How to Get Even More Patients in Your Practice During the Busy Fall Months
As you all probably know, the Fall and Winter months are some of the busiest times of the year when it comes to plastic and cosmetic surgery. Colder days mean people are more comfortable healing from their surgery under layers of clothing, and with the kids back at school, there is plenty more time to lay on the couch and catch up on their favorite shows over Netflix while their body recovers. Not to mention, everyone will be wanting to come in for some touch-up work so that they can look their best by the time the holidays roll around. This is all great news for you and your practice – more patients simply means better business and with these slower summer months wrapping up, filling your waiting room couldn’t come a moment too soon.
So how do you get these men and women who are probably already shopping around for their procedures to walk in through your doors rather than a competitor’s? More so, how do you convert them from simply “looking around” to scheduling their surgery or treatment? While a flashy new billboard or magazine ad can definitely help bring in a lot more people, getting them to commit to your practice is the next step.
Here are the five keys to effectively convert inquiries to patients so that your practice has one of its best Fall seasons yet.
#1 Make sure reception is ready to answer specific questions.
A common misconception that many people have is that just about anybody can sit at the front-desk. Wrong. Hollywood’s version of the gum-smacking, gossip magazine reading, nail painting receptionist simply would not do any company any good. Your receptionist is often your practice’s first impression for anyone who walks in through your doors. Therefore, it is critical that they are not only great with people, but that they can answer many of their initial questions as well.
If your receptionist doesn’t know a lot about what you do, it will look bad for the entire practice. The “sorry, I’m new here” excuse can only be used so many times. If someone new is walking into your practice, you won’t always be available to answer their initial questions (which they will likely have a lot of). If your receptionist is trained in answering specific questions, such as information about the practice, procedure basics, prices, financing, etc., they will be able to provide potential patients with some of the information they need to make a decision, rather than having to ask them to come back later or sit in the waiting room for a long time.
By providing patients with important information up front, they will be more likely to trust your practice and commit to having their procedure done with you.
#2 Always be engaging and replying to people on Facebook.
Facebook can be a great tool for your practice if it is used correctly. While we may have set up your social media accounts, it is up to you and your practice to reply to any questions or comments that patients may have. Companies who are active over social media are more likely to attract new customers and patients.
According to an article by Hubspot , 77 percent of B2C companies acquired new customers from Facebook. We’re living in a new generation where people rely on the internet for information on who they date, where they eat, what they buy, and which companies they trust. 80 percent of social network users in the US actually prefer to connect with brands over Facebook. So if a patient posts a question on your page and nobody answers, they may continue looking for a different practice in their area.
It may seem silly that social media can carry such a big impact for your practice, but it’s completely true. If someone at your practice (or a combined effort) takes the time to post interesting, relevant topics to your Facebook page and constantly be replying to comments and answering questions, your practice will develop a strong brand image and you will start seeing more patients walk in who may already be committed because of an interaction they had with your practice over social media.
#3 Always be following up with your consultations and patients.
When someone goes home after their consultation, surgery or treatment, you should already be planning a follow-up call or email. Patients appreciate you taking the time to catch up with them and will feel more comfortable knowing that you actually care about them and their results.
This can also help you to keep from letting someone who came in for a consultation slip through the cracks. Without pressuring them into anything, a nice follow-up call or email can set a good example for your practice and will keep you at the top of their mind if they want to continue looking around a bit longer.
#4 Give them an incentive to come back to your practice.
Practices who have been using our new Loyalty Programs have been seeing plenty of success with returning patients and building strong relationships. Loyalty programs are working wonders for companies like Starbucks and Nordstrom. By providing patients with a rewards system, they are able to increase the likelihood of a customer returning and can often establish themselves as the go-to place whenever a customer needs their kind of product. For example, if you have a Starbucks card, you probably won’t be walking into Tully’s to often.
Our Loyalty Programs are designed to benefit both you and your patients. By charging a monthly tiered membership fee, your practice will be collecting recurring revenue. Your patients will benefit from special prices, discounts and rewards that you decide to offer through your program. This way, they are far more likely to make your practice their place to go whenever they need a treatment done and may even be a gateway to larger procedures and surgeries down the road.
#5 Let us know what is working and what isn’t.
It is important that you let us know what is working for your practice and what isn’t. For example, if you are seeing better results marketing your non-surgical procedures, we can put more of a focus on those treatments through blogging, eBlasts and ongoing SEO. Or if you want to promote a new procedure or treatment, you can talk to us to find out about any extra marketing opportunities that we can provide for you. As always, we are here to help you brand your practice in the best way possible.
Here’s to a successful Fall season for you and your practice!