8 jobs your website’s not doing

The text below is an edited transcript of the embedded video.

Introduction

Ziad Nehme: We have very interesting content prepared by our guest speakers. So before jumping into introducing our speakers, I would like to mention that for any follow-up after this webinar or any full articles in PDC in general, the two organizers of this series are myself.

Yeah. Naomi, the practice manager for EMEA and Michal Legowicz, the Practice Development Manager for Europe. We are happy and delighted to receive your questions.

So in the next slide, you will see that we have some instructions to share with you actually regarding this master class.

So, this master class will be recorded. You will be put on mute until the end of the masterclass.

And if you would like to ask questions, you can type those questions in the chatbox on the right side of this screen.

And now I would like to introduce our guest speakers and I will start with the Rod Solar. Hello and thank you for being with us today.

Rod Solar: Thanks very much. It’s great to be here.

Ziad: Rod, you are the co-founder of LiveseySolar, and as a chief marketing officer for laser eye surgery, you work on doubling the size of one 50 cataract and refractive surgery business.

You have a degree in psychology and human performance, you implement NLP. You’re also certified in marketing automation and many other marketing disciplines, and you have created highly engaging training for the past 25 years.

You are a columnist, author, certified coach, and much more, and we’re really, really excited to listen to you today. So thank you again for joining us.

Rod: That’s great. Let’s get started.

Ziad: Okay. And Marisley Almeida, by this time, probably all our ZEISS customers know you, but for the ones who are just joining us today, I would like to remind them that you are the Head of the Practice Development Consulting at ZEISS Meditec.

And you have a team all over the world working on supporting ZIESS customers in practice development. So you bring an international insight because you worked and lived in many places – in Brazil and Australia and Singapore, and Europe – and you have assisted refractive surgeons in building and growing their practices all over the world.

So Marisley, before we give you the floor. I would like to ask you one question, please. In brief, can I ask you about the practice development consulting program at ZEISS that is displayed in the next slide, please?

Marisley: Sure. Thank you, Ziad for the introduction. So, reminding everyone why we are here today and why we are having this master class, we have the ZEISS practice development consulting service, which is a consulting service to help our refractive surgeons to grow their business.

And our program has three pillars.

One is how to attract more patients to your practice. And this is basically about improving the external marketing of the practice and mostly on digital marketing strategies.

The second part of the program is about increasing patient conversion. So we provide staff training, helping the practice to improve the performance of the staff.

And the third part of the program is about creating patient referrals. And in this point, we work with the practice to improve the overall patient experience. So patients will leave positive reviews about this practice online, who also share their experience with friends and family and grow the referral network for the practice.

So this first series of master classes is focused on digital marketing. So we have invited different industry experts to share with us up to date and current marketing strategies to grow the business.

And today we have the pleasure to have Rod Solar with us. He has years of experience in this market of refractive surgery, and I’m very excited with the content that he’s going to share with us today because it’s definitely current and trendy and maybe even futuristic.

So Rod, thanks so much for accepting the invitation to be here with us today and share these amazing strategies about websites and much more.

Rod: Great, great, great. I’m excited.

Ziad: I’m excited too. And without any further delay, I would like to invite you not to start the master classes and we are all yours.

8 Jobs your website’s not doing

Rod: Okay! Super. Well, thanks, everybody. And thank you for those introductions. And I’m really, really excited to actually be able to present to you all from all over the world.

I’m actually based at the moment in Australia. So it’s quite late for me. I’m going to try my very best to keep the energy up and just to give you guys a good sense of what, um, what we have planned.

I think the number one thing that I want you to get from my presentation today is that if you create or buy a website in 2022, then it’s already out of the date. And I know that’s a big statement, but I’m gonna explain to you how far we’ve come and what you can do when you consider your website as a service.

And I’m going to tell you all about it, but first of all, I’m just going to give you a little bit of introduction about me not going to take too long.

Obviously my name is Rod Solar. I’m a co-founder and fractional CMO of LiveseySolar, DigitalMarketer Certified Partner and Certified in Marketing Automation. I’ve also been marketing a refractive surgery since 2000, which is a really, really long time and growing clients by two to five times in about 26 countries now.

So, we’ve got a lot of people all over the world and that’s one of the reasons I’m over here in Australia right now for the next three weeks.

And together we’re on a mission to transform the lives of 10,000 people with refractive surgery by 2024. And we’ve changed our mission recently to really get aligned with our customers’ mission.

We believe that our customers’ mission is all about generating more transformed lives through refractive surgery. So where we can help is to create that interest for them, to want to do that with you.

So, we’ve had a long-standing relationship with Zeiss for a really, really long time. We wrote a book called Grow your Practice.

It was sponsored by Zeiss. It’s all about presbyopic patients and how they can be a huge part of your practice in the future.

And we’ve been working with Zeiss all over the world. You can see some of the countries and interactions we’ve had over the years.

Now in today’s agenda, the first thing I’m going to talk a little bit about, is my light bulb moment. Okay? So I had an epiphany recently that really changed the way that I think about what I do in my business and also what my customers want from me.

So I want to share a little bit about that with you. And I also want to obviously talk about what are the jobs that I’ve been saying that your website’s not doing.

So I’m going to really run through those really quickly. And then I’ll introduce them one by one. But first of all,

  1. It’s to qualify inquiries within five minutes, within five minutes of the moment that they actually call, we want to qualify them. So your website can help you do that.
  2. We want to get into your enquiries’ mobile phones.
  3. We want to combine all those communication streams that people use from Facebook, Google My Business, text messages, and from WhatsApp.
  4. We want to easily book appointments online. That’s the way it goes now.
  5. We want to reduce your no-show rates.
  6. We want to relieve your staff of repetitive tasks and your website can do all of those things.
  7. We can obviously try to get you online reviews. And again, your website can have an instrumental part to play in helping you get more online reviews, which is how people are deciding whether or not they go with you.
  8. And importantly, we want it to help you evaluate your business performance and predict your revenue. And that’s a really important thing for any business owner, every practice owner to be able to do.

So we’re going to start off with a poll. First of all, before we get into the material, we want to make this as interactive as possible.

We want to make sure that we are talking about things that matter to you. So Marisley, do you want to introduce us to the poll?

Marisley: Yes. So the first question in the poll is “what is the one thing you want from today?” So I have the poll now on this screen, and I’m going to leave this poll open for a couple of seconds. And I encourage you to tell us what is the one thing you want from today’s masterclass?

  1. Do you want to have more visits to your website?
  2. Do you want more people to complete the self-assessment on your website?
  3. Do you want more appointments?
  4. Or do you want more patients?
  5. Or do you want more positive online reviews?

So I’m going to wait a couple of seconds to see and to get more votes. I’m very curious about this answer, Rod.

If I think if we have an option, I want all of that, then we will have a hundred per cent answer for that.

Rod: Yes, but the rub is to only select one. This is the challenge. And this question only wanted one thing. What would it be?

Marisley: That’s the top choice, huh? What do we want from the website? Very good. So one more second. And I’m going to close and share the results with everybody. So the result is that 44% of our audience today says they want more patients. It’s kind of obvious, right?

Rod: I have two words for you.

Of course!

Of course, everybody, every surgeon I’ve ever spoken to once the same thing, right? And, and this is the big epiphany that I’ve had is that we as marketers, tend to think that our customers want a particular thing.

