Several years ago I embarked on a new position as the Director of Marketing for a behavioral health hospital. Little did I know at the time of my new employment that I had quite a deal of work to accomplish outside of just marketing strategy and implementation. The admissions process was an absolute disaster in terms of organization and lead nurturing. The staff onsite had some great people working the phones, but they had other responsibilities as well. This meant that calls and emails were missed, and with extremely high competition in the area, this also meant that the process in place (or lack thereof) created the perfect environment for burning leads.
They had three admissions people with different phone numbers (all cell phones). The hospital’s main phone number could be routed to any of the three cell phones, depending “who had the main line.” These calls were recorded for future reference and follow-up– or at least that was the idea. This set-up made for a lot of confusion, especially for me, because I had to create a schedule for who had the main phone number attached to their cell phone.
There were arguments and disagreements about the schedule. Some didn’t even realize they’d been given the main phone, due to losing the schedule or miscommunication. It wasn’t pretty. Now, go beyond this, each of these admissions people would give out their cell phone numbers to referral sources. When they received a call from a referral source, there would be no recording of the conversation, and they wouldn’t always log the conversation into Salesforce CRM. They also had someone dedicated to answering the online chat and web forms. He would log most of the conversations into Salesforce, but nobody except for him would do any follow-ups. It was too much for him to handle and once again, more leads were burned. And to my horror, there had been no attempt at improving the process.
My description of this situation is not to pick on anybody in particular. This kind of disorganization is a real condition that affects small and large medical practices these days. There are so many different ways now to claim a lead or information about a potential referral source that, without cohesion, it can become messy really quickly. Decades ago you had a phone and a receptionist, or someone would show up at the front door. There was an extremely limited road to becoming a patient or client.
Today is different. Today you have the phone conversations, text messages, email blast inquiries, your website with forms, chats, Google My Business, Bing Business, Online Business, Directories, Facebook, and online advertising sources from search, apps and social media. Keep in mind also that paid advertising often uses different tracking and must be kept separate from other channels. My guess is this isn’t going to become easier. As time goes by there are more and more ways for a patient to reach out to a medical professional to schedule an appointment or learn about services.
So how can we harness all of these great tools to collect and nurture as many leads as possible? Well, there is a solution.
Complete unified communication.
Turn many channels into one. Streamline all of these tools into one powerful tool where everything is captured and no lead is burned. A solution like QContact Omni-Channel could have drastically improved the admissions process for my team. With it, you can ensure your admissions staff immediately reaches the hot leads no matter what channel the patient comes through. Everything is imported automatically through the website or social media platform with instant callback. In addition to this, you can contact the patients in the method they prefer: call, text, email, chat or send a social message. What’s more, it uses artificial Intelligence with voice recognition and chat bots that provide service 24/7 without the expense of additional staff.
Utilizing full CRM Integration to Salesforce, Dynamics and many more – this two-way integration systematizes the outreach and admissions process, removing the need to ever enter anything twice. It pulls in customer information, pushes call logs and recordings, allowing access to a full customer history in just one interface.
Everyone involved in the healthcare admissions process understands the need for signatures. Qcontact allows patients to electronically sign documents from their desktop or mobile for a quicker transaction cycle. This not only cuts down on intake people’s time, but it also makes the patient experience better.
This was exactly what I wished my admissions team would have had. Through all of this we would have benefited not only in preventing lost leads, but faster admits, painless coordination across departments, and real-time reporting for maximum conversion. The QContact Omni-Channel is HIPAA Compliant, protecting all sensitive patient information, and supplies quality assurance score cards for monitored live calls and recordings to ensure your team remains compliant.
I’ve learned by now that Omni-Channel communication is not a luxury, but an absolute necessity to manage patient flow and referrals.
With the internet’s endless capability of offering alternatives, the only way to capture a lead is to have an instantaneous response across all channels. If your medical practice does not offer this kind of response, and you don’t have an employee dedicated to every single channel day and night, the odds of losing patients are incredibly high.
But you cannot blame a person with so many options before them, right? Imagine this. John Doe, who doesn’t like phone calls, sends a Facebook message to set up an appointment as a new patient– but the staff only checks Facebook message once or twice a week. John waits an hour and gets no reply. He then fills out a form on the website, but the receptionist who normally checks those has gone on vacation. Once again, no reply.
John gets frustrated and, while this particular practice is closer to his house, he opts to check out a place in the next city over. He sends in his request and within a minute he has a follow-up with actionable information. The idea of John Doe ever considering your practice again will be forever be in question now.
This kind of scenario never has to play out again with the use of Qcontact’s Omni-Channel system. Countless success stories illuminate its vital importance in the admissions process in modern times. The system allows no channel to go ignored and response times to become lightning quick with elegant organization and precision. I really wish I’d had a QContact demo of the system years and years ago.