads in Facebook, Google, Banner ads etc.
So, you purchase ads on Google (you don’t own that traffic - Google does) but you can control your ads and where you send people after they click.
TRAFFIC #2 Traffic you don’t control
This traffic shows up and you have no control of where it comes from and where it goes.
This includes traffic from social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), search traffic (seo), and podcasts.
TRAFFIC #3 Traffic you OWN
This is the best type of traffic. It’s your email and phone numbers. You don’t have to buy it from Google or Facebook, because you OWN it!
It’s your own distribution channel and you can send out messages or make calls anytime you want, with no new marketing costs.
So there I was telling Roger... although Instagram may build your brand and bring traffic, your one and only goal is to OWN all the traffic you can!
Whether you’re sharing updates on Facebook and Instagram or doing paid Google or Facebook ads, your one goal is to turn that traffic into traffic you own.
Your only goal is to get them to give you their email address. Or even better, get that traffic to call you!
As a clinic owner, a phone call is your most powerful method of communication - because you OWN it. Once you have your phone number database, you can all anytime you want, with no new marketing costs.
Okay, so that’s the invaluable lesson.
But that on it’s own isn’t enough to cause a spike in the new patients you acquire for your clinic. Because there is one more essential step in this process.
And this second step is the one most clinic owners overlook...
Regardless of what marketing channel you’re using and where patients find you, when patients call your clinic, you better make sure you’re answering the phones and training your teams on phone skills and phone scripts so they do an awesome job converting those callers into bookings.
That’s the secret - answer more calls and book more patients!
Seriously… this may seem like common sense. But as they say, common sense isn’t common. And unfortunately, clinic owners often fall short of paying attention to the most important asset they have - the phones!
And guess what?
The money is in the phones!
If you’re not maximizing your answering potential, those unbooked calls are costing you big!
And the strange part about that is - your clinic is already receiving those calls!
I’ve found that all too often, in most clinics, it’s not a marketing problem that needs to be fixed. It’s a phone performance and conversion problem.
And that is something you can focus on without spending a penny on marketing.
7 TACTICS TO ANSWER MORE CALLS
1) Get your front desk a headset
When you use a headset, it instantly increases productivity and ensures a call never gets missed.
More productivity. More calls being answered. That means you’re a happy clinic owner!
2) Remove the menu system on your phone
Quick stat: 11% of callers will hang up when they listen to a menu system.
Quite frankly, a menu system boils down to a bad patient experience. And that’s not what you want.
You want your patients to be happy and have a great experience from the very first time they make contact with you.
3) Start measuring call performance each day and have daily staff meetings
You need to measure:
- Total Calls
- Missed Calls
- Answer Rate
Because, as the saying goes: If you can't measure it, you can't manage it.
And, when you have stats and data to share with your team (on a daily basis), you’ll notice that their performance improves dramatically.
4) Screen calls and always prioritize new patient callers
You can do this by answering every call and screening every caller. If it's not a new caller, ask to put them on hold or grab their number and ask to call them back.
If you have patients waiting for you at reception, just acknowledge they are waiting and whisper, "thank you for waiting."
5) Add another phone line
If your clinic is always busy on the phone, you’re dropping a lot of calls.
The solution is to get another phone line from your telephone company. This will allow you to do #3: screen more calls.
6) Dedicate staff to new patient callers
If you have multiple front desk staff, this step may make sense for your clinic.
Some busy clinics have multiple people working at one time. If that’s you, have one staff member be the primary handler of all new patient callers and leave the others to deal with everything else, including helping patients.
Having more focused front desk roles will dramatically boost productivity and efficiencies, and most importantly, ensure new patients are handled as priority.
7) Train your staff to be faster over the phones
Listen to all the longer calls and come up with training for your team to help them to be faster over the phones.
A few topics you want to help train them on are:
- How to deal with an upset patient caller
- Dealing with the constant talker
- Handling multiple callers and the front desk all at once
- How to put callers on hold
- How to control the call so the patients book with you
You need to make phone skills training part of your clinic culture, integrate into hiring and training, and include performance in incentive plans.
Trust me, if you do, it creates a big domino effect - you’ll see more patients booked, higher patient satisfaction, and most importantly, an increase in revenues.
So let me ask you an important question: Do you know your answer rate?
The very first step in getting more patients without doing more marketing is to know your answer rate.
Is it 60%? 75%? Or 95%?
In my experience of working with clinic owners, most clinics are only answering around 70% of calls. Imagine how that lost 30% is impacting your business?!
Especially since these people are already calling your clinic!
I’d highly recommend the first step you take is: Get your answer rate tested at your clinic. It only takes less then 60 seconds.
Until you know your answer rate, you won’t truly know how well your clinic is performing.
And that only means one thing - you could be wasting both your time and money on marketing - no matter what that marketing channel is!
Seriously… get your calls graded.
Don’t fumble and guess. Get metrics that can help you make key decisions that really move the bar in business!