Contact form on your website

Contact Forms: Optimize Your Approach to Patient Inquiries

Chances are your website has some version of a contact form on it. Regardless of where it’s placed on your website, contact forms make inquiring for more information streamlined and efficient for prospective patients.
But the truth is, it’s easy to forget about the details around these forms. In fact, business owners often spend so much time focused on the outreach side of their digital marketing efforts that the question of how to handle leads once they actually arrive at their door (aka their website) ends up being an afterthought.
Successful digital marketing strategies follow the patient acquisition process from start to finish. As a busy healthcare professional, running your practice means wearing multiple hats. You’re giving patients the care they need while also managing the billing, accounting, staffing, and marketing needs of your business. It’s easy to see how the details about how your form submissions are being handled each day can quickly get obscured.
The best way to optimize this element of your digital marketing plan is to standardize your approach to patient inquiries as much as possible. This is especially true if you rely on front end staff to respond to inquiries, as it’s important that everyone is delivering a consistent brand image from the very first interaction.
Take note of the following four tips successful practices use to achieve attractive conversion rates on their patient inquiries.
Reply Quickly
Perhaps the most important tip of all, your replies to form submissions (as well as emails and calls) from inquiring patients must be done quickly to capture their interest. In fact, studies suggest that if you respond to queries within an hour of receiving them, you’re seven times more likely to have a meaningful conversation with your lead, effectively increasing the odds of him or her making an appointment.
The logic here is simple: impressions fade as quickly as they come while perusing options online. Unless you’re without any local competition, it’s important to reply to your inquiries before your competition captures their loyalty first. Installing an office policy of making inquiry replies a top priority can mean noteworthy changes to the number of conversions you see each month.
Brand Your Replies
Branding your communications with patients, prospective and existing ones alike, means much more than including your logo in an email header. In fact, proper branding can even be done over the phone. While the visual elements of your brand are important, branding is really more about what you’re known for.
The question you must answer is this: What message are you trying to convey with all of those visual elements anyhow? That your practice is friendly and inviting? Warm and engaging conversation, even in written form, can convey that. Or maybe you want to communicate your professionalism and state-of-the-art approach to treatment. Clear communication with references to your practices would help cultivate that impression. No matter what your overall messaging is, it’s important that you reiterate it in various ways with every interaction you have with your patients — from the very start.
Note the Details
When prospective patients inquire about your services, especially via a contact form submission or email, there are usually several details shared about what they are seeking. Any details shared about their condition, symptoms, or concerns should definitely be addressed in the initial reply.
It’s good business, but even better caregiving, to acknowledge the needs of your inquirer. Regardless of whether you can offer services for them or not, simply empathizing with their situation is enough to help them feel heard.
Track Conversions
We see many practice owners skip this step, despite how valuable it can be. Tracking your conversions on inquiries can yield decisive information about your marketing efforts and internal office procedures. It doesn’t have to eat up much time either.
Simply knowing how many inquiries result in a new patient appointment and how many don’t is enough information to work with. If you have the ability to go deeper, collecting information on your office’s response time, details about each inquirer’s needs, and how they found your services can also prove useful.
Encourage Your Newsletter
If a patient inquiry yields an email address, such as from your contact form or an email dialogue, then even those that don’t choose to make an appointment (just yet) aren’t a lost cause. Email addresses are their own type of currency in digital marketing, as building a loyal clientele relies heavily on being able to communicate with your audience on a regular basis. It’s why we encourage our clients to use email newsletters to bolster their appeal to current and potential patients alike.
A word to the wise here: you’re legally allowed to invite people to subscribe to your newsletter, but cannot simply add their email address to your list. Making a standard practice in your office of sending out a simple invite to your newsletter could very well mean that a patient who inquired long ago is enticed to make an appointment after getting to know you and your practice through your newsletter. It also helps keep your services top of mind in case hearing healthcare is something they’re simply putting off.
The big picture is this: Your practice thrives off of every effort you make to be more visible, engage inquiring visitors, and deliver exceptional service to those who choose you. From start to finish, your patient acquisition efforts are always at work.
The most successful practices are using digital marketing to expand their reach farther than any other marketing route can offer. Standardizing your contact form submission reply process is an integral part of this strategy. If you’re spending your time, energy, and money on getting visitors to your website, having a standard approach to engage those who inquire is a wise move.
Still waiting to use digital marketing to realize your own practice’s potential? Contact us to find out just how easy — and rewarding — it can be.

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