5 Ways to Transform Consumer Inquiries into New Patients

leads, patient inquiry

So, you’ve updated the content on your blog, sent out your email newsletter and answered questions on RealSelf.com. Thanks to your hard work, an aesthetic consumer makes contact via phone or email — now what?

Sadly, too many doctors think marketing ends with that initial contact when, in fact, it’s time to kick it up a notch. Not with a hard sell — such consumers can be said to have high intent yet may not be quite ready to buy — but with efforts that can help transform them from good leads into new business.

Here are 5 ways to make sure that initial contact isn’t their last:

1. Be friendly — and helpful

Most people who call your office do so with a specific question — office hours, costs, treatment options, etc. — but that’s no reason not to provide relevant information on other services. Train your staff on all aspects of your practice and they can respond to inquiries with authority, confidence and the insight to ask follow-up questions, makes suggestions, etc., about options the caller may not have even considered.

2. Be quick about it

The Internet has speeded up everything, including consumer expectations so it’s crucial that someone on your staff is monitoring your phone and inbox at all times. During office hours, someone should be checking and responding to voicemail and email accounts regularly; after-hours, automated messages noting that someone will be in touch ASAP can fill the gap.

3. Qualify the contact

As noted above, not all leads are created equal. Some have made their decision and are ready to move forward; others are still considering their options. For the former, a subsequent phone call or email to provide support and/or additional information builds good will and a stronger connection; for the latter, the occasional follow-up email — with appropriate calls to action, of course — will help keep your practice top of mind. The idea is to nurture leads until they’re ready to buy.

4. Build your list

Whenever possible, collect as much information from your leads as you can without being intrusive. Name, email and phone number should be obvious but aggregating other details, such as address, what their inquiry was about and where they heard about you can provide invaluable data that you can use for location-based marketing, product-specific follow-up messages and determining where to spend your marketing dollars.

5. Adjust as needed

That last point bears repeating. It’s crucial that you know where people found you so you can determine where to focus your marketing efforts. It’s not always a direct path, especially for major purchases like cosmetic surgery, but determining which channels deliver the most viable leads is the key to maximizing the ROI of your marketing efforts. Chances are that those high-intent consumers are interacting with others like them, which gives you the opportunity to start the process all over again.

About Rob Lovitt

Rob Lovitt is a longtime writer and editor who believes every good business has a great story to tell. He has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including NBCnews.com, Expedia.com and the inflight magazines of Alaska, Horizon and Frontier airlines.

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