As the healthcare marketer’s purview continues expanding, it's critical to collaborate with operational stakeholders to ensure the patient journey is clear and consistent.
All too often, the role of operations in lead capture is an afterthought when launching marketing campaigns. However, the partnership between marketing and operations is key to making sure that the lead-intake process is frictionless.
In working with hospitals and health systems of all sizes to drive volume for key service lines, we’ve seen the best success when marketing takes this proactive approach to owning the patient journey — beginning with initial contact and continuing throughout the decision cycle.
Here are a few best practices we’ve developed based on our work to create a seamless conversion path for patients.
Consistency and Continuity
To build a successful campaign that drives patient acquisition, each step in the decision cycle should be consistent from both a brand and messaging standpoint. From first touch to conversion, this involves the use of uniform logos, language, and other elements that reflect thoughtful planning while advancing the conversation. Creating continuity in visuals and terminology can be as simple as making sure the submit button on an online form sets the proper expectations for an upcoming seminar.
For example, instead of “Submit,” you might consider using terminology such as “Reserve your spot now” to provide a sense of urgency and ownership to the web page. By the same token, a confirmation page that lets users know you look forward to seeing them at the seminar may make more sense than a generic confirmation that simply thanks them for responding.
Planning ahead with call centers and care coordinators on the operations side is another critical step that can ensure that personal interactions continue the established dialogue between prospects and your organization. If coordinators aren’t aware that a seminar took place the evening before, there may be some confusion when they receive calls or visits from prospective patients who reference the event or ask for further information on the seminar’s topic.
As part of our partnership, we’ve conducted “secret shopping” calls to dedicated phone numbers connected with a campaign — and have been surprised at some of the responses from call center operators. For example, when calling the dedicated number promoted in a recent service line campaign we were greeted with, “Hello, True North Orthopedic Campaign.” Yikes. (We've since written a script to ensure the client's leads are managed in a more thoughtful way.)
Providing the proper scripts and information from the campaign can help coordinators properly accept and advance patients from one stage of the decision cycle to the next without confusion.
Capacity and Conversions
In addition to ensuring consistency in terms of messaging, continuity must also exist between marketing and operations in terms of capturing and converting leads. Tools and technology can help you deliver the right content to the right channels, but if your organization isn’t maximizing the number of new patients gained from these tools, then your marketing efforts may be in vain.
If a new campaign is expected to generate more calls and inquiries than is normal for the organization, marketing and operations should work together to prepare for the influx. As you’re mapping out logistics of the campaign and connecting content and calls to action with each step in the journey, make sure you’re also putting tracking measures in place so that you can analyze the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Trackable links and phone numbers can help from an automated standpoint, but so can awareness among care coordinators, call centers, and anyone else who interacts with prospective service line candidates as they make their healthcare decisions.
By bridging the gap between marketing and operations, you can make sure that generating new leads doesn’t get in the way of bringing patients through the door.
Need Help Bridging the Gap?
True North Custom offers strategy planning, scripting, and other operational support mechanisms as part of our service line campaign methodology. Let's connect around ways we can align your lead-intake functions to drive clear results.