Intake marketing is often the first set of communications that a new patient receives about your practice. Have you reviewed and tested your practice’s intake marketing process? Is your staff trained to adapt to different scenarios? Have you solicited feedback from new patients, typically after their first appointment, about their intake experience? It is critical that those initial touch-points between the patient and your office are important, memorable, and positive.
Receiving an appointment request either from the patient directly or from a physician referral.
Now you might be wondering why “Ask the patient how they prefer to be contacted” is called out in the intake process. Most practices automatically add the patient into their records system and update their contact methods: phone, email, and address into all marketing systems. Therefore, the patient might receive a call, a text, an email, and a mailed letter that all provide the same information. This can be helpful for some patients but can be frustrating for others.
Jenny is a busy working mom. She really only wants to receive emails about her appointments, but wouldn’t mind reading the monthly newsletter. However, if your intake process doesn’t ask for a preferred contact method, Jenny might receive a call, a voicemail, a text, and an email about her first appointment. She might feel overwhelmed or frustrated that she is getting multiple notifications. She also might think that the details are changes due to the multiple communications. Instead, send her an email with a link to Click to Confirm her first appointment.
Edith is an 80-year-old retiree. She has a cell phone. But, it is often turned off. She has an email address, but only checks it once a week. She wants to receive calls to the house phone and would enjoy being mailed promotions and monthly marketing. If you call her cell phone, send a text, and an email—she might not read the communication for several days. Edith will call the office to ask why she received the call, text, and email and might be confused or stressed by the experience.
You probably have had a patient fall into each of the scenarios above. Your staff has dealt with the annoyed professional who is getting too many communications or the senior citizen who panics because they think they have missed something due to marketing to underused channels. Solving for the preferred contact method will streamline your intake process and ensure that patients have an ideal experience when they first come to your PT practice.