Companies across industries have turned to the Internet to generate more leads for their business. Despite the rise in online marketing, research shows that many companies are too slow to effectively convert leads generated from their efforts. According to data collected by Inside Sales, over 57% of companies take a week or more to call back.
In our attention-driven economy, time is everything. You may already know you have only a few seconds to grab the attention of patient leads amidst a sea of online distractions and noise. Your reply time is just as important when converting those leads into appointments.
In this post, we review the data on lead response time and how you can use it to improve your process of converting more leads into appointments.
What the Data Says About Lead Response Time
A study published in Harvard Business Review showed that companies who followed up with leads within an hour of receiving contact were nearly seven times as likely to “qualify the lead” compared to those that waited even one hour more. The study defines “qualifying leads” as having a meaningful follow-up conversation that increases the chance of conversion.
Additionally, companies that responded to leads within the first hour were more than 60 times as likely as companies that waited 24 hours or more. Even better, the Inside Sales study found conversion rates were eight times greater within the first five minutes of an inbound call.
Persistence is also a key player in conversion. In the Inside Sales data, 81% of companies made fewer than five attempts to reach an inbound lead. Those that made seven outbound attempts or more saw a 15% bump in connections. Out of all of the data collected, 77% of leads were not responded to at all.
Why a Timely Response Matters
Marketing experts say responding quickly to leads creates a “wow” effect, named for the “wow, that was fast!” reaction it elicits. For hearing healthcare professionals, timely responses leave a great first impression, build trust with your practice and show potential new patients your commitment to care and customer service.
Quick responses also help you get back in front of a potential patient while your name is top-of-mind. If a lead had just called or submitted an online form, they are likely still near the phone or by their computer minutes later.
Best Practices for Boosting Your Response Time
Create a standard lead-response procedure for your office staff
Your front office staff likely wears many hats, and responding to every lead within that 5-minute or less timeframe discussed earlier is unrealistic. However, you can take stock of your staff’s bandwidth and build a system with standardized procedures that help them respond to leads as fast as possible.
Standardization ensures consistency in the quality of responses and saves time by eliminating guesswork and the need to craft individual replies. Your system might include creating scripts and templates for emails and phone conversations and documenting the step-by-step process for following up.
Leverage a call-tracking service
Call tracking is a tool that monitors phone conversations with leads, providing information about the call, where it came from, and whether or not an appointment was booked. Collecting call data alongside your other digital marketing metrics helps present a more in-depth look into how leads found you, which also sheds light on your marketing performance.
AudiologyDesign offers lead tracking that integrates with popular office management software (OMS) like Sycle, Blueprint and CounselEar. Our system qualifies the leads generated, so your staff can see the most bookable leads that called and better prioritize their response workflow.
The Bottom Line
Increasing your lead response time shows patients you care about their needs and value their time. Wait times when booking appointments can erode patient trust, and a fast response could be the reason a patient chooses you over a competitor.
If you’re looking for guidance on converting more leads into appointments, we have a team of experts ready to help. Book a free consultation here to learn more about our call tracking and lead generation services.