Your website is the hub of your practice online. It’s also foundational to your patient generation success in the digital era.
Maybe you have a beautiful site that looks great on mobile – awesome.
Even so, you’re “leaking patients” if you have limited ways to interact with – and bring value to – visitors on your website.
Below are three pretty darn awesome ways you can connect with your patients online, bring value to their lives, and thus turn more visitors into patients.
- Show Patients Around with a Notification Bar
It’s easy to assume that once someone’s visited your site, they’ve seen it all. But you know that’s not true from your own web browsing activities.
Rather than make visitors guess, or hope they find their way around, why not assist them?
One simple way to do this is via a Notification Bar:
A notification bar on your site is a great way to make it clear what your website visitors should do once they arrive. It’s conspicuous without being intrusive, and it can be customized to showcase different promotions and drive patients to various pages on your site.
You can also set the bar to be displayed on every page of your site, so you can be sure that no matter how someone ‘enters’ your site, he or she will see what you wish to showcase.
Running a promo?
Get news coverage?
Just announced a new procedure or piece of technology?
Highlight it on your site with a notification bar.
Resource: HelloBar.com or WP Notification Bar
2. Chat Your Way to More Patients
Online chat is a viable form of communication for everyone from millennials to baby boomers and beyond. Most grandparents know how to text, and anyone who has spent time in the workforce has used web chat to communicate with colleagues.
So the inclusion of a web chat on your website not only seems like a natural addition to your site visitor, it will engage a higher percentage of your visitors who may just have a few questions but aren’t quite ready to schedule.
The software we recommend for your online chat is called olark.com. It has a user-friendly interface for your office staff, automatically changes to an ‘away’ message when your team is not logged in, and can even be customized with unique prompts based on which page of your site the visitor is occupying.
Vital elements to note when chatting:
- Make sure you have a protocol for your staff to answer ‘frequently asked questions’ that arise in chat. This will expedite the chat interaction and ensure potential patients receive consistent information.
- “When in doubt, leave it out.” If a question is asked that the staff member cannot answer, it’s ok to say “Great question. I’m not sure. I would like to look into that further so I can provide you an accurate answer!” This is much better than ‘winging it’ and possibly disseminating improper information.
- Remember the goal of the chat – to schedule an appointment. So each answer should lead back to that goal.
- “What time are you open on Fridays?” – We’re open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays. We actually have an opening this Friday at 2 p.m., and I also see one on Monday at 1 p.m. Which works better for you?
- “How much is Invisalign?” – The price varies from $X to $Y depending on your specific needs and treatment plan. Dr. Jones will meet with you for a free consultation to ensure you’re a good candidate, and we can give you an exact price following this appointment. Dr. Jones actually has an opening tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. or Thursday at 1 p.m. Which time works better for your schedule?
Attract More Patients with a Lead Magnet
One of the keys to increasing your bookings is to have a “give value first” mentality. Most practices constantly “ask” for the appointment without “giving” enough value so people are comfortable scheduling.
A “Lead Magnet” is an ideal way to immediately give value to visitors to your website. It is an irresistible bribe offering a specific level of value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information.
Remember, when looking at your website, the goal is to convert MORE visitors into actual leads. We talked about one way to do this is via more interaction points. A lead magnet provides yet another point of interaction on your site.
Put yourself in the patient’s shoes. You’re conducting local research to find a dentist in your area. You visit six websites. Five of them have the normal fare – pages about procedures, contact box, map to the practice and so forth.
The sixth site has something more. A free, valuable piece of content to help you make a smart decision when it comes to your dental care. For example:
- “Free Download: The 6 Questions to Ask Before Your Child’s First Dental Visit”
- “Free Report – Does Your Child Really Need Braces? 5 Important Questions to Ask Your Dentist”
- “Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces – Which One is Best for You”
- “Checklist – 10 Ways to Brighten Your Smile at Home”
These are all examples of lead magnet reports. Having a lead magnet on your site benefits you in a number of ways:
- It instantly sets you apart from your competitors who are not using a lead magnet and therefore not providing the level of value you are.
- A lead magnet showcases your authority on a topic as you are the person educating the patient through the free download. This elevates you in the mind of your prospects.
- Lead magnets are given in exchange for contact information, typically name and email address. This allows you to contact your lead after the fact to follow-up and work toward turning him/her into a patient. (This follow-up can be done automatically as well, which is highly effective and completely autopilot once set up!)
Here’s an example of a Lead Magnet from Burleson Orthodontics in Kansas City. This pops up on Dr. Burleson’s home page, prompting the visitor to download in exchange for name and email.