When you speak with a marketing consultant for your practice, do they tell you that reaching a certain conversion rate is necessary? Do they hound you for not reaching rates as high as 80 percent? If so, you should know that reaching that percentage is actually nonsense. That’s why your local dental answering service wanted to provide practices three factors that actually help you keep patients.
The three points of success for landing quality conversion and a better patient base include process, people, and patients.
What is the Process for Better Conversions?
In a typical practice, an employee at your front desk isn’t exclusively answering calls. They’re distracted by other patients trying to make payments. They’re scheduling appointments with dental labs to make restorations. That means they aren’t going to be given the people calling the attention they deserve.
When you have a process that considers answering the phone the one and only priority, you don’t miss that potential patient. After monitoring data on the thousands of calls made to practices every month, experts found that 25 percent don’t get answered. Instead of blaming those missed calls on administrative duties, dentists need to change the process in which they handle them in the first place.
What People Need to Be Involved?
The second point focuses on the people handling your incoming calls. It’s rare when you have an employee that handles admin duties and incoming calls with the same level of skill and experience. Chances are, they’re very good at one, but not the other. Since they’re juggling these responsibilities, the chances of giving the patient a compassionate, caring, and welcoming answer over the phone are significantly dwindled.
Furthermore, the employee speaking with on your practice’s behalf must convince patients that your services will make an impact on their lives. In many ways, this employee is acting more like a salesperson than a simple answering machine. By the time your prospective patient hangs up, that patient should be excited to meet the person they spoke with over the phone!
Not All Patients Are Created Equal
If a marketing consultant is telling you they can get you an 80% conversion rate, you need to understand why that’s a fallacy. Just because you have more patients coming into the practice doesn’t necessarily mean they’re guaranteed to keep coming back. If they come with the expectation of receiving certain care, but find out they can’t get it from your practice, it only wastes your time and theirs.
However, if your front desk employee handling phone calls can catch when a patient is requesting a service you don’t have, that employee can properly inform them, rather than scheduling an appointment that won’t lead to a significant conversion.
Think of it this way. Even if you reached a conversion rate of 80% that equates to 24 new appointments, but only 12 patients come back for another appointment, wouldn’t you rather have a real 40% conversion rate with regular patients and not an 80% rate with one-time patients?
The next time you speak with a marketing consultant about conversion rates, tell them you want the right process, the right people for the job, and the right patients for the practice!
About the Author
Mary Beth Bajornas is the founder and director of Dental Support Specialties, a dental answering service which helps dental practices around the country transform leads into reliable patient bases. To give your office a boost in production and work flow, give her a call today to learn how she can help!