A guide to attracting your
most profitable patients
When a patient calls your practice to schedule an appointment, regardless of the procedure or treatment requested, it’s important to prioritize that patient, capitalize on the opportunity and convert that caller into a scheduled appointment. That said, some patients who call into a practice could be considered more “high-value” than others. These patients are likely looking for high-dollar, multiappointment procedures that establish a long-term commitment and revenue stream with your practice.
As a business, it’s necessary to attribute high-value patients to their originating source to better understand how these patients found your practice and how you can drive more of these substantial opportunities to your office. With many dental practices still operating with reduced schedules and staff, it’s all the more important to concentrate on driving an increased number of high-value patients.
In this article, I’ll cover four key questions that will help dentists better understand where high-value patients are finding your practice, what efforts drove them to walk through your doors and how you can attract more high-value patients to your office.
1. Where are high-value patients hearing about your practice?
The first step in increasing the number of high-value patients coming into your practice is to understand where current high-value patients are finding you. One of the most effective tools to attribute patients to their referring source is tracking lines. These unique phone numbers are placed on specific marketing or referral sources such as your website, Yelp, email blasts and mailers. In doing so, you can see how many calls came into your practice by source, as well as tie specific patient calls to their originating source.
For example, perhaps Yelp drove 40 patient calls to your office last month, but your email blast only resulted in 30 phone calls. On further review, however, you find that those 30 calls from the email blast were all to schedule a consultation for Invisalign treatment after you advertised a special in your email, while the 40 from Yelp were mostly general hygiene appointments. While the 40 patients scheduling hygiene appointments are still important patients to assist, your email blast did a better job at driving high-value patients.
2. Which sources are driving scheduled appointments with high-value patients?
While it’s important to understand the number of phone calls coming in from particular sources and tie that back to specific high-dollar procedures, it’s even more important to understand if those opportunities are resulting in scheduled appointments. What if those 30 phone calls from your email blast inquiring about Invisalign only resulted in three scheduled consultations, yet a mailer on the same subject brought in 15 calls and 12 booked consultations? It’s clear that although the email attracted more calls, the mailer was more successful in attracting booked appointments.
Because of this, most advanced call tracking software doesn’t just report on the number of phone calls sources are driving; it also breaks down how many new or existing patients called in from your marketing sources and how many of those opportunities converted into scheduled appointments. This granular insight allows you to make more educated decisions around your marketing efforts and attract more high-value patients with the right content.
3. Where should you invest to drive more high-value patients?
Once you have a clear understanding of which sources are truly driving the right high-value opportunities, you can begin to invest your marketing dollars more effectively. If your mailer’s message is landing well with your target market and attracting a plethora of new patient opportunities, perhaps you should invest more in your mail campaign efforts and less in a Facebook paid ad that hasn’t brought in any new high-value opportunities. It’s important to take a scrutinizing look at your marketing efforts to understand where to effectively invest your marketing budget.
4. Which staff members are doing best
at converting high-value patients?
Finally, it’s important to take a look at your staff’s performance to understand who excels at converting the opportunities your marketing is driving and who might need some additional training and assistance. If your email blast drives 30 new patient opportunities for Invisalign but only three converted into scheduled appointments, it could be the email message, or maybe your staff isn’t optimally trained to handle that type of conversation. Whether they’re unaware of the campaign itself, haven’t been trained in proper messaging or simply struggle with new patient conversations in general, it’s important to dive into your call recordings and staff reporting to uncover who might need further assistance on the phone.
Furthermore, if you have staff members who are excelling on the phone, it may make sense to put them on the most challenging new patient phone calls. If new patient calls for Invisalign consultations bring up difficult questions and objections to overcome, consider routing those calls to a more experienced staff member who is better equipped at converting such opportunities. Most call tracking software allows you to dictate where individual tracking lines are ringing and even include a whisper on the call such as “Invisalign consultation” as soon as the staff member answers to better prepare him or her for the conversation ahead.
While every patient phone call is an opportunity to capture additional revenue, there are certain high-value patient opportunities that are critical to target. By understanding where your own high-value patients are finding your practice and investing in the right sources, you’ll be better positioned to both drive more high-value opportunities and convert those opportunities into appointments.