Clinic owners and managers: how quickly do you get back to leads?
We don’t want to be the bearers of bad news… but it’s probably not quick enough. In fact, unless you’re responding to leads in 5 minutes or less, there’s work to do. Here, we explain why sitting on your leads may be hurting your medi aesthetic business more than you think.
Refocusing the leads conversation
A lot of the time in aesthetic marketing, and the wider world of business, the focus is on capturing leads. Maybe you’re a whizz at Facebook advertising, or you get lots of word-of-mouth recommendations, or your Instagram reels always result in follow-up inquiries. Maybe generating a steady stream of leads for your clinic isn’t the problem.
Unfortunately, getting leads is one thing. Turning them into customers is another. And if you leave your leads to gather dust you may be inadvertently creating a poor first impression of your business, losing trade to the competition, and impacting your revenue.
No one wants that, of course, so today we’ll cover:
- The lead response time to aim for
- The impact of a delayed response time
- The impression it makes on the prospective client
- The benefits of responding to leads faster
- How to use automation tools to respond to leads
What is your lead response rate?
Your lead response rate is the amount of time it takes for your business to get back to an enquiry that comes via an email, phone, social media, or form submission.
How do you currently respond to inbound inquiries?
When a lead fills in a form on your website or sends you an email saying they’d like to book a consultation with one of your practitioners, they’re sending a clear message.
They’re saying I’m curious, I’d like to know more, and I may be interested in booking an appointment. So, how do you manage these leads?
- Do you get back to them that morning?
- Do you follow them up at the end of the day?
- Do you add them to your email newsletter?
All of these things aren’t exactly wrong. But they fail on one crucial part.
They’re simply not fast enough.
How to respond to a lead
How quickly should you respond to a lead? Well, speed is of the essence.
In fact, your conversion rate on your leads drops dramatically the longer it takes to reply.
What do we mean by conversion rate exactly? Well, we mean the percentage of prospective customers, leads, or enquiries, that you turn into paying customers.
But the longer you take, the more you lose out. In other words, the quicker you get back to a prospect, the more chance you have of turning them into a customer.
Why responding to leads quickly matters
There’s a ton of data that supports the fact that the faster you get back to a lead, the better.
The optimum response time should be less than five minutes.
If you do, it’s 100 times more likely you will close a deal.
A one-minute response time can lead to 391% more conversions
What is the 5-minute rule?
The 5-minute rule came to prominence when it was mentioned in a Harvard Business Review.
It reported that sales reps are more likely to have a meaningful conversation with a prospect if they respond to them within the first five minutes up to an hour.
The mistake most businesses are making
So now we know what we should be doing in terms of leads.
But what are businesses actually doing? How long do businesses take to respond to inquiries?
What if we told you that it takes businesses an average of 47 hours to get back to leads? Let’s pause on that. 47 hours. That’s nearly two days. Two whole days where your prospect is left high and dry with no information. It’s not exactly a good first experience, is it?
And there’s plenty more examples of how a delayed response can hurt you.
Slow lead response time increases customer churn by 15%.
9 out of 10 leads won’t respond at all if you wait more than 30 days to follow up
Lead response rate in healthcare
What about the healthcare sector specifically? Well, it reportedly takes an average of 2 hours and 5 minutes to respond to a web lead – which doesn’t hit the benchmarks above
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes…
Imagine you’re a customer. You’re researching a clinic because you’re thinking about getting a treatment. Maybe you’ve taken a look at clinics in your local area and read some reviews.
Maybe you’ve been on a clinic’s website and checked out their practitioners. You might have even had a look at their social media channels. After all that, you’re pretty sure they’re a good match for you, so you decide to get in touch with them.
And then… crickets.
You call them first. No one picks up.
No worries, it’s after hours. You’ll get in touch another way.
There’s an email address on their website so you send them a message.
24 hours later, you’ve not had a response.
You PM on social media instead.
Still no answer.
So… you go back to the drawing board and get in touch with your second choice.
By the time the first clinic gets in touch the next day they’ve already lost you as a client. Because you’ve already got an appointment booked with the second clinic. In fact, 30% of prospects will go to a competitor if you don’t respond quickly enough.
Benefits of responding to leads quickly
There are benefits for you, your business, and the client when you respond speedily.
When a clinic responds quickly to a lead, it increases the chances of converting that lead into a patient. By being responsive and showing a genuine interest in the potential patient’s needs, a clinic can establish trust and build a relationship with the lead, increasing the likelihood that they will end up booking an appointment.
Maximise your marketing spend
If you’re spending money on adverts or other kinds of lead generation activity, you want to get some bang for your buck. But if you’re not responding to these leads quickly and you’re letting them sit around for hours or even days, that money is potentially being wasted.
