Most healthcare providers agree that follow-up visits with discharged patients are a good thing. It’s an opportunity to ensure the patient’s treatment and medications are helping, and it gives patients a chance to ask questions and offer feedback about their care. Follow-up is critical for patient care. But it also should be a fundamental part of your healthcare marketing strategy.
In a recent article published by iAdvance Senior Care, Amy Osmond Cook, founder of Osmond Marketing, explains how “proper follow-up allows the business to build a relationship with the potential customer, leading to stronger connections and higher patient enrollment.”
Here are some of the article’s highlights.
Follow-Ups Make A Difference
Your sales team can often secure hot leads by simply following up with the customer. Studies show that around 80 percent of sales require five follow-up calls to ultimately close a deal. However, almost half (48 percent) of today’s sales teams never follow up with a potential customer.
Prepare a Follow-Up Plan
Seven minutes is the golden rule for effective follow-ups. “The sooner a follow-up takes place, the higher the probability of turning that lead into a customer,” says Cook.
While there are numerous ways to initiate contact, marketing experts note that reaching out by phone is the most effective strategy, particularly for online prospects. Experts at Hubspot found that 75 percent of online shoppers expect between two to four phone calls before a company gives up. Twelve percent of shoppers hope a company tries as many times as needed to make contact.
“An effective follow-up should add value to the conversation and the patient’s journey,” says Cook. “Each time you follow up with a lead, think of what you can bring to the conversation.”
Allison Wert, marketing manager for SmartBug Media, adds that alignment between marketing and sales regarding lead stages and definitions, handling follow-ups, and documenting those interactions is essential to ensure teams are on the same page. When leads are passed to the appropriate team, synced departments can nurture lead progression through the sales funnel.
Implement a Follow-Up Process
Successful implementation depends, in part, on strong leadership and accountability. Cook recommends appointing an individual to manage and create the follow-up process. “It’s important that these individuals have strong communication skills and be familiar with your business’ protocols,” says Cook.
For facilities with a small staff, outsourcing follow-up duties to a marketing company that coordinates with your manager is ideal. This ensures the follow-up process occurs while allowing your facility to focus on delivering quality resident care.
“The marketing lead follow-up is one of the most important elements of your marketing funnel,” says Paige Cerulli of iAdvance Senior Care. This is especially true within the senior care community. Whether you facilitate a follow-up process yourself or outsource those tasks, you can tap into a promising and potentially profitable sales opportunity.
Published in I Advanced Senior Care.