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by OppGen

Why your clinic needs a medical lead follow up system

You can’t do it all by yourself

There’s a reason why the majority of clinics, regardless of size, have staff: it’s impossible for one person to do everything. And not only is it impossible but impractical as well. There’s no reason why doctors and nurses should be taking phone calls when they are needed by their patients. Likewise, a medical office staff shouldn’t be diagnosing patients. They don’t have the education and training that doctors, nurses, and other medical experts have.

So why leave the job of following up with leads in the hands of those who aren’t trained to do so?

 

Digital marketing can only do so much on its own

Digital marketing is like an iceberg: there are parts of it that are more visible at times than others. Your clinic’s ads will be the first thing prospects see — the tip of the iceberg. They’re what piques prospects’ interests.

A list of digital marketing factors represented by an iceberg

But an ad cannot do all the work on its own; leads rarely convert on the first touchpoint they have with your clinic. That’s why you need a lead generation program (which is located below the tip of the iceberg) that progressively nudges prospects to fill out your clinic’s contact form. This also requires a lead follow up system, and an excellent one at that.

 

Following up with leads works

Most importantly of all, following up with leads works, and the statistics definitely support this:

Case in point: if you want an influx of new patients, you need a medical follow up system.

 

What medical lead follow up systems need to succeed

A designated employee or sales team

Everyone on your staff has a specific role (or at the very least, they should) that has specific tasks and functions. Make sure you have an employee or team of employees in charge of returning calls and emails to follow up with leads. Ideally, that should be that employee’s main role. Though responding to emails or phone calls might not seem like a lot of work to some, it is still work that needs to be done. And in the case of lead generation, failure to respond within a certain time frame can easily end up with your clinic losing great patients.

If you haven’t designated an employee (or for larger clinics, a team) to be in charge of following up with leads, that’s a huge problem. When no one is tasked with following up with leads, it’s very likely you are missing out on highly interested leads. Why? Because if no one is supposed to be checking up on leads, then it’s not going to become a priority. There will be other things that become more important, leaving lead follow ups to gather dust.

Not having a designated employee creates an accountability issue as well. With one or two (or a few) employees whose job(s) it is to follow up with leads, it’s much easier to track where they’ve fallen short.

We highly recommend hiring a full-time salesperson or at least someone who is properly trained and highly experienced in sales. This leaves your medical office staff to focus on the paperwork, billing, and scheduling — areas they already excel in.

In summary: designate an employee or two and make sure that their lead follow up tasks are clear, which brings us to the next point…

 

Good communication across the board

Medical lead follow up systems are communication-based in just about every aspect, and if there is a failure to properly communicate in any part of the system, prospects and other things will fall by the wayside. That is not an option.

Good communication requires everyone working on this medical lead follow up system to be on the same page. They need to understand definitions (what do you define as a cold lead versus a warm lead?) and terms and make sure those definitions and terms are the same. Otherwise you’ll run the risk of a lead being left behind and not even bothering to convert.

This also means there needs to be a clearly defined message that salespeople need to have when they are trying to get leads to schedule an appointment. Elements of this message should include:

  • Establishing the clinic’s credibility (i.e., awards won, the clinic’s specialties, number of successful procedures, etc.)
  • The clinic’s physical location(s)
  • The clinic’s medical process and procedures offered (and being able to answer any question about these things)
  • The benefits of the procedures offered, especially if they are unique and/or proprietary
  • Service prices and promotional offers (i.e., free consultations and financing options)

Failing to share any of the above information with leads, as well as giving generic/canned email replies and not answering an incoming lead as soon as possible, can result in leads falling through the cracks. Don’t let that happen!

You can prevent this (or at least, discover this) by calling your office from an unknown number and acting as though you are a patient. (You can easily do this via email as well by setting up a burner email account.) From there, you should notice immediately if there are any red flags, such as:

  • Initiating an appointment without establishing credibility
  • Immediately talking about pricing before sharing the benefits of the clinic’s services or doing so within a few minutes
  • Failing to answer medical questions
  • Not knowing the clinic’s offerings or misrepresenting its services
  • Replying to an incoming lead with a canned or generic email
  • Not answering an incoming lead’s call or email as quickly as possible

Good communication isn’t something that exists only between the designated employee(s) and leads — it needs to happen from the top down, starting by defining terms and creating a clear-cut message that needs to be delivered to leads.

 

Expectations and goals

Time is everything when it comes to getting leads to convert. Case in point: When you follow up with leads in less than 5 minutes, leads are 9 times more likely to convert. After those 5 minutes have passed, the odds of qualifying a lead decrease by 80%

That’s a huge difference in a relatively short amount of time.

The point is, you need to make sure your medical lead follow up system has clear expectations and standards. You want to make sure your salesperson can respond within those 5 minutes (if not, look into automated response options for when they are not on the clock or unavailable). Not to mention they often need to follow up with leads on more than one occasion — 80% of sales need at least 5 follow up calls while 44% of salespeople give up after a single call. Think of it this way: if you’re paying a certain amount per lead, you need to at least get a yes or no answer from a lead. So don’t be afraid to be persistent.

Your employees need to know that it isn’t enough to call once or to call a lead back much later than 5 minutes — set the expectations and make sure your staff is meeting those expectations.

But don’t forget to be realistic. Five minutes is a very relatively short period of time, so if a salesperson doesn’t call back immediately, that does not mean they have failed at their job. Remember they have lives outside the office, so it’s on you to make sure you have a back-up system like automated responses and your clinic’s hours correct and updated on your clinic’s website and Google My Business listing.

 

A feedback system

Lead generation programs should always have room for improvement, but you cannot improve your medical lead follow up system if you don’t have a means to measure improvement. That’s why you should create a second system within your medical lead follow up system: a feedback system.

A good feedback system needs the following items:

  • Campaign tracking
  • Records of every interaction your salesperson or sales team has had with prospects
  • The ability to determine lead quality
  • A salesperson or sales team that can provide feedback on a weekly basis

If you’re already working with a digital marketing agency that hasn’t set up tracking for digital marketing campaigns, it’s time to find a new agency. The ability to track where your leads are coming from is incredibly important, and we cannot express that importance enough. This ability allows you to better determine what areas of your campaign that might be better spent on other marketing channels you’ve had more success with and/or better leads. This can also result in getting more good leads with better quality. Remember: more leads are not always good leads. Stop investing in leads that fall through and focus on investing in places where you’re having more success.

Without a good feedback system, you won’t know what works and what doesn’t, and without that knowledge, you might as well not even bother with creating a medical lead follow up system.

 

Create your medical lead follow up system now

We’ve given you a head start on how to create a successful medical lead follow up system, but there’s even more OppGen can do for you. We design websites and landing pages that are built to convert leads, manage paid search and paid social advertising campaigns, and optimize your website for SEO. Having worked with hundreds of clinics across the U.S. and Canada, our team has the experience in marketing in the medical industry like no other agency.

Contact OppGen today to learn more about what we offer or fill our free digital audit.

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