COVID-19 has paved a health care path that nearly all orthodontists had their eye on - virtual consultations. We are witnessing a dynamic shift in the way we attract new patients and provide information. With this shift in the industry, it is imperative to remember the importance of ‘virtual care’, messaging and nourishing new leads.
It takes 6-8 touchpoints to convert a lead, so what does that mean for your virtual new patients? Capturing their attention through an online assessment is not enough. Sure you’ve got them in the virtual door, but now you need to get them in your physical waiting room. COVID-19 makes care for your orthodontic patients a tricky time frame of unknowns. This is why your virtual lead nourishing system must be enriching, interactive and consistent.
When transitioning into the ‘Doctor on Demand’ climate, here are 6 ways you can keep your leads warm and in your virtual waiting room.
1. Drive Leads to Your Virtual Door with Online Marketing
Many orthodontists are using telemedicine software such as Skype, Smile Snap or Invisalign’s Smile Consult. It is important to use the online market to drive these consumers to your virtual door. When integrating these methods into your practice, remember that simply adding the option to your site is not enough. You need to pivot your strategy through strategic messaging, social media, and even Facebook or Google Ads to drive leads to your new service.
2. Create Value
Once your potential new patient has scheduled their online assessment, it is important to create value at the appointment. We have found that including treatment options, pricing, and/or expected treatment time within your discussion builds anticipation and a foundation of trust - however the amount of information you choose to share depends on your brand and comfort level.
3. Build Anticipation Through Dynamic Communication
It is important to maintain the same interaction and energy from your initial conversation up until their in-office appointment. One way to do this is to create a series of short videos to send to your leads. Following up with a “What to Expect at Your First Visit” video is a great way of maintaining attention with the lead. Other videos you could create are “What to Expect at Your First Adjustment” or “What to Expect at Your First Invisalign Scan/Fitting.” If creating videos isn’t an option, you can share content that’s already on your website.
4. Maintain Engagement and Efficiencies
The ultimate goal when nurturing a lead is to maintain engagement and attraction to your practice. It is important to make your lead feel like a priority. You can electronically send the new patient paperwork, letting them know that by doing this ahead of time it will continue to keep things easy and efficient, and increase their attachment to the process. Also consider offering incentives such as “Virtual patients are the first to be seen when our doors reopen.” to reduce the perceived wait during the time between their online and in-office visit.
5. Build a Brand Relationship
Mirroring office core values and culture is a meaningful strategy when building a brand relationship. Try sending your leads before and after photos or testimonial videos, paired with some FAQs. This is a powerful engagement tool that will instill their confidence in your service, as well as heighten eagerness to get started. This is a great time to redirect them to your site to view other engaging pieces such as team videos, blogs or social media channels.
6. Book a Virtual Follow Up
If you are still conducting a healthy interaction with your patient at this time, but their in-office exam is still far out, we suggest booking a virtual follow up. This can be done via video with the doctor or a simple care call from the front desk staff. Use this time to ensure that all questions have been answered and let them know that their paperwork has been received. In an effort to continue a brand relationship, close the call with a SWAG offer. Ask them if they would like a T-Shirt, hat, etc. and let them know that you will have it waiting for them at their appointment.
Then it's time to welcome your new patient - congrats, they're in your door!
Want to take your orthodontic marketing to the next level and grow your orthodontic practice?
We can help! During this challenging time of adaptation in the industry, we’re here to help you develop a sustainable, successful marketing strategy to fill your exam chairs. Call us today and let’s get started.