Making Money While You Sleep:
Mara: Can you further explain the topic of how to make money while you sleep?
Sam: It’s when I’m not working, when my hands are not working when, when the clinic is closed, how do I generate revenue, and what are the things that you have to think about as it relates to that. it’s not just immediate sales but it’s short term marketing, long term marketing and kind of ramping back up. These unprecedented times give you the ability to change. It gives you the ability to figure out what’s working and what’s not, and really focus on revenue that you can generate. That is not just a simple trade for time for my own type of service so we’ll talk about that I hope a little bit today and get into to maybe some other things as well.
Trends Since COVID:
Mara: I think we’ve seen so many trends emerge since COVID, and I would love to speak on a couple of them. Let’s talk about, number one, the boom in online stores, and having an online store available within your website.
What is your team recommending, as far as, e-commerce and availability to practices you work with?
Sam: Our population, our clinics, our centers, for the most part, are selling products. Now, some of them already have existing stores, so the transition there was simply to focus on it in a different way, and be able to provide solutions. At the end of the day you have to cater to people’s needs, what they were not getting. There was an immediate uptick, right, a swing, as soon as things started heading south so to speak and people were starting to put restrictions in place and then shut downs and then this and that. I mean the emails and the response that we received and conversely that we reached out to our clients and told them, hey, we need to pivot, we need to be able to add this to your site, we need to be able to get this up and going. There are clients that we’ve gotten a store up and just, you know, under 48 hours, they’re up and running, and all of a sudden, the receipts are starting to come in because it’s a combined program. It’s email marketing, social media, a little bit of ad money behind that and all of a sudden they’re generating revenue $100, $500, multiple thousands, etc. and we have some success stories. That being said, you basically have two different options, and the option is to put that store on your website, host it, manage it, run it, and logistically take care of everything that needs to go into it by yourself. Which really makes a lot of sense if you have some sort of branded product, especially if you’re selling things that are prescription based again there’s a couple caveats that you have to follow to make sure that you’re still hitting all the requirement.
Allowing Scheduling Online:
Mara: Let’s talk for a second about allowing scheduling online, and allowing people to purchase procedures online. I’m not saying that those procedures are performed remotely, but if they’re able to purchase a Botox package online and instead of shipping out a physical product, they’re actually being able to purchase the treatment, so they can redeem it.
If there is another shutdown, for instance, are they going to be able to redeem it when the practice opens back up?
Sam: There are a lot of different routes, you can you can go down. First off, obviously you can sell gift cards, things like that are very simple and if you have a store, you definitely should be including something like that. I think that the procedure online pre purchase and allocation is going to be the wave of the future. Now, it’s definitely dependent on your practice and what you have going on.
Mara: So I want to touch on lead response rates for a second, but there are certain ways that this can be automated right so we can automate lead response and where I circle back to lead response is that when a practice gets a lead, whether that is through text, whether that is by phone, or they are doing an online chat, we’re finding again and again that practices are understaffed and sometimes no one is at the front desk or by a phone to answer a lead. So let’s talk about the way that technology can be used to answer leads so that it doesn’t have to be a person.
Sam: First off if you are a practice and you are paying for phones and emails to come in please answer them. We did some testing during COVID and we sent out potential leads to clients as well as non-clients in the industry. It is astonishing the amount of people that still to this day, do not properly respond. If you’re talking about normal rates, sometimes in the 30, 40, 50% range of people that just don’t even respond. You have to pick up the phone, you have to manage the emails, you have to get to the chats whatever that is, you have to make sure you’re able to do that. Now from a technology perspective, a lot of different solutions. One of the first ones, obviously from a technological perspective is just make sure that you’re easy to reach. Things like, click to call on your website, so you click on the phone number and it connects and it has the ability from a mobile phone, either you know an android or an apple or whatever, to be able to have that functionality people don’t have to try and pinch and zoom or it’s an image and they’re having to remember the number. If you can even step up your game, and have the ability to text the main practice phone number, that’s really great, people definitely want to text on the go or maybe they’re in a place where they can’t really jump on the phone. From a technology perspective, you’re going see really high conversion rates. Especially depending on demographic persona, if you’re skewing younger that’s going to be much higher for you. There’s no reason why not to have chat on your site. It works for a good amount of people and there are different options out there. There are options that are very sophisticated, there are options that are automated AI based, and there are solutions that are offshore that are kind of in between. So you really have to find the solution that’s best for you and are you trying to educate and thin the herd and get the really highest quality leads through the door, or are you just trying to increase your email database and make sure that every single person that comes through fills out that form and you get that contact information. It really depends on the life stage of your practice and where you’re at. What do you have for educating them and reaching back out to them? What do your autoresponders look like? There’s a lot of studies out there right now that are showing that the pre done autoresponders that are very lengthy with just a lot of information are almost too much. People are turning away from that. My sweet spot and what I would recommend is obviously having the simple contact information, your name, your phone number, and your email. I really do like some sort of tickle section or some way for you to be able to communicate the procedure that you’re interested in, especially if you have a level of sophistication in your practice where you might have different types of consultants. You might have one on the non-surgical side, you might have one on the surgical side. Regardless, I want to be able to track where those leads are interested in because potentially they’re filling out a form from the contact page or from the homepage of the website depending on how it’s built and structured and that really gives me an idea to understand the lead volume that’s coming in through an online contact form. Outside of that, it’s really practice dependent. Those would be the ones that I would lean towards.
24 Hour Chat and AI Responses:
Mara: All of this so you know, as we talk about how to make money while you sleep and that you can be a practice owner can be at home at, sound asleep in bed at two o’clock in the morning and you have somebody like Sam, that likes to be up and doing research on things at 2am and that person, then wants to find out more information on the procedure than having a chat that’s available 24 hours, you’re able to sleep and somebody is doing that work for you or AI is doing the work for you. Then we like to look for a solution that would allow them to go ahead and even schedule, or put in a schedule request.
Have you seen solutions that work better, as far as being able to go ahead, does it depend on if there’s an open API or not when it comes to different software?
Sam: From a technological perspective, and how we connect the website in if you want to have a completely open scheduling situation, we have it for certain clients, and there are variables, of course. You have to think about in terms of who are the providers, who can people schedule with, but most important if someone isn’t getting the time that works for them. Sometimes they need to call or sometimes it’s a situation where it falls outside of the norm outside of that bell curve. I think that’s for the most part about 95% of our clients overall maybe a little bit less than that. They really just use the booking the consultation, as a lead generation marketing tool so go ahead and book your consultation now essentially pick the date as soon as possible or some date in the future, and only give them a window of maybe two weeks in the future or something like that and select your time. Then are you interested in mornings, afternoons, after work, and then that comes in. Someone is able to feel that they already have an idea of what your schedule looks like. What’s going to fit best into the system? Giving up that level of control to essentially allow others to control your schedule and your bookings, it can be tough. I think the less complex the practice, the fewer providers, the easier it is. You can block off certain chunks of time for new patients and consultations. You can block out other times for people to schedule things in. If you run that two weeks or four weeks or six weeks in advance depending on what your practice looks like, it can be very effective but when you’re juggling multiple doctors and time off and calendars and holidays then it can get to be a situation again where you might have an upset patient that falls through the cracks. They book a time and they think that they’re coming in and no one reached out to them and told them they weren’t available and next thing you know they’re there and Dr. Smith is in the Cayman Islands and you definitely want to try and avoid that. I like to use it as a marketing tool. I like to get people’s interest in what it is they’re trying to book, and that way you can make the communication very narrowly focused.