Do you know? Sometimes we think they want traffic for the website. Sometimes we think they want a lot of leads and they want a lot of appointments.

But in reality, what every surgeon and business owner tends to want is more patients at the end of the day.
Right?

Marisley: Yes, exactly.

Rod: So, I, like most marketers get really excited about… well, look; if you look at this, this is our customer value journey. This is how we organize everything that we do in marketing. And what I get really excited about, typically, are these the bottom stages, like aware, engage, subscribe, getting people to come to the website, getting traffic, you know, getting people to become leads.

Right? And that’s what most marketers really like. And I’m sure that if you have a marketing agency or a marketing consultant, they’re telling you every week or every month, Hey, we got this much traffic and these many leads.

And they’re really excited about that. And that’s good because that’s their business, right? That’s what they do best. But what I realized is that my customers are much more interested in this area, which is appointments and patients.

So after the person comes in and actually makes a call and then comes in and visits to your clinic and then decides I want surgery. That’s when surgeons, all of a sudden start really paying attention. And I’ve had surgeons in the past, tell me, I don’t care about all this leads and traffic stuff. Just tell me how many patients I’m getting. And, yeah, it makes sense. It makes sense. And like most marketing agencies, they look at something else.

Now most recently customers have always also been thinking, you know what? You know, my reputation is obviously very important. And now with online reviews and referrals, this is also becoming very important to me too.

So I think we have a little bit of a cross purpose in that most marketing agencies focus on getting traffic and inquiries and that’s the norm for our industry.

And usually what happens is that they say,

“you know what, doctor, I’m sending you all these leads. And if you can’t convert them, well, then that’s your problem, right? I’m doing my job.”

But at the end of the day, what that creates is unhappy customers, and unhappy surgeons. And they move from agency to agency and they don’t get what they want.

So this led me to change the paradigm of focusing on delivering converted leads. In other words, patients, right? That’s what we’re aiming to deliver.

And that’s why we changed our mission to be all about delivering 10,000 transformed lives as patients are proactive surgery. So, this was my big light bulb moment, which, to be honest, should have been really obvious from day one.

I, like so many marketers, and so many of you confuse what I do with what my customers actually want. Right? We’ve confused what we do with what our customers actually want.

And I think every surgeon has probably been told by a marketer at some point that that’s a problem, right? So we want to be sure that we’re thinking about what our customers want.

And you surgeons listening to this webinar, you want patients. So, I’m getting a little worried, right? Like, you know, this is the whole career that I’ve been working on and I’m thinking to myself, “well, my customers don’t really care about traffic. Okay? My customers don’t care about leads and they also don’t want to sell.”

Right? Every customer I’ve spoken to, never really wants to sell anybody that I send to them.

And you worry obviously about wasting time with no shows. And a lot of complaints come like “these leads are no good. They don’t show up”, things like that. You want a predictable flow of patients, right? That’s what you really, really want.

So I’ve been thinking to myself, “Well, I’m a marketer. My whole job is to generate traffic. I’m also a trainer. And part of my job is training people how to sell. So, regardless of how good I am at both of these things, my customers have only one thing in common. They all want predictable a flow of patients. So have I been wasting my time all these last 20 years? I really hope not!”

So, the reality is though, that what people in this business want is they don’t need another website. They don’t need a new website. What they actually need is a virtual patient coordinator. Somebody who is actually going to do the hard work of generating things, taking these leads that are created by marketing, converting them into patients.

And if you can have that, then you have much, much more value than better websites, better SEO or more effective paid traffic because at the end of the day that’s what you all want. So, I’d like to introduce you to somebody named Hattie. And how do I like to personify the solution with the kind of ideal website of the future?

Okay. And we’re going to talk a little bit about future states at the moment. But you know, I think actually we’ll be quite surprised that by the end of the webinar, actually, the future is a lot closer than you think.

But, let’s start with another poll.

So this one is all about what happens when a visitor makes a new inquiry from your website. So Marisley, take it away.

Marisley: Yes. So “what happens when a visitor makes an inquiry from your websites?”

  1. First thing, you receive a notification to follow up with the inquiry,
  2. The inquiry information goes into a spreadsheet you can access
  3. An inquiry nurture automation kicks off
  4. A human being connects and qualifies the new inquiry
  5. Or, I don’t know

But what is the first thing that happens rent or visitor makes… Ah, no. It actually says select all that apply, so you can choose more than one choice, more than one answer.

So what happens when the visitor makes an inquiry from your website? And while we are collecting the answers, Rod, for this poll, I really liked the patient journey that you shared with us.

And it’s so true. Like sometimes we are talking to customers and they actually don’t have a tracking system from leads to patients and then from patients to referrals.

But if you ask them how many eye surgeries did you perform last year? They would know that from the heart, but they wouldn’t know how many leads did you have or how many patient referrals did you get?

This shows that really what matters for them is the patient volume.

Rod: Absolutely.

Marisley: So, cool. We have a very good response rate here. So, let’s have a look at the results. Okay. Let’s have a look… So, the majority of said – 69% – a human being connects and qualifies the new inquiry of case or someone who they staff will do that qualification lead qualification.

And then the second most popular answer was “you receive enough notification to follow up with the inquiry” and the second, and the third is a match 31%.

  • Each inquiry information goes into a spreadsheet and
  • nurture automation kicks off.

Okay. So, let’s see if Rod has a solution for this question.

Rod: Yeah, absolutely. I’m really glad. First of all, I’m really glad to see that they are still using human beings.

That’s still very important. You know, we’re in a technical world now, but human beings still matter.

The thing is, what’s really difficult these days is to get human beings to work for you and get human beings to stay on your team.

And we’re actually going to touch on that in a little bit, but let’s start with what happens when a visitor makes an inquiry from your website.

Marisley: Can I just share something that happened? Because I think it matches very much this question here that we have. We have run some campaigns. And as you said before, marketing agencies will generate the leads and they will pass leads to the customers. But then one, um, very frequent feedback that we get from our customers is that by the time my staff called the patient back, or by the time someone in my clinic connected to qualify that inquiry, the patient already forgot, or the patient was not hot leads anymore because that the moment can take 24 hours or it can take two days. From that moment of the lead’s attraction to the qualifying by staff or yeah, some wanting, they stopped to do that, to leave qualification.

Rod: Yeah. That’s very true. I mean, you notice in that question, we could have asked “does a human being responds to the inquiry within five minutes?”. We could have asked, “does a human being response to the inquiry within 24 hours?” We didn’t ask that, but we’re going to get into some of that information pretty soon, and that makes all the difference.

It’s when do you respond? Because, as you know, just like anybody who is a customer looking for something you pretty much get frustrated when somebody doesn’t respond to your inquiry and what do you do? The first thing you do is, move on to the next, because time is money and everybody wants to move on with their lives.

Nobody has patience these days. You know, one of my team members said that millennials today have the attention span of a teaspoon.

And I thought that you know what, that’s really smart. That’s good. And fair enough, fair enough. We’ve got to win their attention, right?

So here’s the thing, clinic staff aren’t really good at handling new inquiries. It’s a challenge for them. It’s just that they’ve got so much to do. Look, you didn’t hire them to bring on new people, to handle new inquiries or pick up the phone. You brought them on to do other things. And usually, they’re doing many, many other things like watching the front desk or doing filing, or keeping up the admin on patient records. And you’re expecting them to handle new inquiries and answer the phone. But they’re not really, really good at that.

