Leaky Voicemails and Bad Phone Calls

Imagine this – you recently launched refractive services in your practice and, in an effort to drive patient volume, decided to invest in marketing. That’s great! But after a few months, you notice that the number of procedures or screenings hasn’t noticeable increased. So… what gives?

At first, you might look at the marketing. Is it targeted correctly? Are you tracking your efforts? Does your marketing speak to your audience? If you’re working with a reputable agency, you’ll likely find that what you’re doing should be working. You might be tempted to blame the market – maybe nobody in your area even wants LASIK – but the reality is the market is projected to grow by 5.5% by 2021 and a market study can reveal the demand in your region. It may be tempting to blame external factors, but oftentimes it is more helpful to look within your organization.

Which leads to the next question – have you considered what happens when a patient responds to your ads? Like you, many practice owners focus primarily on getting the phone to ring and overlook the importance of the patient experience. If your incoming calls sound like this sample, we may be closer to finding the answer to your problem.

When ophthalmologists miss phone calls, they lose thousands of dollars in revenue.

Phone call audio

(Click on the above link to listen to this real voicemail between a patient and an ophthalmology practice.) 

This is not an isolated incident – many practices still fall short when it comes to handling phone calls. And this matters a lot, because every time the phone rings you could gain — or lose — a patient. According to recent OptiCall data, “34% of phone calls made to a medical office are not answered by a live person”, and “of [those people] who are sent directly to voicemail only 37% actually leave a message.” In this example, the call was answered by a live voice, but the call was left incomplete and no consultation was scheduled. In the context of your marketing campaign, that means the efforts you’ve put into generating leads are significantly less impactful. Consider this:

Assume you generate 10 additional phone calls each week from your marketing efforts. If 34% of them are sent to voicemail, and 63% don’t leave a voicemail, you’ve lost 2 new patients per week. For an average practice, that means a loss of over $4,000 each week.

In short: yikes. Even for a high-functioning practice, this is a major setback when launching a new service platform. Fortunately, we have a few easy tips that can help set you on the path to success:

  1. Evaluate & Examine – Look at the patient experience, identify what works and what needs improvement
  2. Invest in Training – Your staff is here to help you, so be sure to provide the tools and knowledge necessary for success
  3. Track & Measure – The numbers don’t lie and, in this case, can help you identify pitfalls and adjust strategies as you move forward

There is no quick fix to improving call conversion, but with the help of your team, it is achievable.

Need help getting started or developing your training program? We’re here to help – Contact your Sightpath team today!