Would You Hire The Person You Just Spoke To?

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Would You Hire The Person You Just Spoke To?

call trackingRecently my beautiful wife – whom I somehow convinced to marry me years ago – and I took an anniversary trip to New York City, the place where we first met each other. I booked the plane tickets through Delta Airlines months in advance. Unfortunately when booking, I completely forgot to complete our seat assignments. About four days before the flight I called Delta in a panic to do just that. The call went smoothly, I got the seats I wanted, and at the end of the call the representative asked me if I would complete a one question survey. What happened next surprised me.
 


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The one question was:

“Would you hire the customer service representative you just spoke to for a customer service position in your business?”

I was blown away! I had never heard that one before. I was completely expecting the most popular one-question survey that there is (which is also referred to as “NetPromoter”): “How likely would you be to recommend us to a colleague, friend or family member?” But the airline has a found a new way to measure true customer satisfaction with their servicing team.

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A Huge, Untapped Source for New Patients. Right There in Your Office!

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Today we’d like to talk about a source of new patient referrals that is often overlooked in a dental practice.  Referrals from your team members.

open for businessI am not talking about the friends and family referrals that you might get from your receptionist or your assistant (that you feel obligated to offer at a discount), but a calculated and measurable plan to increase the number of patients that come to you through this channel of people.

Have you ever considered that your team can be a walking billboard for your business when they are out on their lunch break or just running errands on the weekend?  Why not encourage them to engage with potential new patients when they are out and about?

It is real simple to do. It requires not much more than a handful of Care to Share cards and maybe a clever, well-designed t-shirt branded with your logo that encourages potential patients to ask your team members, “Hey, where is that dental office?”  (According to OSHA, they should not be wearing those scrubs out of the office anyway!)

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5 Other Places Where Your Practice Needs to Be Online: Having a Website is Not Enough!

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Total Online Presence. Does that sound familiar? It does if you are a client of Practice Treatment Plan. Our clients often hear us say, “It is not enough to just have a website to market your practice online! It requires a Total Online Presence.” Total Online Presence is a system of connected links, listings and content pages that raise your online profile for search engines.

Here are 5 other places where you need to be online:

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ALERT! 5 Things You Need to Know About the Recent Google Changes

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Welcome to Practice Treatment Plan’s Bi-weekly New Patient Marketing Tips! Delivered to you every two weeks.
ALERT! 5 Things You Need to Know About the Recent Google Changes
At the end of February Google made some big changes to how they display search results. They removed Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertisements from the right hand side of the results page, and added a fourth Pay-Per-Click ad at the top of the search results. You are probably asking yourself… what does that even mean??? You will have to take our word for it, IT IS IMPORTANT FOR ANY DOCTOR OR DENTIST THAT USES THE INTERNET TO GET NEW PATIENTS! Here are 5 things you need to know:
dental pay-per-clickThis change further diminishes the value of traditional, organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you are paying an SEO company lots of cash each month to get you to the top of the organic search results, you should know that the value of that service is somewhat diminished. Why? Because the first organic search position (the coveted #1 spot when someone searches for your service) is now “below the fold”. “Below the fold” means that someone now has to scroll down to see the result.
You better have a mobile friendly website. How is that relevant? The reason Google made this change is simple: more people conduct searches on Google each month on a mobile device than do a desktop or laptop computer. The Pay-Per-Click ads never did show up on the right side on mobile devices, so Google made the change to align the desktop/laptop experience with the mobile experience. If your website is not delivering a good mobile experience, then you are offending more than half of the people that search for dentistry each month online.
If you are using Google Pay-Per-Click today, you need to make sure your results are in the top 4. Being in the number 5 or 6 position now means your ads are pretty much invisible. After position 4, your ads fall to the very bottom of the results, at the very bottom of the page. Make sure you are bidding aggressively to be in the first four spots.
If you are using Google Pay-per-click today, make sure you are using ad extensions. Now that you are going to be bidding more aggressively to be in one of those top 4 positions, make sure you are effectively using ad extensions (one of the benefits of showing up at the top). Location, sitelinks, callouts, etc. These are all good ways to get additional attention to your ads.
If you are not using Pay-Per-Click as part of your marketing plan, YOU SHOULD BE! This change only reinforces what we have been telling our medical and dental clients for years now. Google is trying to push more businesses to their Pay-Per-Click platform by making it harder to succeed through traditional Search Engine Optimization (SEO). They would rather you paid them to get new business rather than pay an SEO company.
Have you tried Pay-Per-Click as a marketing strategy? Call us and we can help. PPC marketing is generally the highest ROI (return on investment) channel that we use for our clients. It does not cost much to get started, and clients can see results in the first few weeks of the campaign.
If you would like to learn more about our Pay-Per-Click service contact us at 888-412-8820 or visit http://practicetreatmentplan.com/.
Practice Success,

Benjamin Suggs

New Patient Marketing Strategist

Practice Treatment Plan, Inc.