And in my experience, they’re also not good at sales conversation. So actually having a proper sales conversation with somebody on the phone can be a little bit intimidating for a lot of these folks, especially since they were never hired to be salespeople and they don’t really want to sell. They don’t want to be pushy and all these things are challenging to them.

And they’re also not really good at following up with inquiries. And I’ve noticed many times, for example, an inquiry will come, you might try to reach them. You don’t get in touch because, you know, they’re not there anymore. And then that’s it, no one follows up two days, three days later or anytime. And that’s a big challenge.

And so I wondered why this is, and in reality, it’s because so many doctors are so used to getting warm referrals that they don’t hire salespeople, right?

Their systems are built for people who just walk into the practice and end up there because they’ve been referred by other patients or optometrists or other doctors.

So they don’t hire salespeople. They don’t create operational systems for sales. And then when you get cold leads, you know, not warm referrals, but cold leads, you can convert them into appointments.

And that’s the number one reason people stop marketing. They say you know what? I’m not seeing the value here. Right? I’m getting these people to call, but I’m not seeing the value for my money. And even though everybody in the clinic was doing everything they could to the best of their ability, right?

So this is a real challenge. And one of the things that we’ve found too is these numbers will really, really, really frighten a few people out there.

So, um, trigger warning.

But the point being is that if you wait longer than five minutes to respond to an inquiry, you pretty much lost the battle right there. Because this was a study done by MIT, which showed how many more leads, were converted, and qualified based on the time that you got back to them.

And it’s a huge distinction. Okay. It’s a huge difference. And really what you can see here is that after five minutes pass, the odds of connecting and qualifying an inquiry dropped by 80% and responding to leads within the first-minute increases conversions by 391%.

So, you know, you can hire me for sales training, and I would spend eight hours teaching you how to sell, but you know what? I could probably spend five minutes just telling you to pick up a phone within the first minute or the first five minutes. And that would completely change your conversion rate, you know? And get in touch with people, getting really, really connect with people, right from the onset and get them, get them on the bus.

And so, I mean the other shocking stats, and this is by the way, by the way, SMB might not be totally clear to everybody. That’s a small to medium-sized business. 62% of calls are unanswered by small to medium-sized businesses.

What a terrible waste, what a terrible waste of marketing money, what a terrible waste of opportunity for the business.

And certainly, yeah, I think marketers are probably pulling their hair out, thinking my goodness, I can send you leads all day long, but what are you gonna do with them?

Right? So this is a problem.

Marisley: I have a question there. You’re talking about calls and responding to calls. Can a website do that? Can the website answer this?

Rod: Oh, yeah, that’s right. You just reminded me. We’re talking about websites!

Marisley: Okay. So, can the website replace them by answering queries?

Rod: So that’s the thing. That’s what I’m going to get to. If you could get your website to respond to calls that you missed, or potentially to chats within five minutes and you didn’t even need to have a person do it. How interesting would that be? Right. So that’s what we’re going to actually talk about pretty soon. So really before we get there, I just want to put the context of how healthcare relates to everything else.

So, in healthcare, we see about a two hour and five-minute turnaround on most inquiries.

Okay. And that’s much better than a day, but it’s obviously still too long. And that compares to telecom, which is 16 minutes. Small-sized companies, which is one of 300 people in size, which is 48 minutes. Medium-sized companies (300 to 2,500 people) is about an hour and 38 minutes and the largest sized companies are about an hour and 20 minutes.

So here’s the question. What makes health care unique? Why is it different? And again, it’s all the reasons I mentioned before is they’re used to getting referrals, right?

And referrals are happy to wait, right? If you call them two days later, they’re still going to be around because… “Hey, this doctor said you were the best. So I’m going to wait for you.”

But they’re used to getting referrals from insurance, from doctors, from word of mouth. And many businesses know that they need to consider sales and marketing before they even start the practice before they start the business. But doctors, on the other hand, are what I call accidental entrepreneurs, accidental business owners. They start, they get into practice, right? And they start building a business. And then they realise, “Oh my goodness, I have to manage this business like a real business!”

And that’s really challenging because they never learned how to do that. And so they weren’t really prepared and that’s what I’m hoping to fix.

And so let’s start out with this hypothetical job interview. Okay. So obviously as a doctor, you have a job that needs to be done, right.

And this is exactly your question, right? So you have a job, so you need to have a job that needs to be done.

And let’s say, you know, you need somebody to do it. So, fortunately, okay. Just, I want you to just kind of play along with me – you have a new applicant for a job. Okay? And remember Hattie? We introduced her a second ago.

So here’s your first question, right?

NOTE: The best way to answer that nagging question about practice growth or marketing or patient volume in the back of your mind is to book a free 15-minute compatibility call. Get some options and go away with a clear idea of what’s possible.

“Hey, Hattie. Can you respond and qualify my new inquiries in five minutes or less?”

And can you do that because, you know, I have staff, but they’re busy and they can’t do that every day.

Well, Hattie would say, “absolutely”.

I’m a lead a speed-to-lead specialist. When I receive a web chat on your website, I can start a two-way SMS.

So, do you know how when you type in a web chat and then sometimes the operator says, “we’ll be back in six hours”, you know that that’s not going to work out.

Right? So what could be done is that this technology could then send a response, not to the web chat, but rather to the customer’s SMS.

And if it did that, then you’re able to get into a position where the customer can say, “okay, I’m done with the website. Now I’m going on the bus or they go walk the dog”, but they’re actually interacting with you on the SMS. And now you’re on their phone and that’s much, much, much more valuable, right?

Marisley: Oh, so they’re not on the chat of the website anymore. The communication shifts to SMS?

Rod: Exactly. So the website moves to SMS that’s golden because, as you can imagine, web chats is great when people are there, but in reality, again, attention span is low and people want to move on. And if you can stay inside their mobile phone, that’s where you want to be. Then they can send an SMS message back to every missed call.

So if the call is missed, the system could potentially then identify that it calls a miss and then sends an SMS.

“Hey, we missed your call, really? Sorry about that. Here’s the link to the member and now we’re available” or it could send potentially a live call, so it could bridge a live call and then once the inquiry picks up the phone to the live call, then it rings your office. And the person in the office says, “Hey, I’m here.”

Right? So it connects the people together. And that just gets an opportunity to really create this automatic follow up that so many clinics are really lacking because they just don’t have the staff and personnel and time to do this.

So that’s one thing that we could be looking forward to for a website to be able to do this in the future, which would be amazing.

Marisley: That’s amazing, yeah. So, now the virtual assistant is on the mobile of the patient.

Rod: Exactly, exactly. So, so as opposed to just simply staying on the website and hoping that they remain you’re on the patient’s mobile and that’s a great place to be.

We all know that every time we would receive a text, we’re going to look at it, right?

Marisley: Exactly, right.

Rod: This is very different from email and certainly far, far different from what chat, but we’ve got another poll about texting. So let’s get into this one.

Marisley: So let’s get into this poll: As a customer, would you rather call or text a message a quick question to a company?

So the first answer,

  1. call a company
  2. and second, send a company a text message.

So let’s see what people say, what they prefer, how they prefer to communicate with the company have a phone call or have a text message?

I wish I could answer here because I have a clear preference here on how I want to communicate with service providers.

