In part two of our three-part blog series, we continue talking about the lessons we took away from an experience with one of our clients—a local medical clinic in Utah—which turned an $8,500 budget into over $104,000 profit in one month alone.
In Part One of this series, we talked about how knowing your niche improves your marketing campaign and sets you apart from your competitors. Now, we’ll look at why a digital agency that follows-through even after your website is built matters so much.
After all, all the marketing in the world won’t matter if your staff isn’t setting appointments.
Old Habits Die Hard
When a local medical clinic approached us last year, they had no digital footprint whatsoever—their marketing campaigns to that point had only extended to newsprint and television. Our challenge was to build them a website and improve their cost per lead.
But we knew that a new website alone wasn’t going to cut it. After all, turning your website into a marketing machine is only half the battle. The other half occurs in your reception area—both in person and on the phone.
We knew that our involvement couldn’t begin and end on the internet. To actually transform a business, we needed to break some bad habits and streamline front-end efficiency too.
To be clear: their front desk is run by friendly, professional people, but some inefficient practices meant that a lot of leads stopped in reception and never made it through the front door. While the phone lines were busy, potential new patients slipped away.
To rectify this, we coached their front staff in some phone training, which had three clear goals:
- Always focus on setting an appointment.
- Quickly answer all relevant questions needed to secure an appointment.
- Redirect other questions back to the appointment.
Let’s face it, when you’ve spent $8,500 of your marketing budget to make the phone ring, you don’t want to lose those hard earned leads to a busy phone line.
The point we kept returning to throughout our phone training is that most questions can’t be answered over the phone. Receptionists are not qualified doctors with access to a patient’s medical records, so the best response to 99% of questions is, “That’s a great question for the doctor. Let’s get an appointment scheduled so s/he can answer it.”
How Phone Training Improved Our Marketing Campaign
A streamlined front-end wound up being vital to our marketing efforts—it meant that leads were quickly turned into appointments and nobody had to suffer through long hold-times. This was important, because our investments were churning out more leads than ever before, and the old system would have slowed to a crawl under the volume.
We complemented our phone training by:
- Creating optimized landing pages and a few simple booking forms to take the weight off of front-end staff. Within a month, these forms resulted in 203 new leads and a 61% new patient booking rate.
- Collaborating on even more goals with the front-end staff, with the express purpose of booking more appointments . These included the goal to follow up on all voicemails and form submissions within five minutes—a huge improvement when this process once took days.
- Arranging for someone to always be available to answer new queries and bookings, even though the clinic was closed on the weekends.
- Incentivizing this fast-response time. The doctor agreed to pay a small commission for every appointment booked.
All of these changes would have been great on their own, but together they proved to be a tour de force that processed hundreds of qualified leads as they came in.
It’s important to note that we started staff intake training before we launched our targeted ads, so that our client’s didn’t waste a dime of their investment. We didn’t want to fumble through the early stages of our marketing campaign, so we made sure that patient acquisition was streamlined before we started funneling in new leads.
While a new website certainly helps, our client wouldn’t be enjoying nearly the same results if their front-end staff didn’t step up to strike while the iron is hot.
The Bottom Line
Your website is never finished.
The best digital agencies are those that are considering more than just pretty web design—they’re constantly experimenting, tweaking, and improving the experience to make sure that your website stays relevant. They’re also invested in your success, and will have follow-through tactics that make sure your business is squeezing every last drop of value from your website and your marketing channels.
Part Three of this series will talk about the marketing campaigns we launched, which ad channels we chose, and why we made the decision to split our already modest budget four ways. Stay tuned to find out why the most important lesson we learned from this entire experience is that you should never rely on just one channel.