One of the most frequent complaints we hear from practices is that they feel like they’re chasing leads. Where the lead comes from doesn’t matter, and yes, it stings more when a paid lead has gone dark on you. The underlying issue is that qualified leads initially showed interest but have since become unresponsive. It’s frustrating.
Does this sound familiar?
People want their privacy and will only discuss a subject when it’s convenient for them. Time and time again, we’ve interviewed “lost prospects” and heard the same response – it wasn’t convenient when the practice called me back.
Let’s examine incoming calls to your practice, and more specifically, when those calls arrive. Prospects that call are interested now, have time to talk, and have taken the next step in their buyer’s journey by calling your practice.
To gather the data, we utilized incoming call phone records spanning from January 1, 2023, to September 1, 2023. A total of 20 clinics were included in this report. Our objective was to attain deeper insights into the timing of calls received at the office, ultimately helping the clinics connect with more prospects
For simplicity, we omitted the calls that came into the office between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., leaving us with an hourly incoming call “five-thousand-foot view”.
As you can see from the chart above, the majority of the phone calls are coming in during the traditional office hours of 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. In total, we found 80.5% of all calls came in during those hours. Mornings received fewer calls than the afternoon, but it’s crystal clear that the vast majority of calls begin to arrive at 8 a.m. and go strong until 8 p.m.
For non-traditional office hours, defined as 8 a.m. through 8:59 a.m. and also 5:01 p.m. through 7:59 p.m., a total of 18.3% of the calls were received. In almost all instances, the calls went to voicemail (less than one-minute conversations).
That leaves you with only one option – return the call when the office is staffed again.
Unless you’re using a live answering service, it’s unlikely that anyone is answering calls before your office opens, which is fine, as answering services will only take a message for you.
If our survey showed single-digit percentages, this wouldn’t require much additional thought from you, but we’re talking about almost one-fifth of your callers are almost certainly going to an answering machine.
Studies and industry data have consistently shown that the chances of successfully closing a lead decrease when you have to call them back after they’ve left a voicemail message. Here’s a general idea of how this can impact lead conversion rates:
- Immediate Live Interaction: When a prospective client calls and speaks directly to a live representative or healthcare provider, the chances of successfully converting that lead into a patient are at their highest. This immediate interaction allows you to address their questions, build trust, and guide them through the next steps in the process.
- Prompt Response to Voicemail: If a lead leaves a voicemail message and you respond to it promptly (ideally within the same business day), you still have a good chance of converting the lead. However, the conversion rate may not be as high as with immediate live interaction.
- Delayed Response to Voicemail: If you delay in returning the voicemail message by a day or more, the chances of converting the lead decrease significantly. Prospective patients might lose interest, seek services elsewhere, or perceive a lack of attentiveness from your clinic.
While specific statistics may vary depending on the industry and the nature of the service, it’s widely understood that the sooner you can respond to leads who have reached out via voicemail, the better your chances of successfully converting them into clients or patients.
It is not our intention to suggest you rearrange your staff working hours, but more so to bring attention to why you feel you may be chasing leads. Even though they’re on the phone now, the majority of prospects are still reluctant to take the next step. And if you make them wait, they’ll move on to the next listing in Google.
Smart automation has proven time and time again to help bridge the gap between the patient and your office. Once you know your audience and have defined your practice’s “tone,” make sure any and all outbound communication mimics how your office would sound if you met the prospect in person or spoke to someone over the phone.
Additionally, it’s always a good idea to monitor your practice’s incoming call times and make sure you’re staffed accordingly. For some practices, we’ve found that lunch breaks for the staff start as early as 12 p.m. and seem to wrap up around 2 p.m. We can identify this because more calls went to answering machines or voicemail during this time, second only to calls received between 8 a.m. to 8:59 a.m. and again between 5 p.m. to 7:59 p.m.
If your clinic is looking to dominate in your market, or, if you need help with automating portions of the sales process, I encourage you to reach out by using the link below.