Rod: Yeah. I think it will also depend a lot on the age of the attendees. We don’t exactly know how old everybody is obviously, but, I have a feeling that that preference would change depending on age.

Marisley: Yeah, that’s true. So we have a really good response rate. So I’m going to close the poll and I’m going to share the answers with everybody. So the answer is “send the company a text message.” 70% of the audience has a preference for text messages.

Rod: Of course, of course, absolutely. And that’s exactly what I expected to see. And what I hope to see because actually, that tells me I’m normal because when I want to interact with a business, I really don’t – You know, I’m far from being a millennial – but at the same time, I don’t want to waste time. Right? And I don’t want to get involved with hold message. And if I’m asking a quick question, that requires information, I have to recollect the answer later. I want to see it on my tech, on my mobile. Right? I want to see the information that I need to reference it like, say they give me an address. I’m not going to remember that address. I want that address on my phone. Right? So things like that are why so many young people today are preferring to send texts to businesses.

And so I want to introduce you to the concept. (And, it’s not my concept. I didn’t come up with a name.) I heard it at somebody else’s talk. The term is Patient 2.0. And it really, really triggered me.

It’s like, wow, you know what? That’s exactly who we’re dealing with is Patient 2.0. it’s a different type of patient who is pretty much on their mobile all the time.

And most of the time, they only have phone calls with very select people. Sometimes they don’t even want to call their friends.

They want to stay on text. And what is really interesting is that – and most people don’t know this – Here’s a really interesting tip. Is that on your Google My Business listing, you actually have a button that you can initiate. If you go into the settings, you can initiate a button to text your business, right? So you have the website link, you have the call link. You have the directions link and things like that, but you can initiate a new button that says, “text” the business. Now, many businesses wouldn’t want to turn this on because you know, how, how are they going to receive texts? Are they going to get Susie – who’s an accounting – to use her mobile? Right? It just doesn’t make sense. So they’re not there yet.

But Patient 2.0 is definitely wanting to actually text. So here’s the thing, right? Most people, don’t like phone calls, right? They’re over it, right? They don’t want to call businesses. They hardly even want to call their friends. They don’t want to waste their time and they want to have a record of the conversation. And the other thing too is, I find that there’s like anxiety around phone calls too. A lot of my millennial millennial team members, the last thing they want to do is phone anybody. Because it just creates this anxiety of interacting with people that they’re more used to actually dealing in text.

Now, this is another reason why SMS is so powerful. The actual open rate for an SMS is 98%. And that’s amazing because email in comparison is about 20%.

If you’re getting above 20% on your open rates then you’re doing really well. Most companies – healthcare is doing well there – but most companies get much less.

The thing about most emails is that many of them go to spam. And let me ask you this, have you ever received a spam SMS in your spam folder?

Of course not, because there is no spam folder, right? Every single SMS you get, you’re going to get.
And you’re probably going to look at that and that’s very different from your email. I mean, I don’t know about you, but I check my email maybe once a day.

However, if I get a text, even during this webinar, if I got a text, I’d probably look at it.

Marisley: Yeah, I check my personal email very rarely. Just when I know I’m about to receive something.

Rod: Exactly, exactly. Yeah. So 50% of email ends up in spam. And the average click-through rate on SMS is 19%, which is what it’s about.

It’s about getting action from the SMS in front of the message. Whereas the average email click-through rate is 3.2%.

So there’s a real need for businesses to get really, really clear about using SMS because that is where people want to be.

And just so you know, everybody has their phone with them all the time, and this applies to pretty much every country and also almost every age demographic.

I know I kind of joked earlier that it really depends on how old you are, but people in their sixties and seventies, they’re on SMS as well, you know?

And on WhatsApp, all of that. So, I mean, you probably communicate with family members the same way who are in that age group and they love it.

Right? So yeah, so SMS is here to stay and we definitely want to look at that.

So, let’s go back to this hypothetical job interview, right?

So if a doctor who wants to improve their practice asks Hattie,

“Hattie, can you communicate the way my customers would actually want to communicate?”

And the website of the future would turn around and say, “you know what, that’s, that’s not a problem. I can do that.”

I can send the auto-response to a web chat. I can move the conversation into SMS. Like we said.

I can engage the conversation using natural language understanding, which is, you know, you’ve heard of AI? So Google now has a protocol for AI that’s fueled by natural language understanding, which actually makes a lot of sense.

I think, maybe two years ago, you might’ve seen that demonstration where Google used an AI to make a booking with a hairdresser – like an actual live booking using voice.

Now, we’re not using voice right now, but the SMS is really good at utilizing NLU to be able to converse with somebody. And it actually makes sense. And here’s what’s really cool too, it can alert your team to take over inquiries in the SMS, from their desktop.

So right now, for example, if you were to ask a business to answer texts. They probably actually get Mary to do it, who’s on the front desk. “Hey, could you put up your mobile number and use that? And then you can respond to text messages.”

That’s no good, right? Because then it ends up on a staff member’s mobile. That’s crazy. Right? What you need to do is you need to have all of these SMS going to the same place and people responding from their desktops.

It’s a lot quicker. And it creates a record of the conversation because you really want that record for later. Because if they talk to Mary two hours ago, and then they’re talking to Joan two hours later, then is Joan going to have to go look for that mobile number? And what if Joan’s actually remote? You know, there are lots of issues with this approach that we’re currently taking.

Marisley: So yeah, If I’m following you… if I’m understanding – and maybe also the audiences predict confused – So in this case here, Hattie, which in this virtual assistant would enable the website to answer inquiries, but at the same time to transfer the inquiry either to an SMS or to a phone call for an actual staff member of the practice to answer that.
So, it’s basically like making that patient’s journey smooth from the website to the next step, Without a delay.

Rod: Exactly. So, earlier, we talked about how the person gets on web chat or maybe they send a form, or maybe they even make a phone call that it’s missed. Well, the SMS can go into their mobile. And when they respond, that response then goes into your staff’s computer.

Marisley: Ok!

Rod: And then everybody who has access to that computer network can get in there and respond to the SMS.

Marisley: Ah ok, so then it goes from a virtual assistant to a real assistant.

Rod: Exactly, exactly. You know, it’s always nice to be able to pass, especially during business hours, if people are available to be able to pass on, right. It’s called Passover. And if that is available and necessary and useful, then that system will be able to do that. That’s especially useful when, you know, we can only go so far with NLU, right? Like, you know, computers are great, but they’re not perfect. Human beings still have a place. And so if you want to get involved in a more deep conversation, then it’s great to be able to pass over to a staff member when they’re available.

So we’re going to get into another poll, which is “how would you like to receive messages from potential surgical patients?”

Marisley: Yeah. So how would you like to receive these messages? The first choice is

  1. you prefer a form on your website,
  2. the social media message
  3. WhatsApp or SMS
  4. phone calls or
  5. any of the above.

So, in this case here, you can choose more than one answer. So let’s see what is your preference for you as a practice owner as a surgeon or as a practice manager, how would you like to receive messages from potential surgical patients?

Okay. We have a very good response rate. So, I’m going to give another five seconds and I am going to close the poll really good to go.

Okay. Let’s have a look at the answers.

Rod: Yes!

Marisley: Is that when you’re expecting, Rod?

Rod: Well, I’m happy for two reasons. Number one, either people are really, really excited about WhatsApp in SMS or they chose the answer that I really wanted to see, which is “any of the above”.

