Today’s consumers start their search for healthcare on Google, looking for answers to questions like where they can go nearby, how soon they’ll be seen, and what the cost will be.
Urgent care patients don’t have the ability to pre-select the provider they’d like to see, so they must trust that your facility will uphold a high standard of care. Patients carefully consider ratings and reviews from previous visitors at online marketplaces like Google, Apple, and Solv, looking for social proof that their family’s health will be in good hands.
Omnichannel booking is crucial to optimizing the customer journey and increasing patient acquisition. Companies with robust omnichannel engagement strategies retain 89% of their customers on average, while those that do not invest in omnichannel engagement retain just 33% of customers.
What’s an omnichannel strategy?
An omnichannel strategy is a multichannel, holistic approach that increases the opportunities for consumers to find you via high-traffic sites across the web.
In today’s digital world, your brand’s website cannot be the only place where consumers find you. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, online bookings accounted for an average 90% of all patient visits, and today a steady 65% of all visits at Solv partner locations are scheduled online.
Failing to provide online scheduling can be costly, causing longer wait times that lead to stressed-out staff and frustrated patients. By providing online scheduling, you get better insight into the busiest times of the day and can make staffing decisions accordingly. After scheduling a visit, patients should receive confirmation of their visit date, time, and location by SMS and email to add touchpoints and increase patient satisfaction.
You can also communicate with patients right before the visit via scalable SMS and email, leaving time-consuming phone calls only for patients who prefer talking on the phone. Immediately after each visit, you can send requests for reviews to help collect valuable social proof.
How to build an omnichannel strategy
Optimize for mobile
About 70% of patients who book a visit on Solv are on their mobile device, so it’s crucial that your website is mobile-friendly.
The “Book Online'' button that leads patients to your scheduling flow should be in the top navigation of your site, so patients don’t need to scroll around. The more scrolling and clicking required, the lower your conversion rate and the fewer digital patients you can capture. Those patients could still walk into your facility, but they’re more likely to choose a different provider where they can schedule an online appointment with ease. Make sure that you test your website before launch so you don’t lose any patients trying to schedule online.
Leverage email communication
Work with your marketing team to send timely emails whenever hours are updated or new services are added. You can also communicate with patients on social channels like Facebook or Instagram, if your account has a strong enough following. Make sure to send communications at an appropriate cadence: too many and your patients will unsubscribe, but not enough and patients won’t realize you offer a new service they’re looking for.
Invest in marketing outreach tools, including:
- An appealing, easy-to-navigate website
- An email campaign software to keep patients in the loop and share any updates
- A strong social media presence to introduce prospective patients to your facility and staff
- In-clinic collateral like informative flyers and posters in the waiting room and exam rooms
Consider where patients are going to find and book care. Make sure that your listing on those high-traffic marketplaces is attractive: it should have professional photos of the exterior and interior, a list of services you provide, cash pay rates, and be mobile-optimized.
Streamline your support
When patients call the clinic, your front desk should always answer the phone. Neglecting incoming calls can cost you new patients who are calling to verify insurance coverage, ask about services available, or check the current wait time.
Many consumer marketplaces will list in-network insurance plans, cash pay prices, and available services —the three most common patient inquiries— to save your staff time on the phone. However, when patients do call, email, or drop by with questions, it’s vital to the patient journey that they feel respected, comfortable, and heard.
A poor experience prior to the patient stepping foot inside is just as important to avoid as a bad in-clinic experience. Negative customer service experiences can lead to negative online reviews and prevent people in a patient’s personal network from seeking future care at that clinic.
To attract new patients, focus on providing the same great patient experience online that you do in the clinic. The more visible you are on the web, the more new, loyal patients you’ll attract to your practice.
Ready to take the next step towards an omnichannel strategy? Reach out to [email protected].