According to recent polls, Canadians are seeking the services of healthcare providers more than ever before. Inbound calls to the medical office or group health practice are still the most preferred communication method. So, while your staff does their best to handle the volume of patients calling into your office, it is inevitable that patients will have to be put on hold. That’s just the reality of doing business in a very busy practice.
Studies show 80% of callers are placed on hold, and 52% of those who wait in silence will hang-up within 30 seconds. Callers who wait with ‘music only’ terminate their call in less than 1 minute. With medical practices being so heavily phone reliant, you need to use your telephone as a marketing tool to engage your callers. This is where an on-hold message is a simple, yet highly targeted and effective advertising tool. Not only will it keep callers engaged and holding on the line, it can also provide valuable information. Are you using the telephone on-hold time wisely?
Here are a few ways to convert on-hold time to time that will benefit your practice:
- There’s nothing more important than new patient inquiries.
When prospective new patients call, they are also evaluating how your practice will treat them. Don’t set your staff up to fail! Prospective patients assume that the way they are treated on the phone is a good indication of how they will be treated in your office. Studies show 96% of marketing budgets are spent to get the phone to ring, yet only 4% is spent towards handling calls properly. Losing a new patient inquiry due to a poor on hold experience means your practice was just not primed and an opportunity was lost.
- Generate referrals from your best source, existing patients!
Whether you are marketing savvy or not, you know that your most valuable source for new patients is getting referrals from your existing ones. Use your on-hold message as a friendly way to remind existing patients that their highest compliment to you is the trust and confidence they place in your practice by referring family, friends, and co-workers.
- Reduce on hold waiting, use time efficiently.
There are definitely some questions that callers routinely ask your staff all the time. This causes longer wait times for other callers waiting on hold. On-hold messaging can answer those questions even before patients ask them, helping to reduce wait times. Everything from appointment scheduling, insurance procedures, medication refills and more can all be addressed in your on-hold message. This saves time for both your staff and your patients.
Entertain your callers
Without medical on-hold messaging, your patient call waiting time may be letting your healthcare brand down big time. On hold messaging fills your patient’s telephone wait time with interesting information. Let them know about your practice, health education, and treatment recommendations in a compelling way that establishes and builds your patients relationships.
Let hold time be a positive service experience – a cornerstone of superior healthcare. On-Hold Marketing would be happy to assist you with all your hold time advertising! www.onhold.on.ca/contact
“He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope has everything.” – Arabian Proverb