We live in this omnichannel world and we’re not going to control how people want to talk to us.
Right? And the reality is the best answer is really “any of the above” because these are potential patients and they want to give you money.

And if somebody connects with me over Instagram DM, and they want to get me money? I’ll be like, yeah, I’ll talk to you.

Do they want to do a Facebook messenger? And they want to give me money? Yeah, no problem.
So, that’s a really good answer.

But the challenge is of course, despite the fact that everybody wants to communicate their way and they might use different channels before and after. It gets really, really confusing. The problem, however, is that there are too many channels and conversations get lost. And I’m not sure if you’ve ever been in a situation where you’ve actually looked on your phone and you realise many, many weeks go by and you notice a little “1” in your DM for Instagram.

And you’re like, “oh, I never saw that”. And then you open it up and you realise two weeks later: “Somebody messaged me two weeks ago.”

Right? That’s never going to work. Yet, we’re advertising on Instagram. We’re posting on Instagram. We’re hoping people engage with us on Instagram, but we’re missing all the messages.

Right? Unless you have somebody checking them reliably. And then even when you do get that, you can’t necessarily combine that into the conversation stream with all the other messages that the patient might be sending.

Marisley: Yeah. I think you touched on a very important point there, Rod. Because, a lot of practices, for example, or even businesses, will do Instagram ads, which are on the Instagram platform. But then they expect the customer to move platforms, to connect with them, like either to fill a form or to make a phone call. And it’s not a smooth experience. If you are already advertising on Instagram, it would be much better to just send a message.

Rod: Yeah. Yeah. Just even today, I’m here in Australia and one of my customers in Australia is receiving messages. And because I’m in the right time zone, I see the Facebook messages come in. And I saw a Facebook message come in this morning. And it said,

“Hey, I tried to reach you guys two days ago. I was wondering if I could bring my wife in and get a discount for her. Cause I had surgery, you know, two months ago…” and no response.

And, I kind of watched throughout the day as I did my work. And then, later on, I came back to it when I realised it still hasn’t been responded to because they sent her another message. And it still hadn’t been responded to.

So, you know, regardless of what the customer says, or what the practice says, I want them to respond to the message.

So, I actually copied that message and sent it to that customer’s email because that’s what they check, right?

But no! That disconnect can not happen. You’ve gotta be on top of those things. Otherwise, this customer, maybe they’d be happy to go ahead and bring their wife over without the discount, or with the discount, whatever your practice wants to do.

It’s a customer who wants to give you money. And the last thing you want to do is ignore that Facebook message, just because you’re not on that platform at the moment.

And it’s really hard being on all these platforms, I get it. Right? And I’m like, that’s, that’s why I searching.
But definitely, you know, be, be entitled to ask, you know,

“Hattie, can you combine all of these communication streams into one?”

How cool would that be? And the reality is that we have the technology to be able to do this.
Right. So yeah, absolutely. Hattie, the website with the future could combine all of these channels into one and then have your response in one place and they can message them back.

They could call them back. They could record and send a video back. If that’s what they want to do or they can send a voicemail drop.

So what a voicemail drop is, is that it’s the system you can use the system to call the person. It doesn’t ring on their phone, but it leaves a little voicemail.

So then the next time, somebody looks at their phone and says, “oh, I’ve got a voicemail.”

They open it up. They were going to listen to it. Right? If they’re getting a phone call, they might go, “oh, no, I don’t know this number. I’m not going to answer. But most people will listen to the voicemail.

Right? You’ve done this. Right, Right.

Marisley: I can also get a message from WhatsApp, right?

Rod: Yeah, you can do that too. So, yeah, that’s, that’s the thing. You want to have a situation where you can combine these streams, have them in one conversation flow and then be able to respond appropriately from that conversation flow.

And again, whether it’s from Instagram DM, whether it’s on Facebook messenger, whether it’s from WhatsApp, email, whatever it is, it should be in that one stream. Right?

So another question…

Marisley: So what is the question now? How did you book your last flight? Oh, this one will be very easy.

  1. I completed the form and waited for someone to call me back.
  2. I called the airline or travel agents and booked on the phone
  3. Or, I booked online.

So, how did you book your last flight?

Rod: You’re right. Actually, this is not a trick question. It looks easy and it is easy, But, it shouldn’t really hit home a point that I really want to make.

Hopefully, we get the right answer here.

Marisley: And now summer’s coming, everybody’s booking flights. Everyone’s excited to take a vacation. So let’s see, we have a lot of responses this month. I’m already going to close and share that answers.

Rod: Of course! Of course! 95% of people want to book online. Of course. Right?

So you know why, you know, well, we don’t have to get into the reasons – we all know.

We all know why we want it. So yeah, that’s the reality. And the thing is, is that like patient 2.0, doesn’t want to call a business or a practice anymore.

Right? They want to book online. Many of my clients I’ve been – I’m not sure if you recall – but when the pandemic first started, I was one of the first people to say, “Oh my God, online bookings, we’ve got to do this!”

Right? And you know, not to be confused with virtual appointments, which is also important, but online booking at the beginning of that point, because, you know, we need to make things easy for people to schedule these zoom calls and things like that.

And, now, these days, my customers who are utilising online booking are getting 90% of their appointments booked online from patients.

Marisley: Wow!

Rod: That is amazing because these aren’t even phone calls that are taking place in between. They’re actually making these bookings online without needing to actually make any phone calls. Nobody has to answer the call. Nobody has to spend time discussing things with a patient. You know, if you want to send them a form afterwards, to get more information, that’s fine, but these people are booking in.

And I just want you to think about that. Imagine how much time that would save your staff.

And I’ve actually found that some of my customers who are starting up with online booking are actually able not to necessarily need to hire new employees as fast as they otherwise would because they’re utilising online booking.

So, that’s a huge saving for them. And, especially in this climate where it’s actually really hard to find people, the last thing you want to do is hire people quickly.

What you want to do is hold out for the right ones. Right? And so that’s the thing; online booking really allows you to do that because it reduces the amount of effort required to answer all these phone calls.

Marisley: And it’s not just about hiring. It’s also the time for training this new person, which is about three to six months just to get that person sharp on how to answer all these questions and really be good at converting inquiries into appointments.

Rod: Exactly. Right. The other thing too is like, I also want people to think not just about initial inquiries, but also post-ops, I mean, every single patient is going to generate maybe two, or three potential post-op appointments.

And a lot of that is back and forth. And, you know, people are reticent to actually make post-op appointments because they’re not seen as critical as the previous appointments.

And I even had this experience recently, I had laser eye surgery, and I’m still getting the request to get annual appointment checkups.

And I love it because, you know, it’s just nice to go in there. I had done, maybe about three or four years ago, but you know, I got a request to actually book the appointment and I’m like, it was an email.

It was like, when are you free? And I was like, “When am I free? Like, when are you free? How are we going to do this? We’re going to send four emails between each other?”

So I just got fed up and I just said, “you know what, here’s my online booking”.

And I sent them the online booking link to book me! And so they could book. And that way I would know when I’d actually be able to go down to the appointment because that actually worked with my diary and they actually clicked the link and booked me online.

Marisley: Wow!

Rod: So, obviously not every patient is going to be doing that. Right? I just do that because that’s how I run my life.

