Let’s face it – your healthcare practice is facing rising competition every single day. More and more nimble providers are disrupting industries with new business models. Your healthcare practice is no different.
How are you maintaining your edge? You can’t possibly tell me that you have more customers than you can handle. No one does.
Here are a few ways to generate more leads for your healthcare practice, convert leads to customers and most importantly, generate repeat business from them. These are lessons learnt from a similar effort from one of our occupational therapy practice clients.
An Ergonomist and Occupational Therapist working in the field of injury prevention for hi-tech, insurance and healthcare enterprises.
Much like any service based business, our client understood that the only way to grow revenues was to add more staff / increase headcount. The more headcount they added, the more the overheads – in other words, profit margins kept getting smaller. Increased headcount also led to higher revenue & cashflow requirements… all the problems that you know very well.
The immediate solution
The basic idea was to do the following (I am sure you would agree to these as well)
- Acquire – Generate more leads with a “foot in the door” offer, at a low cost of acquisition
- Convert – Provide tangible value to these new customers with this low priced offer. This is serviced with minimal effort from our client’s side.
- Nurture – Be in regular contact with these new customers, provide tangible value and aim for the larger business – being introduced to the companies these customers work for.
- Up-sell – Present these initial customers with a slightly higher priced service offering that isn’t a big ask from these new leads. For this, only two pictures were required from the customer. Again, this was also serviced with minimal effort from our client’s team.
How it was executed
We created a simple mobile app that allows our client to achieve all of the above (it doesn’t necessarily need to be a mobile app)
The mobile app presents 4 paths to help someone with aches/pains (patient)
1. Self assessment – the patient is asked a series of questions to help them with their aches and pains
2. Solutions for body discomfort – wherein the patient can click on various body parts to identify self care and ergonomic tips.
3. Help videos – helps the patient make immediate changes to their posture with self help videos
4. Ergonomic equipment recommendation – helps the patient choose from various products to ease their aches and pains.
You can download the iOS app or the Android app.
Acquire – Generate more leads with a “foot in the door” offer, at a low cost of acquisition
Facebook was a perfect venue for advertising the app. Considering the segment that the app was going to help, this would have been a very large audience.
The app was advertised on Facebook with a small ad spend of $5/day (of course, proper audience creation, segmentation etc was done to identify the right kind of audience and show the app to only these users).
In fact, the audience was limited to California as well since it provided more than enough ROI.
Mobile app downloads were achieved at a very low cost per acquisition.
Convert – Provide tangible value to these new customers with this low priced offer. This is serviced with minimal effort from our client’s side.
The “foot in the door” offer was for patients to immediately see value in an ergonomic consultation.
Approximately 80% of people that downloaded the app used both the self assessment.
Approximately 20% of these users also used the various solutions the app provides for body discomfort.
About 35% of these users that downloaded the app also signed up to hear more directly from the practice
About 20% of the users that answered various assessment questions, also signed up as a lead to hear more from the practice
To service this “foot in the door” offer, the practice owner and their team didn’t have to spend a single minute. These assessment questions and the solutions for various body discomfort were all canned responses.
In other words, the initial “foot in the door” offer was a raging success !
Nurture – Be in regular contact with these new customers.
All leads that were signing up to hear more from the practice are constantly nurtured via various methods..
Push notifications – there are several ways that the practice is staying in touch with their patients. Push notifications is one of them.
One of these examples – when a patient is seen using the app within the past hour (i.e. they are actually active), a push notification is sent to remind the patient to take a 2 min break and stretch every 30 mins of sitting at their desk. This has a dual purpose. First, for people that are really using the app, it keeps them engaged and helps them achieve their goals. On the other hand, if someone hasn’t opened the app in the last hour, it doesn’t bother them at all.
Does that mean that the practice is not going after these “inactive” patients? Nope !
Campaigns are set up and regular push notifications are sent to patients that have downloaded the app but are not using it actively. The practice also monitors the conversion rates of these mobile users.
For patients that have already provided their email address or phone number, they are nurtured via email/ SMS providing various occupational hazards and tips on how to avoid them.
Up-sell – Present these initial customers with a slightly higher priced service offering that isn’t a big ask from these new leads.
Once we saw that people were interacting with the app and using the various self help and self assessment areas of the app, it was now time to up-sell these customers to a personalized recommendation. We called this “Ask an expert”.
Of course, for their regular practice, this would require an in-person visit from the patient or if this was being done at a contracted enterprise, the team would have to make in person visits to their offices.
Instead, this up-sell, again, required minimal inputs from both the patient and the practice team.
The patient was asked for a single picture from the side of them sitting at their desk (capturing the computer, keyboard and their feet). This allowed the practitioner to “virtually” see the patient and immediately recommend posture changes, recommend any changes to various equipments in use in addition to recommending any alternate desk/chair options.
This was a very easy up-sell as the patient had just undergone self diagnosis, already obtained a lot of tangible value from the get-go.
This is just the start of the journey. There is so much more to do..
A few general tips from our experience working with various service providers…
Showcase & democratize your knowledge to folks that could be your future patients
Much like every other professional services firm, most patients reach out to you (providers) after they have researched you and are comfortable with your expertise. Most of this research happens without you even knowing it.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to share your knowledge.
Does this mean that your patients would just solve their problems without consulting you? That couldn’t be further away from the truth. If that were the case, you wouldn’t have a business due to WebMD or google.
Rather, patients would be connected ever closer to you and your business. When the time is right and when they feel comfortable with your expertise, you’d have a customer that already knows you and trusts you.
This increases your visibility and increases your branding..
We will continue in further posts… Stay tuned for answers to
How does a healthcare provider generate more leads, convert them to customers and thereafter, stand a chance of gaining a long term, repeat customer?
How does a practitioner provide preventive healthcare and what does that mean for business growth?
How do you remain in touch with your patients?
How does one satisfy this ever connected, always “googling WebMD” kind of customers of these days?
Any many more..