Top 5 Most Popular Objections to Using Call Tracking in Medical / Dental Practices

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Welcome to Practice Treatment Plan’s Bi-weekly New Patient Marketing Tips!

Today’s Topic: Top 5 Most Popular Objections to Using Call Tracking in Medical / Dental Practices

Tracking your practice’s incoming, new patient phone calls is a vital piece of your marketing plan. This is accomplished very easily by placing a unique call tracking number on all of your marketing channels (website, direct mail, billboards, etc.) so that you can track how many new patient calls each of them is bringing to your practice. If you are not tracking where these calls are coming from it is like throwing your marketing dollars into the wind.

call trackingCall tracking serves a number of important purposes such as:

  • Identifies which marketing channels are giving you the best return on your investment.
  • Provides you with call recordings and detailed reports on how well your front office team is converting new patient calls into new patients in the dental chair.
  • Gives actionable feedback to your front desk so they can improve their conversion rates and bring more new patients into your practice.
  • Lets you know how many calls are being missed and the peak call times in your practice so you can make sure there is enough phone coverage at those times (reducing missed calls).

100% of the time call tracking has helped our clients get more new patients. 100% of the time!

That statement should be enough to convince any doctor that it would be worth implementing a call tracking system for at least a few months. But we still hear objections from doctors. Below are the Top 5 Most Popular Objections to Call Tracking:

My front office team won’t like having their calls recorded. Most customer service departments record their phone calls for quality assurance (and that is exactly the line of work your front office team is in…customer service!). The receptionist is on the “front lines” of your practice. He or she is vital to the success of your business. It is imperative that you know how successfully they are converting new patient calls into actual new patients. Our clients wisely use our daily or monthly call tracking reports as a very effective training tool to teach the front office team how to more effectively convert prospects into patients. The best way to get your team on board with call tracking is to make them excited about being such an integral part of the success of your practice. Give them incentives for converting a certain percentage of new patient calls into new patients in your practice every month!

It’s too expensive. Can your practice afford to miss 40 patient calls every month? That is the average number of calls practices like yours are missing! If you had a way to get those potential new patients back on the phone within minutes so that you could appoint them, how much could your production dollars increase annually? Or, if you could determine your peak calling times allowing you to make some minor scheduling changes to ensure that there was always enough phone coverage at those times, would that information benefit your bottom line? You bet it would! I already know what you are thinking, “We don’t miss that many calls every month.” Are you sure? I bet you would be shocked to learn the truth. Call tracking pays for itself many times over with the number of new patients it helps bring in.

We don’t need call tracking, we have caller ID. Great! If you have caller ID can I assume you are always calling potential new patients back promptly? Probably not. Usually only the callers that leave voicemails get callbacks. Less than 30% of potential new patients leave a voicemail. They will just go to the next doctor on the list, so by the time you do call them back, they may have already appointed with another dentist. Call tracking gives you a systematic approach, through immediate text & email alerts, to ensure missed calls are called back promptly. Most importantly, it provides data to develop a strategy to reduce missed calls overall.

Won’t having a tracking number on my website hurt my SEO? You can use a call tracking system that utilizes dynamic number insertion. What that means is that when a search engine (like Google or Bing) “crawls” your website they will see your real practice number. But when a human (potential new patient) arrives at your website, they will see the call tracking number.

The only people that we aren’t appointing have an insurance we are not in-network with or they have Medicare, which we don’t accept. I bet you would be surprised to find out that a big percentage of potential new patients are qualified and motivated to make an appointment at your practice but for some reason, they don’t. When this happens it is often because your front office team does not know how to “lead” the caller on the path to an appointment. Through call tracking your team will learn better ways of interacting on the phone with new prospects and converting them into loyal patients of your practice.

Call tracking ensures that your marketing dollars are put their their highest and best use. If you would like to learn more about our call tracking service contact us at 888-412-8820 or visit www.opportunitytrack.com.

Practice Success,

Benjamin Suggs
New Patient Marketing Strategist
Practice Treatment Plan, Inc.

5 Quotes to Inspire Explosive New Patient Growth in Your Practice

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Welcome to Practice Treatment Plan’s Bi-weekly New Patient Marketing Tips! Delivered to you every two weeks.

Today’s Topic: 5 Quotes to Inspire Explosive New Patient Growth in Your Practice

Are you looking to grow your practice in 2016? Today we shift gears a little bit and provide some motivation to help you do so. Here are five quotes that will motivate you to get more new patients in your practice and foster explosive growth to your annual production.

“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is — it is what consumers tell each other it is.” – Scott Cook

It is very important to remember that no matter how much external marketing you are doing, it is very important to have an internal referral system, process or program in place. Deliver outstanding service, and that is what your patients will be telling others about.

