Building Trusted Customer Relationships
International Patient Lead Nurturing
Nurturing customer leads which generate patients that benefit your business’s top line revenue requires a multitude of methods, the most important of which is communication. However, communication itself needs to nurture trust, compassion, understanding, as well as inspire, encourage, and inform.
Generating Leads 101
Generating patient leads requires more effort than announcing a website, services or business opportunities. It means identifying the people who will benefit most through such services, why such services are needed, and why your company or business offers best solutions that will meet customer needs.
When seeking to generate customer leads for a medical practice, physicians and management staff need to recognize what’s most important from the patient’s perspective.
- How will the medical practice, facility or service best meet a patient’s need?
- Why does a patient need your specific service or facility?
- Does your service provide viable, effective and successful treatments? Better yet, can you provide adequate feedback or proof?
- Is your company credible and marketable? Is it certified or accredited by national or international accrediting organizations?
- Does your service or practice offer affordable solutions to patients?
PlacidWay, a medical tourism portal, provides valuable, informative, and up to date research and information regarding medical facilities, services, physicians and surgeons around the world. There’s a difference between simply providing information to consumers and making a personal connection with them. Knowing how to convert inquiries or requests for information into qualified leads encourages sales and business growth. Lead generation goes beyond promoting your services to clients, but answering the question of how clients can benefit most from utilizing your services.
Nurturing leads requires a strategy that informs, encourages yet does not pressure or attempt to hard-sell visitors or those requesting information to make immediate decisions. Providing value and useful information in small chunks is a favorable method of encouraging and generating interest. The bottom line is that nurturing the lead requires the foundation of a relationship in order to succeed.
Studies have shown that effective lead nurturing strategies include but are not limited to:
- Informative and relevant articles, access to white papers, case studies and success stories
- Webcasts or video links to educate or provide meaningful patient information regarding services or procedures
- Carefully crafted letters, emails or voice mails throughout the lead generation cycle process that follow a progression of interest by a potential client.
For example, a carefully strategized nurturing relationship may take anywhere between 1 to 3 months. Following a request for information, the natural response may be an e-mail or phone call reply stating appreciation for the contact.
- Be willing and able to answer any and all questions broached by a customer in regard to medical services, accommodations, travel arrangements, procedures and techniques utilized by your services.
- In your e-mail responses, include testimonials or links to case studies or information regarding the potential client’s specific issues.
- Avoid the urge to pressure a client or engage in excess of contact.
PlacidWay has developed a system to encourage a gradual relationship development in such cases.
The Six-Touch Point System
The six-touch point system was developed by PlacidWay as a method to enhance communication and convert potential customers to confirmed patients. The six-touch point system employs the following approach to customer relations:
1.) Introductory e-mails
2.) Customer follow-up call – (the “human” touch)
3.) Offer customers a detailed treatment plan – how, what, when, who
4.) Offer testimonials and case story successes – past experiences
5.) Customer follow-up call – (the human touch again)
6.) E-mail follow-up and confirmation
Utilizing such an approach, PlacidWay ensures that multiple forms of communication are used to create a well-rounded approach to satisfying customer issues, increasing customer acquisition and converting ‘possibles’ into confirmed clients.
Building any relationship takes time. To nurture patient leads, providers need to build a level of trust and transparency in the relationship. Patients must be provided with a wealth of information and data, in addition to the human element of compassion, patience, and understanding. Allow patients to best determine their needs in their own time, without pressure or time limits.
Take the time to gently encourage and nurture client leads without scaring the patient away with hard sell tactics or time limitations. Build a relationship with potential clients as you would with any other acquaintance. First generate trust, and you will have a solid and unshakable foundation to improve client leads into paying patients.