If your hearing care practice needs more patient leads, you’re in luck. The number of people seeking evaluation, treatment, and devices is growing. The average age of all those prospective patients is also declining. All you have to do is find them—or at least make it easy for them to find you.
To capture more patient leads, you have to know how your existing patients found you, determine how to spend your marketing dollars, and maximize the value of the content on your website.
It may sound daunting, but it’s really just a matter of following a few simple steps. You can start today!
How to Get More Patient Leads
Step 1: Gather Data
To capture more patient leads, it is important to understand what attracted your past and current patients to your practice. If you have not been tracking whether new patients walked in, responded to a marketing campaign, or visited on the recommendation of another patient, now is a good time to start.
You can gather even more data about your existing patients by asking them to complete an anonymous online survey. Survey Monkey allows users to create surveys up to 10 questions long for free. Once you have built your survey, Survey Monkey will give you a link you can share with your patients and the ability to track results as they come in.
Survey questions to consider include how each patient became aware of your practice, why they decided to make you their hearing care provider, and how their initial research into audiology began. Be sure to enable comments. Don’t forget to save one question to ask whether each respondent would recommend your practice to a friend or family member.
Step 2: Calculate Your Marketing ROI
Use the data you collected in the first step to analyze the return on investment (ROI) generated by the various ways you market your practice.
If the money you spend on digital advertising returns at a higher rate than your phone book and newspaper ads, you may wish to move your print dollars into digital or try a different medium. If both are producing leads, you may wish to focus on generating more referrals from existing patients.
Another way to reallocate underperforming ad money is to start a separate marketing campaign for a related service. If you welcome tinnitus sufferers to your practice, for example, you may wish to advertise that service and see how those ads perform.
Step 3: Skew Younger
Your next new patient might be younger than you think. Statistics show that a new demographic of first-time users (FTUs) of hearing aids has emerged. The group is 1 to 2 million people strong with an average age of 59—about 10 years younger than the national average of hearing aid users—and as many as 500,000 of them are looking for information about hearing loss.
To capture more leads among this subset of prospective patients, you have to meet them online. Review the photos and text on your website to make sure they appeal to visitors of all ages. For inspiration, check out Hear.com, a website designed specifically to attract and serve younger patients.
Step 4: Offer Financing
Partnering with a health and wellness credit card provider such as CareCredit can improve your chances of capturing leads from website visitors. By marketing the fact that you offer financing for visits and device purchases, you will be addressing a common patient concern upfront.
A study commissioned by CareCredit found that 17.3 million of the 25.8 million US residents identified as not-yet-users (NYUs) of hearing aids were searching for information about hearing loss and treatment online. Remarkably, almost as many NYUs searched for cost and financing options (84%) as treatment or products (88%), and they did so throughout the decision-making process.
Step 5: Post Educational Content
Search engines such as Google and Bing use sophisticated algorithms to find relative information in response to their users’ search terms. They are increasingly able to distinguish actual resources from marketing copy. It may be worth your while to add text and pages to your website that describe how the evaluation, sales, service, and follow-up processes work.
Hearing care providers who partner with CareCredit get access to free patient education content they can add to their websites. This improves their odds of driving search engine traffic and provides a useful resource for patients.
Step 6: Talk About Your Feelings
Hearing care is about more than testing and devices. Protecting and improving one’s hearing is an emotionally uplifting story that deserves to be told. Use your “Contact” or “About Us” page to tell patients why you practice audiology and how it feels to alleviate a patient’s suffering.
Finally, if you haven’t already, ask your satisfied customers for positive reviews on sites such as Yelp or Google Reviews. You can also ask for testimonials that can be added to your website. There is no substitute for a sincere endorsement, and the more you ask, the easier it gets.
Capturing more patient leads is the surest path to success and growth for your practice, and the steps you take to make that happen will pay off for your patients as well as your bottom line.