There is a secret statistic that’s costing you money! Today’s episode of The Personal Report is all about converting more prospective to patients to actual patients. To see the video now on YouTube, click here.
You track so many things, number of new patients per month, production collections, insurance versus fee for service, everything. You track all this stuff, but there’s one thing that you’re not tracking. It’s the secret statistic. What is it? If I tell you, it won’t be a secret. I’m going to tell you anyway. The secret statistic that is costing you money is the number of potential new patients who call each month but do not appoint. They call, they have a conversation, but they do not appoint. They just fade away. They get off the phone.
It’s not that no one’s trying to appoint them, but it doesn’t happen. Let me give you an example. I was listening to recorded conversations, HIPAA compliant. The patients were told that the calls would be used for training purposes, and I listened to some calls, many calls in fact, and there was a theme, a thread that ran through them.
I remember this one man who called. He talked for 10 minutes. He was a well-educated man. He had so many issues, so many problems and the person on the phone was polite and courteous. It turns out he lived five minutes from the office. He had a good job. I was thinking this is going to be a great patient, but after 10 minutes on the phone, he hung up.
I should explain hang-up, in the modern sense. The old fashioned hang up if you watch old movies is “I don’t want to talk to you anymore” and they would hang up the phone.
That’s not the modern hang-up. The modern hang-up goes like this. “Well, thank you very much.” They just get right off the phone. As soon as they say that they’re gone. What do you do with these folks? We can’t call them back. Due to HIPAA, we can’t call them and ask, “Did you call a dental office?”
What are we going to do? Let me give you some tips. First of all, early in the conversation, what many large companies do, what medium size companies do, and actually what small businesses, including dental practices are doing now–you use this phrase: “In case we get disconnected, may I please have your name and contact number?” It works like a charm. Ninety five percent of the people say yes and they’ll give it to you.
You’ve got their name and you’ve got their contact number. By the way, there are dropped calls from people on their cell phones . A lot of these don’t call back. If you’ve got their contact number, you can call them back. We’re going to give this one shot, one shot only. We’re going to call them a couple of days later. “Hi, Mrs. Higgenlooper. That so and so calling from Dr. Smile’s office. We were chatting on the phone the other day. I’m just calling to follow up, help you make an appointment, answer any questions.”
If you get voicemail, fine; just leave a message. You’re going to give it one shot. Does this work? Yes. In some cases. Wayne Gretzky, the famous hockey player said, “you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” So if we don’t have their name and number, we can’t call them. If we do have it and we call, we’re going to pick up some people.
So here’s what I want to set for you as a goal. Now that you know that this is the secret statistic and you should be writing it down, track it every month, write down how many calls you got in the previous month from potential new patients that did not result in an appointment. Was it two? Was it four? Was it six or seven? I don’t know how many you will get, but every practice gets them. Write it down. Make a note.
Here’s your goal. Reduce the number of calls without appointments by one each month, so every month we get x number of these calls. We’re going to reduce the number that don’t convert by one, so if you do that, you’ll pick up 12 additional new patients per year. Is that significant? You bet.
These are really good tips and now you know the secrets statistic. You’ll be tracking it and with some consistency and persistence on your part, you’ll be able to pick up that additional one patient per month.