Patients Are Losing Patience With Bad On Hold Experiences
It’s the age old question just like “which came first the chicken or the egg?” The question? How long is too long to wait on hold for a medical professional? Well, the answer for many people, would be that any amount of time is too long.
So it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that a Velaro survey indicated about one third of people said they’re unwilling to wait on the line, and 27.6% said they would hold for 1 minute. Additional data shows 60% of customers will hang up after 60 seconds, and less than 30% will actually call back.
Why is this important? An “Impatient Patient” is Expensive!
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a dentist, doctor, optometrist or another type of healthcare provider – when you do the math, there is a decent amount of potential revenue that is lost from not booking new appointments. And when considering the cost of a lead (or the marketing cost required to get the patient to call your practice) runs at a minimum of $50-82 per patient, the practice is not only throwing away a significant amount of money, and to exacerbate the problem, when a caller hangs-up before giving you a chance to serve them (caller abandonment) you’ve also wasted valuable marketing dollars already spent to initiate the inbound call in the first place!
“Wait” It Gets Even Worse!
Practices who aren’t responsive to the caller on hold experience, and simply allow phone calls to hold in dead silence or for extended periods will continue to lose out. Mobile phone calls to businesses are predicted to surge to around 162 billion by 2019, more than double the amount businesses received just 3 years ago in 2014. Believe it or not, even though in the age where you can schedule an appointment online, the majority of mobile users call a business when they’re in the purchase phase of the buying cycle because their find it faster to get a quick answer or they simply want to talk to a human being. This may be hard to believe, but they desire to talk with a live person increases when it comes to making expensive, or high-risk decisions (ahem, like a medical procedure).
The Solution to Get A Hold of Your Phones!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the holy grail to keeping existing patients, as well as acquiring new ones is the “customer experience.” There is only one proven on-hold solution that is preferred by callers, engages and entertains them, and when done correctly can also increase revenues by as much as 20%. What is it? Custom on hold messages!
A custom on hold message keeps the caller engaged and connected. In fact, a Jefferson Dennealen Marketing study shows that: “when callers were presented with messages (promotional or otherwise) on hold versus silence, canned music or a radio, they stayed on hold up to 30% longer, were more likely to be interested in the product advertised, and were less annoyed at the wait time. A similar study by Maxi-Marketing also shows that 88% of callers preferred on-hold messages over other hold options.
Patients have become increasingly impatient and more demanding of exceptional customer service for decades, and now that online technology integrates seamlessly with mobile communications, prospective patients can quickly and easily “click to call” based on search results, and this means even more inbound calls, more calls on hold and longer on hold wait times. This is the exact reason you need to implement a custom on hold message at your practice.
But alas, many practices won’t change! With increased calls, and consumers seeking more personalized customer experience, you need to adapt by understanding these are new leads waiting on the line and you must improve the caller on hold experience in order to be successful in converting the caller to a customer.