How Long is it Taking You to Respond? An overview of the CRITICAL IMPORTANCE of RESPONSE TIME
When it comes to running a business, there is one common goal – make money! To achieve this goal, it is of utmost importance that you have a plan set in place when it comes to responding to new patient leads. There is a lot that goes on during the exploration phase in regards to consumers when deciding where and how to spend their money. There are also plenty of options and with the expansion of the internet, exploring these options has never been simpler. What is one factor that matters most? Timely responses.
A patient who lands on your website and completes a virtual consultation has indicated to you that they are interested in the services that your practice offers. By doing so, you have received an inbound patient lead with the potential of starting treatment! This is just the beginning of the patient journey. When the patient takes the time to complete their contact information, the first decision in treatment has been made by choosing you. The patient will be looking to you to guide them through the process.
One of the most important things in converting a new patient lead to an active patient is response time. We live in a world where consumers expect instant answers and information. If too much time goes by without initial contact, that potential new patient might be on their way to explore a different option. Time is of the essence and many consumers are making decisions fast and in the moment.
There are certain best practices inside & outside of your SmileSnap account that assist with quickening your response time. We’ve outlined some important information & tips just for you!
Why Does Lead Time Matter?
Time is your most valuable resource and is quickly becoming one of the key factors of conversion. In a recent 2020 stat report, the average response time of a sales team to a lead is 4 days! By this time, ⅓ of potential consumers have moved onto another source for their needs. Businesses that respond to consumers within 5 minutes are 100 times more likely to qualify a lead. In addition, 78% of customers buy from the company that responds to their inquiry first. Your practice is extremely busy and you may be limited on the amount of staff in your office. It can also be challenging to see a full in-office patient schedule while managing your virtual consults if you don’t have a good workflow in place. SmileSnap features are in place to improve your response time and manage your consults easily.
How can you achieve more convenience to work quicker within the SmileSnap software?
One of the features that SmileSnap has for you is the ability to pre-write and customize your own treatment plans. Every office has their own way of communicating treatment plans. This is the “code” that a doctor gives to the TC so that he or she knows what the plan is, how long treatment will take, and the fees associated with that particular plan. Offices may use shortened terms such as Inv level 2 or treatment plan numbers. We know this is an individual decision of how offices set up their custom treatment plans which is why SmileSnap allows you to write your own plans.
By pre-writing treatment plans you will be able to save time when a patient falls under a particular plan. You can simply select the proper plan so that it is automatically populated in the patient’s profile within SmileSnap. You can also pre-write the “Note to Patient” especially if there is information that you know you want to tell every patient such as explaining how your financing works in your office and what the fee covers. Also, it’s a good idea to detail out the next step to the patient so it’s clear what happens when they receive the treatment plan from you.
The team can communicate easily within the Internal Notes section of the patient profile. It is difficult to find free time to review patients together while seeing patients in office. Take advantage of the internal notes sections and patient assignment within SmileSnap to quickly communicate the plan and next steps. Once the doctor or team member has completed their To Do Task, they can assign the patient to the next team member who will take over from there. With the proper setup in Edit Notifications, team members will know if a patient is assigned to them, and they have an action item to be completed.
Another feature of SmileSnap that will not only save time but also add a special personal touch in communicating with the patient is the Record to Play video Feature. The doctor or TC can take less than 30 seconds to describe the plan to the patient and next steps. It builds a connection with the patient because not only will they see what you look like without PPE, your body language will communicate a lot more than typewritten words.
How can you optimize workflow and establish clear cut responsibilities within the practice so everything runs smoothly and the patient’s inquiry is addressed quickly?
The virtual consults in your office may be managed by the doctor and TC or you may need more members to help manage your consults. Here are some suggestions on roles and responsibilities.
Assign a team member to screen the initial consults that come in. This team member can immediately reach out to any patients that are missing information or photos. Once all of the information is gathered and the patient is ready for a treatment plan, the patient can be assigned to the doctor or TC for the next steps. This role will take a very limited amount of time and is often assigned to the front desk so in between checking in and out patients they can make quick contact with the few patients that need a follow up for further information in order to complete a virtual consultation.
*see our eguide on photo submissions for more information on missing photos
The doctor can provide the treatment plan to the TC in the Internal Notes and may want to record a short video to the patient. This video can be saved without sending out the treatment plan to the patient. The doctor may record the video but then leave the plan to be sent out to the patient by the TC so that it includes all of the important information the patient needs to know in order to start treatment.
In our most successful SmileSnap offices, the TC communicates the treatment plan to the patient. We trust our TCs in office to start cases, it is the same with virtual consults. Virtual consults are not unlike in-office consultations. If you follow the same pattern that has proven successful in office, including your follow up protocols for patients that are pending, you will begin seeing your new patient leads convert to active patients!
SmileSnap has been designed with busy practices in mind. We make responding to patients easy! If you feel that you are not utilizing all of the features to make your virtual consults simple and quick, please reach out to our Customer Support and Success team to help you understand best practices in using SmileSnap to increase your success with virtual consults!