“Think big and don’t listen to people who tell you it can’t be done. Life’s too short to think small.” – Tim Ferriss

You should always be thinking big! Big goals = big rewards. If you want explosive growth, what are you prepared to do? What are you prepared to budget? Small steps often equal small results.

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Stop thinking of new patient marketing as an expense, or something you “have to” do. Get behind it and make it fun. Get your team involved to come up with great ideas. The enthusiasm you put into your new patient marketing will be sensed by the people you are marketing to.

“What gets measured gets improved.” – Peter Drucker

We come across so many practices that are not tracking how many new patients they are currently getting. You cannot improve on something you are not measuring. Ask every patient that calls “how did you hear about us” and track the results.

“A year from now, you’ll wish you had started today.” – Karen Lamb

Start today. Call the marketing company (888.412.8820). Start that marketing campaign. Those new patients will drive production in your practice this year, next year, and every year after. Why let more opportunity slip away?

Practice Success,
Benjamin Suggs

New Patient Marketing Strategist

Practice Treatment Plan, Inc.

 

Google Search

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Welcome to Practice Treatment Plan’s Bi-weekly New Patient Marketing Tips! Delivered to you every two weeks.
Today’s Topic: Google Search
dental marketing new patientsWhen people think of digital marketing there is one word that comes to mind over and over again…Google.  So much of the success of your online marketing campaign is centered on how Google treats your website.  As I have mentioned in past blog posts, Google’s purpose and mission is to provide reliable content based on the search terms plugged in by its users.  Providing useful content is the number one rule of showing up on the first page of the organic search results…the more relevant your content, the better your placement over time.
There was one major change that Google made just a few months ago that has drastically altered how your website shows up in those search results. It is called the “3-Pack”.
The search experience on Google used to look like this: First, a potential patient would enter a popular search term into Google like, “dentist near me”. At the top of the results page, the patient would see:
  • Two to three ads (indicated by the word “Ad” written in yellow). These are known as “Adwords” or Pay-per-click” (PPC) ads.
  • Next the user would see a map to the right, and seven local map listings to the left (known as the 7-Pack).
  • Then, below that the user would see the “organic” search results.
Now, if your website popped up in the 7-Pack that was fantastic! Even if you were number 4 or 5 on that list that was a pretty sweet spot to hold on your way to the top.  However, as Google likes to do, they shook things up and now only the top THREE spots are displayed in the search results… and thus, the 3-Pack was born.  If your website was listed as number 4, 5, 6 or 7 you no longer even show up in the results on the first page. Ouch.
Why would Google do this?  According to a Google Spokesperson quoted in an article on Searchengineland.com, “We are constantly exploring the best way to bring a better search experience to our users. This update provides people with more relevant information, including photos, reviews and prices, for searches that have multiple results for a given location.”
There is also some buzz that Google is trending away from an “organic” search result model and toward paid ads. This is something we have been telling our clients for years. We figured it out because we realized that Google is a big company that likes to make money (and really, don’t we all?). Of course they want more businesses using their Pay-Per-Click model, in which they receive direct compensation for sending people to your website.
So, what does it all mean? 
It is really very simple. If you are in a competitive area with more than three competitors, then you need to utilize Pay-Per-Click to get people to your healthcare website!
Practice Treatment Plan currently manages 40+ successful pay-per-click management campaigns for our clients. Pay-per-click has traditionally been one of our highest return on investment activities for our clients. Let us help you explore this channel if you are not doing so today. Just email me at ben@practicetreatmentplan.com to get started.
Practice Success,

 

Benjamin Suggs

New Patient Marketing Strategist

Practice Treatment Plan, Inc.

Creating WOW Moments for Your Patients

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Creating WOW Moments!

Welcome to the Practice Treatment Plan’s Weekly New Patient Marketing Tips! As a new patient marketing company, we are very focused on what happens outside of the practice to get new patients through your doors. But, we also understand that creating a great patient experience is critical to get those new patients to refer even more new patients. We call it the referral multiplier, and we believe that every patient has at least one person they can refer to you. For the remainder of this year we will be discussing “WOW Moments” and ways that you can attract and keep quality, new patients (and get those patients to refer MORE NEW PATIENTS)!

