The front office of every medical practice is busy. In addition to responding to new patient inquiries, your front office is busy fielding communication and engaging with existing patients.
When your front office is stretched thin, it can have a negative impact on your practice growth. The average medical practice misses 20-30% of calls.
Most of the challenges your front office faces can be solved or reduced by leveraging technology to automate tasks. I’m going to cover 3 automations that every modern medical practice should consider. Think of these as tools to assist your front office in overcoming challenges and empowering them to successfully engage with more new patient leads.
1. Automate Form Responses
In addition to missing calls, medical practices have difficulty following up with new patient leads submitted via forms on the site. Whether it’s a general “contact us” form, or a request for an appointment, there are many reasons why practices struggle with these leads.
First, many practices are just sending these leads via email to the front office. Not only is this not HIPAA compliant, it ensures these lead inquiries are buried within other requests. Many of these leads never get followed up on.
Next, if they do follow-up with new patient leads from these forms, it’s generally days after the form is submitted. Every hour you wait, it’s less likely you’ll get in touch with these leads. You are 7x more likely to get in touch with a new patient lead if you respond within an hour of the form submission. This is particularly an issue with leads submitted after hours or on weekends, and an average of 30% of new patient leads are submitted after hours.
One simple way to solve these problems is to send automated communication directly after a form submission. This can be done through an email or text message. Let new patients know you received their message, give them an idea what to expect and make a commitment to them about when they can expect a call.
2. Offer A Website Chat Bot
Many potential patients visiting your site can’t find the answers they’re looking for, but aren’t quite ready to call – or can’t call if it’s after hours. Adding a chat bot to your site is a great way to automate the interaction a website visitor might have with your front office, and is proven to add incremental new patient leads overnight.
Rather than relying on a live individual to answer every chat, a website chat bot allows you to guide potential patients to the answers they need in a more conversational format. Website chat bots can surface frequently asked questions, as well as proactively direct them to call or reach out through a form submission.
3. Nurture Unable To Contact Leads
Your front office will have some recurring percentage of new patient leads that aren’t able to be reached. Whether this is potential patients that have left a voicemail you can’t return, or a form submission that you’ve called back and haven’t been able to speak to a real person.
Most front offices try to call these leads a handful of times before they give up. This is not enough effort to close a lead. In today’s world where unknown calls are labeled as spam you must try more often across more platforms.
The perfect automation to solve this challenge is creating a “nurturing sequence” that includes both calls, emails and text messages. Yes, this can be fully automated so it doesn’t require any additional time for your front office. It drastically reduces the percentage of new patient leads that are unable to be contacted.
Putting It All Together
These automations are solving the issues your front office has handling new patient leads by making the most of the leads you have and using the resources you already have.
All of these automations are possible through RUNNER’s Patient Engage platform – a HIPAA compliant CRM built specifically for medical practices to manage new patient leads.
If you’d like to understand how the platform works to implement these automations for your practice, request a consultation to speak with one of RUNNER’s medical marketing experts.