It’s better to measure your marketing success on your actual conversions, rather than the number of leads you generate. Because that’s where the real value lies.
You beat the competition
The aesthetic injectables market is on the up and is predicted to grow by 12-14% over the next five years. While it’s great to be part of a growing market, it also means more competition.
The way you stay ahead and create a competitive advantage for yourself is by increasing your response time. Remember we said it takes nearly two days for businesses to respond? Having a system that responds to prospects promptly will put you ahead of the pack.
Boost the client experience
Getting in touch with a medi aesthetic clinic is probably a bit nerve-wracking for a prospect. This might be the first time they’ve made this step and they might not be sure what to expect.
This is your opportunity to make them feel reassured and comfortable, alleviate any concerns they may have, and start to build a relationship with them. A great customer experience starts before someone is a paying customer – it starts as soon as a lead pops into your system.
We just talked about the importance of a great customer experience. But another key point to mention is that people are prepared to pay for this. Prospects are prepared to pay for this.
In fact, 86% of buyers are willing to spend more on a great customer experience. Additionally, they’re likely to spend more too – around 140% more than if they had a negative experience. Creating a great customer experience will also help to power your bottom line.
How to improve your lead response rate
We’ve taken about the why, now let’s discuss how you improve your lead response rate.
If you’re running a successful clinic, chances are you’re busy most of the time. How do you manage to respond to leads quickly? The best way is to have a system in place that will cover you in those busy moments during the day as well as out-of-office hours.
1. Answer your frequently asked questions
Are you always asked the same questions about some of your treatments?
It sounds simple, but make sure you have a dedicated FAQ page on your website where you answer those questions. Clearly signpost it from other pages – you can even include it on the top navbar – to minimise the need for prospects to get in touch unnecessarily.
2. Streamline your lead sources
Maybe you get a lot of leads coming through your website forms or Instagram account.
However, you could spend all day checking social media channels, web forms, and any other lead sources you have in place. A better way to do it is to streamline the process so that any leads you gather go into your CRM and your team is notified automatically.
3. Have a chatbot on your website
Using a chatbot is a good way to engage with clients when you’re not there.
You can set it up on your website so if a lead wants to know your price list, you can point them in that direction. If they’re interested in a certain treatment, you can point them to your services page. You can also set up the bot to answer simple enquiries with pre-stocked answers.
4. Use automation tools
Zapier is a nifty tool you can use to automate manual processes like lead management.
It enables you to connect together different apps. So, say a prospect fills out a form on your website enquiring about a treatment. Zapier will trigger a notification to your team, letting them know that a lead has been created. They can then respond quickly.
5. Enable online bookings
Enabling customers to book their own appointments is a game-changer.
If a customer is researching clinics at night and decides they want to book with you, they don’t want to wait until 9am the next morning – they want to book now! Having an online booking widget on your website will mean you can capitalise on these opportunities.
Why you should use an online booking system in your clinic
An online booking system just makes your life easier. Instead of having to manually process each appointment, whether that’s over the phone or email, it’s hands-off.
It also delivers a much better experience for clients. Instead of leaving them hanging, they can book in an appointment at their own convenience, whether that’s at 9am or 9pm.
You can also tailor your online booking widget to your clinic. For example, if you require every new client to have a consultation first, you can do that. Want to enable regular clients to book repeat appointments? You can also do that. What did we say? It’s just easier.
- Get more clients when they’re ready to book
- Give clients control of their appointments
- Fully customisable to your needs
- Seamlessly integrates with your website
- Plus, you can also take deposits!
Your team having to go back and forth over email to get appointments booked in
Zero back and forth – appointments are booked without your team having to lift a finger
Decreased efficiency, where your team have to manage a backlog of enquiries about appointments every morning
Increased efficiency, where your team can log into the system to see new appointments booked in each morning
A client experience designed around your clinic’s schedule and working hours, where the client has to wait for a response
A client experience designed around their schedule and working hours, not yours. The client gets an instant response!
Missing revenue opportunities by only being able to respond to enquiries or book appointments during working hours
Capitalising on revenue opportunities by enabling clients to book appointments online 24/7, outside of working hours
To summarise, faster = better
We’ve covered a lot in this blog. But if you take one key takeaway make it this:
Responding to leads faster will help you convert more leads into customers.
Picking up leads at the end of the day won’t win. You need to respond to them asap and ideally in five minutes or less. After all, clients expect – yes, expect – a reply in 10 minutes.
However, we know that responding to leads quickly isn’t easy – particularly when you’re running a busy clinic. That’s why it’s crucial to move away from manual processes that are likely to be deprioritised in busy moments and lean on technology instead. Automating, streamlining, and enabling your clients to self-serve through online appointment bookings are key.
That’s what will put your medi aesthetic clinic ahead of the competition.