Imagine yourself…

You walk through the door into a dingy room that hasn’t been updated since the Reagan administration. You approach the fogged, sliding glass window and give it a light tap.  It opens to reveal the top of the head of a receptionist as she slides a clipboard toward you and tells you to fill out the attached forms, with barely a glance up from her own paperwork.  You retreat to the seating area and choose the chair that has the least amount of stuffing popping out of the worn upholstery. After you fill out your forms, you return the clipboard to the countertop in front of the closed window.  As you retake your seat the window quickly slides open and you see a hand snatch your paperwork like a velociraptor capturing prey before the window snaps shut again.  As you watch the minutes tick by past your appointment time (5…10…15) you entertain yourself with a 1991 Reader’s Digest (at least the joke section never gets old). Then, the door opens up and your last name is called.  Before you can even stand up, the person who has summoned you is half way down the hall leaving you to break into a light jog in order to catch up. Does this sound like a patient experience in your practice?  I sure hope not.
The experience described above may been acceptable a decade ago but times have changed.  I cannot stress this enough: the competition for new and better patients that you face is FIERCE and you had better be able to play by the new rules.  For better or worse, we live in a culture of instant gratification, a high level of expectation in customer service and the ability to quickly, easily and publicly shame those that we feel fall below our expectations (see last month’s blog posts about patient review sites).  We are marketing to a new, young generation of savvy consumers who understand the power they wield. It is no longer acceptable for you to “just” provide the excellent level of health care to your patients for which you have spent years in training.  Now you must provide an exceptional EXPERIENCE.

WOW Moment: Throw a Patient Appreciation Party!

PTP Patient Experience CoverWith Thanksgiving only a week away we are reminded to think about what we are grateful for. Showing gratitude and appreciation for what you already have is the only way to attract more of what you want in life.  Show your current patients that you are thankful for them by holding a free yearly event in their honor that includes great food, fun and fellowship. Most importantly, encourage them to invite their friends and family who are not yet patients of yours.  You can hold the event in your practice to showcase your modern design and cutting-edge equipment or you can hold the event off-site at a local restaurant like a pizza place.  If your practice treats children exclusively then renting a movie theater for an afternoon would be quite a fun experience for your current and potential new patients!
Give Out Prizes. Get your patients excited and engaged in your event by raffling off cool prizes.  Offer one raffle ticket for every non-patient that they bring with them to your event to increase their chance of winning.  Let the potential new patients enter the raffle once they give you their contact information for follow-up. You can cut your costs by asking other local businesses if they would like to contribute items to the raffle so they to can promote their business at your event as well.  We have seen this work out really well with local massage businesses.  Often they like to participate in your event not just by donating a gift card but also by setting up a massage chair to give out free 5-minute back massages.  This is a win-win for everybody!
Don’t Forget to Promote the Event Before & After. Don’t be shy about promoting your event (and give yourself about a month to do so). You want people to show up! At the event, take a lots of photos. Make sure to plaster those photos all over your website and social media after the event so that all new patients will se what a fun practice you have!
Appreciation events are a fun way to engage with your current and future patients and work toward building lasting relationships with them.  Check back with us in the coming weeks as we discuss other “WOW Moments” that you can create in the way you communicate with your patients!

Practice Success,

Benjamin Suggs

New Patient Marketing Strategist

Practice Treatment Plan, Inc.

How Many New Patient Opportunities Are You Missing Each Month?

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Today I have a few questions for you…
How many new patient phone calls does your practice get each month?
How many of these calls come into your practice during times when nobody is answering the phone?
For those calls that are answered, how many are successfully converted into new patient appointments? 
If you are spending money to drive potential new patients to your practice, the truth is that every time that phone rings, you have paid for that ring to occur. And each time the phone rings with a prospective patient on the other end, there are only 4 things that can happen:
  1. Call goes unanswered, new patient leaves a message requesting a return phone call.
  2. Call goes unanswered, new patient chooses NOT to leave a message requesting a call back. (Missed Opportunity)
  3. Your front desk team fields the call and appoints the new patient.
  4. Your front desk team fields the call but is UNABLE to appoint the patient. (Missed Opportunity)
For the past few years, we have tracked our clients marketing efforts using call tracking. Over that time, we have learned some things that may shock you.
  • On average, practices are missing 40 patient calls per month, with most of those occuring during business hours. Less than 30% of those missed calls leave voicemails.
  • In the initial month of call tracking, we find that offices are converting new patient callers into new patients less than 50% of the time!
Think about how those missed opportunities can add up. Let’s assume that your practice gets 40 new patient calls a month, and 20 end up appointing as new patients. Your practice is converting at 50%. If you could increase your conversion to 60%, that would equal an additional 4 new patients per month (48 per year!). 70%? that would be an additional 8 new patients per month (96 per year!). How much would those incremental patients be worth to your practice?
Would you would like to know how many opportunities you might be missing? 
Ask us about our call tracking service, Opportunity Track. We will track, record and summarize your new patient calls, and quantify for you how many potential opportunities are being missed. The report will help you (or your practice management consultant) identify ways to improve your call handling to ensure that you are capturing all of the opportinities you are already paying for! Call (888) 412-8820 or visit www.opportunitytrack.com.

Practice Success,

Benjamin Suggs

New Patient Marketing Strategist

Practice Treatment Plan, Inc.