The importance of follow-up…….. with prospective patients.
We all know that follow-up is important after major illnesses or procedures. Successful outcomes involve a partnership between the physician and the patient. As the medical provider you have to oversee the treatment of the patient, lead them down the best recovery path and monitor their progress. The patient also has roles, like following your treatment plan and communicating any health issues or concerns in a timely manner.
Follow-up with prospects, is just as important. Today’s patients have several options to choose from, no matter what specialty you practice. They are bombarded with options on the TV, their phones, in their social media groups and even across gaming devices. Whether you spend thousands of dollars on traditional media, digital marketing or social media platforms, you have worked hard to get your message in front of people that need your services.
Then one day they reach out, asking for more information. Someone from your office takes the call or follows up with their request, but they aren’t ready to schedule yet. What follow up messages are in place? Did you collect enough information on them so that you can continue to deliver messaging that will help them to decide to book an appointment? Did they fill out a survey that can help you to determine if your staff is trained and courteous?
In our extensive tracking of prospective patients through the decision process, we see a high percentage of people reaching out with contact forms and calls, but not booking a consultation for months and months. Sometimes over a year. How many other sales messages are they going to see from your competitors before they come in? What is your process to keep your practice on the top of their list? If you don’t have a process, you may easily lose this patient to someone else, who does.
All too often we see poor prospect follow-up in specialties like Cosmetics and Bariatrics. The staff is either too busy contacting only the newest leads or enjoying some down time when the phones aren’t ringing. If someone has taken the time to send in a contact form or call your office, you need a plan to deliver messaging to them until they either schedule a consultation or ask to be removed from your list. We aren’t advocating that you spam them to death, but we are saying that if you don’t put your message in front of them, you may lose them. There are easier ways to do this, other than making your staff send multiple emails or calls over extended periods of time. They also don’t need to be lumped into your monthly newsletter for current patients.
Luckily, there are HIPAA compliant email marketing programs that can be utilized to send your messages. Tracking programs that can give you more detail about how they interacted with your website and social platforms, so you know more about their needs. Personal demographics and data can also be pulled into your CRM to give you another layer of information to help you speak directly to their situation.
If you want them to come to you when they are ready, you have to stay in front of them. If you aren’t chasing them, someone else is. Don’t waste effort and advertising dollars to chase only new leads. Warm up those lost prospects with more information. If this seems overwhelming, MD Integrated is just a call away. We have spent years seeing patients go through the process. We can not only help you drive new leads, we can also help you hold onto them through the long decision cycles for big procedures.