But yeah, I mean, that’s how much I hate this email back and forth and phones that actually don’t get answered and leave messages and back and forth. And waiting to actually book basic post-op appointments, you know, it just doesn’t make any sense.

So yeah, it’s a huge, huge, time-saving.
So obviously a surgeon would be asking,

“Hey Hattie, can you help my patients book online?”

And the reality is, you know this, this is kind of easy, right? I mean, we’ve been doing this for a while now, but really nice is that this could be totally done through the website and go into the same system that is recording all of these other inquiries. Right? So the other thing is a lot of people don’t realise that they can actually charge fees on online booking, right? Because they worry a lot of times it’s like, “oh, somebody is going to actually fill up my appointments and they’re not going to show up.”

You can charge fees and you can also charge in such a way where you only bill, if they don’t show up.
I know that’s not always a nice thing to do, but it protects you. These days, in London, at least, sometimes I have to give my credit card just to make a restaurant reservation.

And with COVID, restaurants have been so tight on reservations that they actually demand this and the people are becoming much more used to giving their credit cards and sticking with their reservations because they don’t want to get charged.

Right? So this could totally apply to clinics. You can offer easy ways to cancel and rearrange bookings online as well.

You can remind your staff. That’s the other thing too, I get some pushback sometimes from surgeons who say “I don’t want to have online booking because I run a totally different EMR, a different calendar, and these two systems might not talk well”

What you can do is you can set up a situation where you get an online booking and then a staff member could confirm that booking with the patient by SMS or whatever.

And then you can get that appointment confirmed and then put into your EMR calendar. So that’s a nice way of kind of getting past this, “two systems unable to talk to each other” thing, which often happens in refractive surgery and eye surgery in general.

You can ask to send SMS and email confirmations and follow up messages to reduce no-shows.

I would say that that’s one of the main reasons why people are worried about online booking is to reduce no-shows.

So I think it’s really, really important to talk a little bit about that. That’s actually the subject of the next poll.

Marisley: What is your appointment No-show rate?

  • one to 10%
  • 11 to 20%,
  • 21 to 30%
  • 31% or more,
  • or you don’t know.

So what is more important? No show, rate, track, or appointments?

Rod: I think this will be fascinating. I want people to also consider it’s not in the question, but I want you to consider post-ops and initials, right?

So not just initial post-op and initials, because when you get into post-ops, it’s a different story you got. I mean, I personally, I, from my experiences in clinics, you get a lot more no-shows and post-ops.

Marisley: Yeah. Especially when everything is fine with the patient, right? The patient might not be wanting to come because everything’s correct. So, okay. So we have good response rates. So I’m going to close the poll and share the results with everyone. So the majority has pretty low no show rates, between one and 10%. And 20% between 11 and 20. 20% between 21 and 30. And 20% don’t know what is the no show rate.

Rod: Yeah. So that’s great. No, that’s a really encouraging stat and this is something we definitely want to ensure that we maintain: a really, really low no show rate.

In fact, I want to put that into perspective. Now this is not for refractive surgery and eye surgery at all, but there’s a study that was done and I’ve linked to it in the resources underneath there.

12 to 50% is the norm. That’s a really, really wide range and it covers all sorts of specialities. So you just have to put things into context.

And what I did is like, you know, I just took 12% as an option here. When I looked at the average appointment, let’s say it’s worth $300 and then just use a US dollar rate. And then the RSA said there were 5 million eyes done in 2021 and that I did the math and that’s basically 300,000 no-shows.

If you think about the number of appointments that are involved. Just imagine the value of saving even 10% of missed appointments. Because even with post-ops, you’re absolutely right. People are often like, “Well, hey, if they didn’t make it, they didn’t make it.”

But that’s time in your diary that you could be used for other things. And yeah, it’s a huge problem for some practices.

And I saw some practices in the poll there between 21 and 30%. So this would really, really help them as well.

So what can you do, right?

“Hey, Hattie, can you help me reduce no-show rates?”

And yeah, absolutely. Hattie can do things like sending an SMS and email confirmations, and again, there’s no need for a human to be involved.

And that same study that I shared earlier that link to that study showed that this alone can significantly reduce no show rates dramatically.

People kind of overlook it, but it’s really valuable. The other thing that this can do is to send a custom reminder with a voicemail drop.

So, if you send a voicemail drop the way I explained it earlier that the phone doesn’t ring, but you just get a voicemail. If it’s recorded by somebody in the clinic, then it feels so much more real than the person’s actually waiting for them and expects them to show up.

And the nice thing about this is you can record one voicemail and send it to all your patients, right? Which really reduces the amount of time that you would otherwise spend having to make phone calls manually to remind people about their appointments. And it still delivers that personal experience that actually comes from the practice and that’s totally available. I can send SMS and email to no shows after they’ve not shown up, and then offer online booking to rebook.

So again, it reduces the repetitive tasks that are necessary for a clinic. Make sense?

Marisley: Totally. And, Rod, I have a question for you. So what do you think of practices that still nowadays don’t offer online scheduling on their website?

Rod: What do I think about… why?

Marisley: Yeah, like why some practices are not doing it? Or is it like a “must-have” option to offer this online scheduling on the website?

Rod: Well, yeah. I mean the airline ticket booking question answers that very well, right? It’s for the similar amount of money for an overseas flight, right? People are happy to online book, and with the practices I’ve spoken to… often it’s inertia. They just decide, “Well, you know, if it isn’t broken, why fix it?”

But in reality, they’re losing a lot of potential value because of it. So, inertia is one of the reasons. Another reason is the challenge of getting one EMR system to connect to another system that most people are using.

So, a lot of people are using Calendly, because Calendly connects to Google and it connects to Outlook.

And that’s great. But what if the practice isn’t on Google and Outlook? Right? So, this creates a challenge and I’ve run into this challenge myself because I’m a big fan of Calendly. And, I’ve been promoting it for many, many years now. But the reality is that sometimes Calendly doesn’t necessarily connect and speak with other things.

And so it’ll all depend on what kind of EMR is being used. But the APIs available by some platforms in the future will definitely be, have a lot more capability to speak to each other in such a way where there’s less friction and less double entering and less manual confirmation.

Marisley: So, so the challenge would be mostly on the technology. So the practice has not been on board yet with online scheduling because they have not found the right technology to do that.

Rod: Yeah. There’s also the issue of some of them deciding, “Hey, I’m going to book out a little portion of my diary, just so I can keep that free”. But what they do in that case is they give, for example, one day only available for online booking.

But, come on. Patients these days, they just want total flexibility. And, so what happens is almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy. They offer little availability and then they don’t get the bookings and they go, “oh, this online booking stuff doesn’t work”.

Right? But in reality, the availability didn’t work. So, I think you’ve got to kind of go all-in on this and look, it’s such a mission, the critical thing.

I mean, imagine an airline not offering online booking today, they’d be out of business. It is the future and all of your competitors will be doing it.

So it’s time to get on this ASAP if you’re not on it yet.
Next poll!

Marisley: Next poll is “what is your biggest challenge right now?”

So, your biggest challenge is with

  1. marketing, which means getting inquiries
  2. Is it sales, which means turning inquiries into appointments?
  3. or is it operations, processing patients admin data or patient admin or
  4. Clinical – delivering good medical outcomes.

So what is your biggest challenge right now in your practice marketing, sales, operations, or clinical

Rod: Really interested to see this one.

