Read time: 6 minutes
A lot of private practices don't have a clear system for managing new enquiries.
Until recently, that wasn’t a problem. You could depend on NHS contracts and word-of-mouth referrals. But times are changing.
The technology takeover
As the number of new practices continues to increase, competition for patients grows ever fiercer. Patients demand convenience. They want quick reminder messages containing relevant information at just the right time, and they expect a high standard of service for an accessible price.
Savvy practices understand this and are focussed on offering exceptional customer service, while keeping overheads low. As a result, practices delivering these more automated, but highly personal services are now starting to oust the traditional local practice and it’s focus on paper-based communications.
The change isn’t happening overnight, but it is happening.
Supporting Local Practices
Many local practices think implementing similar changes would be too expensive or complicated for their practice. In fact, our data suggests any practice can improve its practice management processes by following a few simple steps. And by automating those processes with DenGro, you can radically improve the number of new enquiries you convert into patients.
With that in mind, DenGro is reaching out to local practices to share our knowledge on lead management techniques and approaches. We also want to know more about the challenges of making sure our lead management tool works for practices, and are committed to helping practices take the right steps toward practice management that makes sense for them - even if they don’t use DenGro.
We recently attended two events to share our top tips for patient lead management. Practice Plan hosted both events: one in Farnborough, one in Whiteley.
Best practice tips
The concept of 'selling' treatments can be new and daunting to traditional practices. The need to nurture enquiries and 'win them over' can feel a little salesy. But when a patient contacts you for information, and you follow up at just the right time, it’s worth remembering that you’re making their life easier.
All staff should understand the best techniques and approaches for talking to and managing new treatment enquiries. This knowledge is valuable to your business. Below, you’ll find the tips we shared for getting patient lead management right. In italics, you can also see the responses from the practices in attendance.
1. Share set guidelines in practice.
Make sure everyone in practice knows the process for managing new treatment enquiries. A single set of clear guidelines should set out your practice's process. The guidelines should:
- Outline the number of contact attempts staff should make
- How quickly new enquiries should be responded to
- What information to record
- Answers to common concerns about treatments
Make sure you save the guidelines somewhere that all staff can easily access.
The majority of practices didn't have a set approach that all team members were aware of. Many attendees found the amount of time and effort involved in follow-ups surprising. Attendees also acknowledged a need to improve their processes. Currently, these practices don't know how many new enquiry leads they generate, but they all agreed that they could take better advantage of enquiries
2. The two-hour window.
Try and contact a lead within two working hours of receiving their enquiry. This is the vital period when leads are most interested in your treatments and what you have to offer.
Did you know there’s a 27% increase in new enquiries converting to patients when they’re contacted within two hours?
This got a big 'wow' from the crowd. In fact, only one of the practices had a policy of speedy follow-up with new enquiries and shares their experience of the positive impact a quick response has on lead conversion.
3. Three contact attempts over a week.
People are busy and not everyone is available to pick up the phone the first time you call them. We recommend that a practice tries to contact a lead at least three times over a period of a week. This gives practices the best chance of reaching new leads. It also provides these potential patients enough opportunity to respond.
Again, the effort required here was a surprise to most practices. But they also understood the value in making that effort. Two practices said they make multiple calls – sometimes up to six times – with no timeframes.
We’re committed to running presentation sessions with local practices. Meeting you face-to-face gives us the opportunity to learn more about the challenges facing your practices. More importantly, sharing DenGro’s data and experiences provides practices like yours with the opportunity to understand how lead management fits into the context of local practice management – even if you haven’t started using DenGro yet.
Ask us a question
Do you have a question about patient lead management? A DenGro team member is on hand to answer you. Simply press the online chat icon in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.