Get patient-facing personnel on board with marketing campaigns, or watch your conversion rate suffer.
After months of hard work, your marketing campaign has gone live. You did the research to capture your unique audience’s attention, agonized over the copy and design, have a tracked phone number in place to measure progress and ROI—but when patients call, the person who answers the phone can’t answer their questions or comes off as clueless.
The last step in the prospect conversion process is often the first time a prospect speaks to a human being—it’s also one of the most important. If the employee your prospect is speaking to isn’t educated about the efforts of the marketing team, then the interaction may tank all your hard work.
Don’t risk the entire campaign. Follow this checklist to ensure the bottom of the marketing funnel stays clear:
1. Know who is answering the phone.
When setting up the tracked phone number, make sure you know who will be on the other end. Is it a call center employee, switchboard operator, dedicated receptionist at one physician’s office, or a nurse line? Your next steps will be guided by who will be interacting with your prospects. If it’s someone at your facility, go through the rest of this list with them in person.
2. Make sure they see what the patient sees.
Whoever fields inbound questions should have a frame of reference for what prospects are talking about, and the best way to provide this frame of reference is to show them the marketing campaign itself. Take the mailer to the call center supervisor, switchboard operator, receptionist, or nurse to give them a heads-up that calls may be coming through regarding this mailer. Leave a copy to reference when a patient calls. If someone calls about “the postcard with the man playing fetch with his dog,” the query will make more sense if the postcard is in the room with the operator.
3. Provide a script.
If phone calls are answered by a call center, then a more formalized script may be written up and passed along so personnel can get the language just right. If a receptionist or nurse is answering the phone, you may not want to be so formal. Simply touch base about what information callers might want to know, and how the person answering the phone should direct the call.
4. Communicate action items, discounts, and offers included in the direct mail.
It reflects poorly on the facility when someone calls to claim an incentive and is met with confusion or a time-consuming phone tree. If your marketing materials mention an incentive, everyone who interacts with patients should know. Also, if prospects are directed to call a number to complete an action—such as make an appointment, schedule a screening, or register for a class—make sure the personnel answering the phones are equipped to complete this action on the spot. If patients have to wait or do any more footwork, you’ll likely lose them.
5. Get buy-in on the goals.
Whether your campaign wants to enroll 100 people in a lung cancer screening program, generate leads for joint replacement seminars, or simply make new residents of the community aware of your hospital, tell the people answering the phones. Make sure they know their contribution to your overall goal and how they can help improve the health of their community. Stress that anyone calling about these services is responding to a concerted marketing effort to drive up patient volumes and revenue while reaching out to the people who need your services.
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