Happy Monday! Being that it’s the start of a new week, there’s a good chance you had a number of prospects submit contact forms and self-tests on your website over the weekend.
I’ve talked numerous times about how “speed-to-lead” is vital if you want to maximize conversions. By that I mean when someone submits an online contact form, we want to get in touch with them in 5 minutes or less.
This is common sense, but it’s also backed up by a study published in the Harvard Business Review. I don’t know the exact details off-hand (you can google it), but they found a significant drop-off between leads contacted within 5 minutes later and those contacted over 10 minutes later. Like a 3x – 4x drop off. Massive.
But what about leads that come through in the evenings? Or now that it’s Monday, what about anyone who sent in a form between Friday early evening and this morning (2.5-day span)?
Or for that matter, what about leads that came through when your counselors were all busy, and no one could call them back for a couple hours?
Add up all these scenarios, and we could be talking about the majority of your online leads.
How do we solve for speed-to-lead then?
The best solution is to hire more people, train them up on your brand and get them to follow up with your leads 7 days a week, 16 hours a day.
But that’s expensive (cost money and time to develop them). And good people are hard to find right now. If you could wave a magic wand and have all your dreams come true, this would be the way to go. But I have no wands, and neither do you.
And when you think about it, you probably have good people on your team already. They just need extra bandwidth and support to reach their full potential.
Another solution is to outsource fast lead follow-ups. It’s more cost-effective and doesn’t take as long as it takes to hire and train your own people. And there are some solid outsourced lead-contact groups out there.
But with an outsourced group, the people who talk to your prospective patients don’t know, love and believe in your brand. It’s not the end of the world, but you ideally want your people telling your stories with conviction, which can’t be faked.
So what’s the optimal solution? Cost-effective, on-brand, gets to leads quickly and allows your awesome people to do more of what they do best?
The approach we’ve seen be most effective: installing Programmatic Patient Journeys (PPJs) as a support system for your current appointment bookers. PPJs have grown in popularity among growth-oriented elective surgery practices since coming out of the pandemic.
Why? Because they solve for A. Speed-to-lead B. Scheduler teams that are running lean (either by design or by default) and C. The need to provide an incredible patient experience.
What’s a PPJ? Simply put, the Programmatic Patient Journey combines Artificial Intelligence and conversational messaging to act as a Virtual Patient Coordinator for your team. A strong, streamlined PPJ starts SMS conversations with new prospects, re-engages the ones who haven’t responded, and even alerts your team in real-time when you have a hot lead that’s ready to book.
Quick example – one of our favorite Programmatic Patient Journeys that we architect for our clients is the Self-Test Pre-Qual journey.
When someone takes a self-test, the PPJ messages them immediately based on their results. Now this is tailored to each practice, but the general approach is:
We introduce the practice, tell them they qualify for a consult and explain them the next step is to come in, and that we’ll be in touch during office hours.
Then we ask a very simple question: “What works better, mornings or afternoons?”
Practices fall into one of 2 camps:
Most practices are coming into the office this morning (Monday) with leads all the way back from Friday evening, leads that haven’t been touched in 2.5 days. And we all know how hard it can be to get in touch with new prospects that haven’t been contacted in days or even hours.
But practices that are using Programmatic Patient Journeys were able to launch text messaging conversations with those leads within 30 seconds. On Friday night, on Sunday morning, during lunch hour on Weds – whenever. Like clockwork.
These practices arrived to the office with a handful of prospect responses to our simple question. Responses that say “mornings, thanks!” or “early afternoon is usually best.”
And now these teams leveraging the Programmatic Patient Journey have a huge advantage when they reach out to these prospects to complete the consult scheduling process.
So if you don’t have Programmatic Patient Journeys running already, it’s time to start. Don’t get left behind.
Your speed-to-lead will be off the charts, you’ll end up booking more consults, and your scheduling team will have the support they need to flourish in their roles.
AND your Mondays will be set up for success. Wins across the board.
– Troy “TGIM” Cole
PS – Questions about setting up a PPJ? Don’t know how to script it? Curious about the tech? Hit reply and ask away.
Most people are surprised how cost-effective and straightforward it can be. Let me know, I’m here to help.
PPS – If you’re one of the consult schedulers at your practice, and this sounds useful to you (it is), don’t just wait and hope your admins read this and are interested.
Take initiative. Forward this along to your manager and tell them it sounds like a PPJ might be helpful to your growth efforts. Your managers and admins want you to be proactive in your role. Show them you are.