Over my 9-year pro football career, I heard many speeches from coaches; but there was one speech I will never forget. That speech was given on my first day with the Dallas Cowboys, when newly hired head coach, Bill Parcells, told all of us rookies that he had coached thousands of players, and that he would be watching our every move–both in practice and in games. He told us our futures, and our team’s success, would depend on our stats, because “Stats Don’t Lie.”
Fast-forward 13 years and, although my career focus has changed from football to dental marketing, I have found the same principles of Coach Parcells’ quote hold true in this industry. Over the years, I have been able to work with thousands of dental offices across the country and it’s true: “Stats Don’t Lie.” if you are going to spend your hard-earned money on any marketing, make sure to have accountability in place at your front desk so that the calls are answered! Nobody likes leaving a voicemail – especially first-time callers. In fact, our analytics show that if a first-time caller’s call is not answered, he or she will only leave a voicemail 18% of the time!
For a greater understanding of how to maximize your marketing spending and schedule more new patients, let’s take a look at the numbers. Did you know that nearly 25% of calls to your practice typically occur when no one is there to answer the phone? It’s true! Many people call when they are not at work themselves. At DentalMarketing.net, we have listened to, scored and tracked over 1,000,000 inbound calls from across the country and from all different types of marketing sources. Our data has uncovered that a staggering portion of calls from first-time callers and potential patients are placed during lunch, after hours and over the weekend.
Here’s the timing breakdown of incoming prospective patient calls:
• 9.05% of calls occur after hours, between 5:01 p.m. – 7:59 a.m.
• 5.56% of calls occur over the weekend, Saturday & Sunday.
• 10.29% of calls occur during lunch hour, between 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
We estimate that, on average, the value of one new patient to your practice is around $1,000 over year one. You can see how important it is to answer the phone! There is no doubt that it is critical to have talented people answer incoming calls during regular office hours; however, the hours your office may not be open are just as vital. For that, we recommend the following:
1. Stagger the lunch breaks of the front desk staff so someone is always available to answer the phone.
2. Forward the calls to your cell phone, a staff member’s cell phone, or hire an answering service after hours and over the weekends.
3. Offer incentives ($20) to your staff for every new patient appointment they schedule outside of regular business hours, if they will forward calls to their personal cell phone. (Print out the patient schedule for the next two weeks before staff members leave the office so they can schedule.)
4. Always have an up-to-date voicemail recording. Make sure the messages are checked regularly throughout the day and calls are returned immediately. (Keep your voicemail recording short, engaging, easy to understand and with a friendly tone.)
Stats don’t lie! With 25% of calls coming outside of business hours, and only 18% of those callers willing to leave a voicemail, it is imperative and very profitable to have a plan in place for these calls. After all, it is really hard to schedule an appointment if the potential new patient can’t get anybody on the phone!
Aaron R. Boone is the COO for DentalMarketing.net, the leader in direct mail marketing for dentists. With many years and millions of postcards delivered, DentalMarketing.net’s unique postcard marketing services include proven designs, targeted demographics, staff training, fully trackable campaigns, and a risk-free guarantee. Contact Aaron at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 844-214-8788. Visit the website at DentalMarketing.net.