Marisley: Yes and this is a very good question. The challenge is, that a lot of practices actually will not identify themselves as sales.

They actually, so they might not… Yeah. Let’s see what they will choose. Two more seconds and then I’m going to close the poll.

Okay. And let’s have a look at the answers, so,

Rod: Wow! Okay. That surprises me! That really surprises me because from my understanding is that the pandemic in fact had a silver lining for refractive surgery practices.

There’s actually been greater growth in the last year than we’ve ever seen for a really long time after a decade of flatline.

That’s actually surprised me and, I wasn’t prepared for that, but actually, it’s very interesting. My hypothesis, truthfully, was that clinical would be 0%.

I knew that answer was going to come and that operations would be actually much higher than it’s showing.

So that’s interesting. That’s very interesting. But maybe the other thing to consider is that some of the people who were actually attending this webinar with a self-selected group are interested in marketing to a degree because they’re attending.

Yeah. So that’s a possibility. It’d be interested to ask a broader set of people. But yeah, I think if your challenge was sales or admin, you know, I think it’s really, really clear that clinics are short handed.

And, and this is one of the things that I’m noticing a lot is that people are really finding it hard to find good people (that includes finding good marketers. Let’s be honest.) And, it’s harder to keep them, right? And clinic teams are run off their feet. They’re, they’re busy. They’re super busy.

And as a result, the service suffers when people are super busy and you get negative reviews and everybody hates negative reviews, right? Nobody likes to see that. And so I think it’s important to consider that as you build a practice, you get busier.

And if marketing is one of the things that you’re focusing on, you are going to get busier if you’re doing it well.

And often what happens is that volume increases, but the staff head-count doesn’t necessarily increase to keep pace for various reasons that I’ve already discussed.

So you want to really prevent people from being overwhelmed. And one of the things that you can do is remove drudgery from their jobs, right?

Nobody wants to do boring things. They want to have things where they have some interest, some mastery and some autonomy.

And so maybe one of the questions that you would ask is,

NOTE: The best way to answer that nagging question about practice growth or marketing or patient volume in the back of your mind is to book a free 15-minute compatibility call. Get some options and go away with a clear idea of what’s possible.

“Hey, Hattie, can you help free my staff from repetitive tasks?”

And the reality is “yes”. Hattie can do a lot of those things. For example, it can build you a database, so no more, no more copying and pasting. I know we love spreadsheets, but you get an email and then you have to put it into a spreadsheet. There’s copying and pasting and all that, that can be terribly annoying.

Hattie can send follow-up messages.

She can qualify your enquiries – like I said, on your behalf.

She can react reactivate dormant increase. So every three months, for example, or a time of your choosing, she could just find all the people that have not booked and then send them a message saying, “Hey, you know, it’s three of three months since you took the self-test. Are you still interested?” And she can attempt to actually re-engage them in the process again, automatically, until such time that they show interest and then you can have a phone call.

She can send arrives an electronic form. And so that with the electronic form, they can actually fill in their details or it could even send them, you know, an hour in advance or two hours in advance. So they fill it out on a home. And then that reduces all of this transcription that’s required from paper forms to the database.

And she can send appointment reminders as we’ve discussed, and she can book post-op appointments online. As I said, that’s a huge time sink.

And she can reply to FAQs using natural language understanding. I mean, how many times has a clinic received the question, “where do I find parking?”

Or “what are your hours? Or “Are you open on Saturdays”. Or “are you open this Easter Monday?” You know, and things like that. It’s like the same questions again and again and again. She can even medical questions that are repeated again and again – like “Where can I order more drops?” You know, these basic questions are happening again and again and again. Wouldn’t it be lovely if someone could actually answer these things for you and she can! The technology has arrived and it’s here and you can make use of it.

And it’s just a question of putting it all together in one place. Okay, so we have, I think one, maybe one more poll?

Marisley: In your opinion, what is the most trustworthy type of marketing?
Is it

  • radio ads,
  • paid ads on Google
  • paid ads on Facebook and Instagram
  • SEO results or
  • online reviews

So like, if you are a consumer, what would you trust the most? I think that’s the question. What’s the most trustworthy type of marketing? Would you trust more radio ads or paid ads on Google or paid ads on Facebook, Instagram, or find the website of the practice or of the provider on the first page of Google results or read a positive online review about this place and about your services?

So what would you trust more? I will leave it for another two seconds and then I’m going to close the poll.
We have a very good response rate and let’s see what is the results. And online reviews! 65%.

Rod: I knew it!

Marisley: We trust online reviews the most.
That’s what I expected. Is that what you expected, Rod?

Rod: Absolutely. I’m glad that clinics and surgeons are getting this.

It’s so true. I mean, 93% of millennials have made a purchase based on a recommendation from friends and family. 89% of millennials trust these recommendations more than they do the claims of the brand.

Patient 2.0, trust online reviews, more than anything else. And the problem, of course, is getting your staff to get reviews, you know?

Marisley: That’s so true.

Rod: Try as they might, you know, they feel embarrassed. They, run at a time. they forget they’re busy, you know, so many reasons, there’s every single reason under the sun to not get reviews, but reviews are so important.

So most clinics are unfortunately just relying on people, just being nice and sharing those reviews online. And I think we can be a lot more proactive.

“Hey Hattie, can you help me get more online reviews?”

Marisley: So, a lot of staff members, when I visit practices and I tell them the importance of online reviews, they share with me that they feel shy. They feel shy to approach the patient and ask for a review. They know that their reviews are very important, but they feel like, “Oh, I don’t know. What’s the right moment to ask for the review. I also feel very shy to ask for the review.” And I find that for people that are very happy with the service, it has to be extremely beyond expectations for them to leave a review on their own.

But, the people that are unhappy are more likely to leave the review because they want to be heard and they want to show the experience. So it is hard to collect these reviews from the patients that have the positive experience.

Rod: Exactly. Right. I mean, we’re lucky to be in a business where most people are really happy.

And so, if we can get more people reviewing – just the math itself is that compared to the number of people who are either legitimately or illegitimately unhappy – compared to that number, you’re going to drown out those negative reviews just simply by asking a lot of people to review.

So, Hattie can help with that. So the technology is available now after every patient encounter – and different people have different views on this – but should you ask for a review after the phone call? Should I ask for a review after the initial assessment? Should I ask review at the post-op?

You know, a lot of people have different views on this, and I don’t want to get into that so much.

But, I believe that if you’re actually asking somebody to review your service, then it doesn’t matter what you’ve done as long as you’ve delivered a service. “How did I do today?”

So, I think that’s feedback. And that’s how I see reviews. So, you can ask them to give an online review and the technology can do that with every single patient.

It doesn’t matter whether you remember or forget, or you’re shy. Hattie just does it on your behalf. She can also remind your staff to respond to online reviews. Because that’s also super important. And not only for the negative reviews, but they’re also just massively important because you’re able to show your customer service ability. But also for the positive reviews – to show that somebody’s listening and somebody is taking these reviews seriously and really, really rewarding people for leaving a review.

And that encourages more reviews. So if your staff is reminded very easily, when a review comes in to respond to that review, again – in that same system, then it really, really helps.

And then importantly, if they need to dispute a spam negative review, they can do that from the system as well.

So again, you don’t have to chase Google, look it up, and figure out where to go. If you actually have that link available really easily in the same place, then the team can just easily go in and dispute a review that they know is fraudulent.

