How can you know if you’re winning if you don’t keep score? I keep this question in mind when I begin an engagement with a new practice and I’m asked, “Does our marketing work?” While answering that question was difficult 10 years ago, it’s easy today if you’ve set up advanced inquiry tracking.
It is critical to understand each stage of your lead acquisition process so you can tackle weak links in the chain. One issue with manual tracking (think old-style tick sheets, or white boards) is that you rarely assemble accurate information.
Often, human error or other variables come into play. For instance, if you see too few LASIK consultations or lens evaluations on the schedule, your phone team members might insist they are not receiving enough calls, shifting the blame to marketing.
Removing these variables from lead tracking is critical to pinpointing accurate weak links. The goal is to remove subjectivity from advertising ROI measurement.
When reviewing calls coming into your practice, you should consider the following points regarding staff.
1. Did staff answer the call within two rings?
2. Were staff members both courteous and professional?
3. Was the staff member knowledgeable about office procedures?
4. Was the staff member effective in converting prospective patients into consultations?
In the digital age, people choose to find medical practices via two primary methods: telephone and online scheduling forms.
Phone tracking is easy to implement; several services are available. Virtually anyone who wishes to search for, or contact, a practice will look for the phone number online. Phone tracking services allow a practice to have a whole pool of phone numbers from which one number will be assigned to each landing page. Each number leads to the practice. This way, that session can be tracked, telling you what the visitor searched for to reach the site, what the person looked at on the site and what page the visitor was on when the person finally called.
These services also allow users to assign a set of static numbers for offline media tracking of billboards, newspaper ads, patient brochures and newsletters.
In our experience, we see 7 to 10 phone calls generated for every one form submitted, so implementing call tracking is critical to maximizing marketing ROI. A further benefit is that the calls are recorded. Recording helps managers confirm their staff’s phone etiquette.
Call tracking allows you to measure advertising strength vs. inquiry handling strength. Simply put, advertising without conversion tracking means you’re not keeping score — a strategy that never wins.
By Kay Coulson, MBA, founder of Elective Medical Marketing, a Denver, CO-based consultancy focused on helping physicians grow their elective service lines. Originally published in Ophthalmology Management.