Refractive call volume has been on the rise these past few months; in fact some practices have reported they have had some of their best months. A large majority however are reporting their consult to booked surgery conversions have dropped even though their refractive call volume has increased.
So what’s changed? Why does it seem consumers today are harder to sell than just a few years back? We are doing the same thing we have always done and yet patients are not booking surgery like they used to. This actually may be the reason, think about this; from a marketing stand point, we are/were sending messages such as:
Our doctor was the first in our area to perform LASIK or has the most experience.
Our practice is the only/first one in the area to offer Intralase or the latest and greatest technology.
We offer free informative seminars.
Payment plans/Financing options.
Offering great discounts.
By now your competitors are also sending out these same messages. Being the first at something is great but that “WOW” factor expires. It’s no longer enough to differentiate yourself from your competition.
Ron Kaufman an expert in customer service puts it this way…Name the first bank to offer the “ATM” service? With some research you could probably answer that but honestly who cares because now all banks offer “ATM” service.
In our industry this applies to us, our competitors offer great experienced doctors (sorry doc, we know you’re great but you’re not alone), the latest and greatest technology, payment plans/financing, discounts etc. Don’t get me wrong, we still need to continue to market. We have learned when we stop marketing we stop giving the prospective patients a reason to call us.
A prospective patient having trouble differentiating your practice from your competitor will eventually call your practice and will make their decision within the first 30 seconds of that phone call. A survey completed by America Network reported 65% of patients did not book surgery with the first practice they contacted because of poor customer service.
This is our greatest opportunity to capitalize on and the best way we can stand out from our competitors. We all have great doctors and great technology providing great results for our patients. It is time we strive for great customer service, create an unforgettable experience, starting with the initial phone call experience to the moment that prospective patient walks into your practice. The practices that are already doing this have the competitive edge…have increased their consult to booked surgeries and more over gained patients for life.
Learn how to improve consults at the upcoming webinar:
Is Your Practice Converting Consults to Surgeries? 10/7/2009 4pm EST https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/714029275