By Derek Andersen
Most healthcare patients start their journey by finding and comparing providers online. When they’ve completed their research, they typically convert by calling. According to a recent study, 88% of healthcare appointments are scheduled by phone.
In order to acquire more new patients, healthcare providers need to answer these calls promptly and offer callers a seamless online-to-offline experience. Expectations for today’s patient journey have never been higher, and the call channel experience is often lacking—according to Aspect, 32% of people say phone calls are the most frustrating customer service channel.
Below are 6 tips to provide a frictionless experience that converts more callers to patients.
The first step to personalize the call experience is to use call analytics to capture data on each caller and what drove them to call you in real time. This includes information on the caller—who they are, their geographic location, if they are a new or repeat caller—and the interaction with your digital marketing or website that got them to call.
When consumers call, it’s important to connect them quickly in conversation with the right location or agent. To do it, marketers are using intelligence on the consumer and what drove the call to automatically route each caller for the best result.
The same call analytics solution you use to capture data at the time of the call can be used to control how it gets routed. Marketers can set up rules and logic to automatically route inbound callers to the best location or agent based on a wide variety of data captured by the call analytics solution.
For example, a healthcare provider might route callers based on the marketing source that drove the call. So a consumer who called after searching for “Pediatric Doctor Chicago” can get automatically routed to the best agent in the local branch to assist them. But another consumer who called from their webpage on “Orthopedics and Sports Medicine” will be sent to the agents responsible for those services.
Callers hate being put on hold, and forcing your most valuable callers to wait increases your chances of losing them. So if you have certain campaigns or search keywords with a proven track record of generating high-converting leads, make sure those calls get answered right away. Have them “jump the line” by sending them to a priority queue for high-value callers where an agent can assist them immediately.
When calls come in, many healthcare providers are now passing information on the caller and marketing source that drove the call (channel, ad, keyword, etc.) to their agents. By knowing a caller’s online activity before they placed the call, agents can better anticipate caller needs and deliver a seamless online-to-offline experience.
Marketers should analyze what happens on calls they generate from their digital (and offline) advertising. Analyzing conversations provides a wealth of information on callers, their intent, and the value of calls from each marketing source you can use to make smarter optimizations. For example, you can learn which ads, keywords, and programs drive the best sales calls, if ad messaging and promotions are resonating, and why calls did or did not convert to patients.
Analyzing how calls are handled helps you detect and correct issues that negatively impact patient acquisition. You can see what percentage of calls aren’t being answered at each location and which agents are best (and worst) at converting callers to patients.
Once you start personalizing the caller experience, it’s important to be diligent about measuring results and making optimizations. For example, if there are certain agents more successful at converting callers to patients, consider routing a higher percentage of calls to them. Or if you know that certain locations are underperforming, provide them with scripts and coaching to have better calls.
Action Urgent Care provides urgent and primary care services in its 45 clinics across California. Despite the fact that calls drive a large portion of Action Urgent Care’s conversions, they lacked intelligence on what marketing sources were generating their inbound calls as well as what was happening on those calls.
So they turned to DialogTech to track each call to the marketing source that drove it and analyze what happened during each conversation. When callers aren’t converting, the marketing team has the intelligence to understand why and make the appropriate adjustments. “DialogTech gives us complete visibility into what happens on the phones,” said Nic Peterson, Vice President of Growth and Marketing at Action Urgent Care. “We can look at call volume to any location and compare it to appointments. If there is a gap, we can pull up call recordings for that clinic in DialogTech to diagnose why calls aren’t turning into appointments and make corrections at the call center level to fix it.”
Additionally, they use DialogTech to efficiently route callers. When patients call any location, DialogTech routes the caller to call centers that Action Urgent Care has set up at four clinic locations. Regardless of what clinic the patient is calling or what marketing channel drove the call, every call rings all four call center locations simultaneously, with the first one to answer getting the call.
The makeshift call centers are staffed by agents trained to assist callers, book appointments, and answer billing questions. “Moving from nurses answering phones everywhere to a more centralized call center with trained agents has made a big impact on patient acquisition,” said Peterson. “DialogTech makes it easy for us to control how calls to all our clinics are routed. We’ve reduced unanswered calls by 40% and increased caller-to-patient conversions rates.”
To learn more healthcare marketing best practices, download our eBook, The Healthcare Marketer’s Guide to Driving Patient Calls from Search.
To learn more healthcare marketing best practices, download our eBook: The Healthcare Marketer’s Guide to Driving Patient Calls from Search.Download My eBook →
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