Even in today’s digital world, 88% of healthcare patients book appointments over the phone. The call channel is a critical touchpoint in the healthcare patient journey — and inbound phone calls are the most valuable conversions healthcare marketers can drive from their campaigns.
This post shares how call tracking and analytics technology helps marketers drive more high-value calls and create seamless patient experiences that result in more appointment conversions.
What Is the Patient Experience?
The patient experience includes all the touchpoints a patient engages with as they research providers, reach out to schedule an appointment, attend their appointment, and follow up. In today’s digital world, the patient experience has more touchpoints than ever before — think search engines, digital ads, listing and review sites, provider websites, appointment reminder emails, and phone calls.
Why Is the Patient Experience Important?
Today’s patients have higher expectations for their experience than ever before. According to Accenture, 51% of patients would change their healthcare provider for a better experience. If you’re not providing a frictionless end-to-end healthcare journey, your patients will find someone else who will.
The Patient Experience Starts with Search
Running a search is a critical first step for patients to evaluate healthcare providers. As you can see below, in most major healthcare verticals — including dentists, hospitals, and physicians — over 60% of patients will start their journey with a search.
Because many of these searchers are in the research phase, you have a golden opportunity to convert them to patients. That’s why it’s so important to capture their attention on the search engine results page (SERP) by building up your organic presence or bidding on important search terms.
The Next Phase of the Patient Experience: A Phone Call
After patients perform their initial research online, most people place a phone call to make an appointment. In fact, in most healthcare verticals, over 70% of patients call after making an online search.
Understanding the marketing channels that drive appointment calls is critical so you can invest more dollars and effort in what works, and cut spend on what doesn’t.
Call tracking and analytics solutions like DialogTech attribute each phone call to the marketing source that drove it — including the exact, campaign, ad, keyword, or landing page. You can also see which marketing channels are driving the most quality leads and the most appointments.
Sample DialogTech report showing calls and appointment opportunities driven by each marketing source
The Patient Experience Also Includes the Phone Call Experience
Understanding where your most valuable calls are coming from is important — but don’t overlook the experience the patient has after the call is placed. 80% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. And 32% of consumers say phone calls are the most frustrating customer service channel. Simply driving inbound phone calls isn’t enough to own the healthcare patient journey — you also have to ensure you’re creating frictionless experiences for callers.
To provide a better call experience, marketers are using dynamic call routing rules, which automatically route callers based on certain criteria. Below are some common call routing optimizations:
- Route calls based on the marketing source (channel, campaign, ad, keyword, webpage) that drove the call
- Have calls from your most valuable marketing sources jump to the front of the queue to get answered first
- Route callers based on the geographic location they are calling from
- Have calls forwarded to specific agents, locations, or IVRs based on your business hours
- Ring multiple agents’ phones at the same time — the agent who picks up first gets the call
- Route calls to agents’ cell phones or home phones if they’re working remotely
A sample dynamic routing configuration in DialogTech
Multi-location healthcare providers are also using AI-powered reports to evaluate how well their locations are answering and converting calls. These reports, generated by a call tracking and analytics solution, show the appointment calls driven to each location, the lead score of the calls, the call conversion rates, and the percentage of calls that go to voicemail. They can then use that data to coordinate with their agents to improve call experiences at their locations.
Sample DialogTech report showing how locations and agents handle calls
Understand the Impact of COVID-19 From the Voice of Your Patients
During COVID-19, it’s even more important to provide a seamless patient experience and ensure you’re answering your patients’ questions proactively. The more data and insights you have on how the coronavirus is impacting your patients, inbound calls, and marketing results, the more informed and effective decisions you can make. And many answers can be found in the phone conversations you’re having with patients.
DialogTech’s HIPAA-compliant call tracking and analytics solution for healthcare marketers records and transcribes inbound phone calls, and our COVID-19 KPI analyzes those conversations to detect when your callers mention the virus and related topics and visualizes that data in reports and dashboards. DialogTech has reports that allow you to:
- Understand COVID-19’s impact on inbound call volume
- View COVID-19-related calls by marketing source
- Track the impact of COVID-19 on phone leads and conversion rates
- View COVID-19-related calls to each location
Sample DialogTech report showing leads and conversions from COVID-19 calls
When you pass these insights into your martech stack, you’ll be able to:
- Adjust your bid strategies and budget allocation for COVID-19 callers
- Segment COVID-19 callers into audiences
- Leverage COVID-19 call data in Google Ads Smart Bidding
After using DialogTech’s AI to identify the calls discussing the virus, you can drill into each conversation and listen to the recordings or read the transcriptions. This allows you to see exactly what questions and concerns your callers have about what’s going on. Those insights can help you arm your staff answering calls with the information they need to assist callers. Your marketing team can also use this data to create an FAQ list or blogs about the virus and update content on relevant webpages to enhance the patient experience.
Sample recording and transcription in DialogTech discussing COVID-19
How ATI Uses Call Tracking and Analytics to Optimize Ad Spend and Improve the Patient Journey
ATI Physical Therapy is the leading provider of research-based physical therapy and rehabilitation. They are the largest physical therapy company under one brand name in the U.S, with 900 clinic locations.
ATI uses DialogTech’s AI-driven call tracking and conversation analytics to attribute and analyze phone calls from their marketing channels, campaigns, keywords, and website to their clinics. They can then allocate their budget to the campaigns driving the highest volume of appointment calls.
They also use DialogTech to monitor how well their 900 clinics and call center handle and convert inbound calls to customers. By tracking the percentage of appointment opportunities that convert at each location, they can identify problem locations and drill into the transcripts to identify what went wrong. They can then detect and correct the issues, ensuring their locations and agents are converting the valuable appointment calls they’re driving from their marketing campaigns. This creates a better patient experience and drives a higher return on ad spend for the marketing team.
To learn more about how you can use call tracking and analytics to streamline the patient journey, check out our ebook, The Healthcare Marketer’s Guide to Driving Patient Calls from Search.
Want to learn more about how you can use call tracking and analytics to streamline the patient journey? Check out our ebook, The Healthcare Marketer’s Guide to Driving Patient Calls from Search.Download My eBook