A clinic’s front desk staff should not be in charge of your marketing efforts. Their time is better spent elsewhere, and digital marketing requires expertise and technical proficiency.
However, even the best advertising efforts need the support of your front desk staff, and they should have a part in the success or failure of your digital marketing.
Here’s an example of a typical patient journey through digital marketing.
- Awareness: Casually scrolling on their Facebook feed, someone within your target demographic sees a paid advertisement for your clinic.
- Consideration: Later on, they need to schedule an appointment with a doctor. They search Google for your specialty and come across your practice near the top of the organic or paid search results.
- Decision: The decision-making process is easy at this point. They are already familiar with your brand because of ad placement, and they are impressed with your website.
- Purchase/Appointment Booking: They call the front desk, ready to make an appointment. However, because of a full schedule, this patient is left on hold. The person on the phone seems disorganized and uninformed. The prospective patient decides to explore other options.
While you could lose patients at any point in the process, it’s all too common for leads to drop during the final step. This is the stage in the funnel at which the patient is most ready to book an appointment. A conversion rate of 20% (2 patients booked for every 10 calls) is commonplace. However, booking just one more patient for every 10 callers increases your gross margin by 50%
Opportunities for the front desk
It is imperative your front desk staff is trained to follow up with leads appropriately. Whether they are finding your practice through digital marketing or other channels.
Some common pitfalls for your front desk include the following:
- Rude staff and long wait times – Pair your digital advertising with HIPAA-compliant call tracking. That way, you can monitor calls to have meaningful discussions with employees about what does and doesn’t work.
- Providing too much information – Well-meaning staff members may unintentionally dole out medical advice instead of getting the patient into the doctor’s office.
- Inconsistent branding– Creating consistency in your branding and informing all staff of these changes is imperative to ensuring patients feel confident in your message.
Making your practice succeed takes time, effort and patience. The best way to ensure your efforts are fruitful is to align all members of your organization. This includes provider and front desk staff.
All staff members should be familiar with your brand message, including the messaging used on your website and digital marketing efforts. Consistent messaging gives prospective patients confidence in your mission and abilities. Your staff’s tone, message, and information should reflect your branding. Your staff should be ready to tell someone at a moment’s notice what it is that sets you apart, like the doctor’s key qualifications. If your website mentions convenient appointment times, the latest technology, a relaxing environment, etc., the staff should be able to describe these as well.
With proficient digital marketing and a well-trained and informed front desk, there should be no problem getting people into the office.