So that can be also very helpful. Does that make sense?

Marilsey: Totally. I think that the new feature there to dispute the negative review, it’s very useful because clinics have a challenge or difficulty how to manage these negative reviews.

And even some clinics told me like that, now everybody is very open to receiving online reviews, but a couple of years back, they didn’t want to leave the platforms open because they were scared they could get negative reviews and not know how to handle that. So if a virtual assistant can help with that, like having an alert. Something like “you received a negative review and here’s how to answer that in a professional way”, I think that’s excellent.

Rod: Exactly. Okay. This is definitely the last poll I guarantee it.

Marisley: And the last one we promise you that!
Rod: Hey, we wanted to keep it interactive!

Marisley: How well does their sales and marketing work to get you patients? Wow. That’s a very tough question! I think people will not maybe be completely honest here, but of course, all the answers are anonymous.

Okay. I wanted to remind everybody about that. So

  • Poor
  • OK
  • Good, but to be better, do you see areas for improvement there?
  • Or they are working excellent and no worries here,
  • or, honestly you don’t know.

So I think here, it’s also about having KPIs to track this. It’s, it’s very relative to say poor or good, but yeah.
I will leave it another five seconds. We already have a lot of answers. And so you think your staff sales and marketing is doing a poor job, an okay job, a good job, but you see areas for improvement to be better. They are excellent. And there are no worries here, or honestly, you don’t know because you’re not tracking. Okay. Let’s have a look at the answers.

Rod: Yeah.

Marisley: Yeah, yeah. Really good.

Rod: Really good. You know, I’m really, really happy to see that because, as a marketer, it’s really, really important for me to feel like people are out there doing a good job. They see the, they see the value in sales and marketing work and they feel like it’s good. But at the same time, I also appreciate the fact that you wouldn’t be at this webinar if you didn’t think you could improve.

Right? You kind of want to be here. Right? So, I’m so glad that there are some people who are saying “excellent”.

Right. Then that’s amazing. And I have to ask you, you know, why are you here?

Marisley: I think there’s always room for improvement.

Rod: So, yeah, I think that often what I’ve found as a marketer for 20 years is that predictable revenue really, really helps you plan and avoid surprises.

And that, I think that’s often what most of my customers really want. They want to have predictable revenue.

They want to know what the future looks like and the problem is that most clinics don’t track inquiries. That makes it really difficult for any marketer to connect the dots between their efforts to generate leads and to generate sales for the practice.

And this is a key problem. And that’s one of the reasons why often there’s a bit of a disagreement sometimes as to who’s doing the right work, right?

The marketers will say, “well, you’re not closing my leads”. And the practices are saying, “well, you’re not giving me good leads”.

Right?. So wouldn’t it be lovely to have a situation where you knew what was working instead of just kind of guessing if it was working or not?

So perhaps Hattie can help us with this.

“Hattie, can give us visibility on what’s working and how my practice will perform in the future?”

The reality is “yes”, if you can connect all of the inquiries into one system, and if you can follow those inquiries through all the way to becoming patients.

Well, yeah, you can attribute patients to marketing sources. You can know which patients came from Google ads and which patients came from Facebook ads.

And knowing that is huge because it’s not just about “I’ve got a bunch of leads who came from these sources, but these patients came from here too.”

She can send your staff messages to remind them to track appointment outcomes. So for example, the doctor would get a message from the system that says “what happened to the patient? Did they both not book didn’t have surgery? Did they not have surgery?”

And all the doctor has to do is just click a button, you know, click a link and boom, it tells the system, this is what happened.

So it tracks it all the way and it reminds people to track it. And can also tell you how much money you can expect to make in the next few months, because if it knows what your lead pipeline looks like, what your sales pipeline looks like, then it’s able to predict, well, based on all these leads, this is how much money you should expect to make. Based on the expected conversion rates.

You also evaluate your sales performance, both quantitatively and qualitatively, so it can record your calls and it can determine how you’re doing on those calls based on protocol analysis to determine what’s being said on the calls? Are they, are they saying the right message?

And also it can compare different sales reps to others so that you can see who’s actually doing really, really well. So, maybe that’s somebody you want to make sure is always answering calls. And of course, as I said –

Marisley: Sorry to interrupt you there. But, does it mean that this virtual assistant also works as a CRM to manage the sales pipeline, the sales funnel?

Rod: Exactly. Right. So because it’s connected to the website and connected to all your marketing campaigns and connected it to Facebook and connected to Google My Business, because she connects to all these things, she can then take all of that information about the source and track that patient all the way through from the moment they inquire to the moment they actually have their last post-op.

And what that enables you to do is evaluate what’s working and what isn’t.

So, the doctor at this point might say, “Hattie, how do ever you ever sleep?”

And the reality is, is that, you know, that’s the future of robotics and AI: No! And she’s never late. It’s the perfect employee, right?

She works evenings and weekends. She doesn’t need breaks. She doesn’t need a vacation. She never calls in sick.

She stays on script. She says what you tell them to do.

She never forgets what she’s been taught. How many times have we noticed that?

She doesn’t take up any space and she doesn’t need any special equipment, and she cut your expenses too!

And, I think that’s another question “How on earth could you also cut expenses?”

And the reality is if you have one system that is well-priced, you can effectively cancel your email marketing software, your SMS marketing software, your call tracking software, surveys and forms that you might pay for, web chat bot that you’re paying for online booking software, that CRM that you hardly ever used because it’s too challenging and too difficult.

Tracking and analytics software, if you pay for that. And reputation management software, which is really expensive.

So, if it can save all that and it’s GDPR and HIPAA compliant… well, is there anything that you can’t do – that’s the next logical question, right?

So the reality is that she just needs wifi. That’s the main thing, right? As long as she has wifi, she’ll work. So that’s a prerequisite. So that pretty much brings us to the end of the presentation before we get to questions.

So I just want to summarize it in 2022, your website needs to

  1. qualify your increase within five minutes.
  2. It needs to get into your increased mobile phones.
  3. It needs to combine the communication streams,
  4. easily book appointments online,
  5. reduce your no-show rates,
  6. relieve your staff from repetitive tasks that they don’t want to do and
  7. get you online reviews and help you evaluate business performance and predict your revenue.

So, instead of just focusing on one aspect of the patient value journey, you’re focusing on the whole thing. You get the whole journey covered and that reduces any kind of friction between marketing, sales, and clinical operations.

Everybody works together, which is exactly what I think most people want to do. They want to focus on the whole journey and just ensure that happy clients stay with their with their agencies.

And, you know, that’s the thing. We know that there are good partnerships out there. We just want them to continue.

And we think that this kind of technology is going to make a big difference to really determine who’s right for each other.

Again, it’s about delivering patients, that’s what the job is about – creating happy, successful patients.

And if you can do that with technology like this; then, that’s where you want to go. And that’s what takes us to questions.

Marisley: So that’s awesome. We have a couple of questions here. And the first question, I think it’s answered right here on this slide is: how can I meet Hattie?

How can I get access to Hattie?

Rod: Yeah. I mean, that’s a great question. Just so you know, I’ve put in this URL: it’s real, it’s www.liveseysolar.com/hattie/

Hattie is real. Okay? I know I’ve been talking a lot about the future. But this is not a concept, it’s a real thing.

And it’s in beta at the moment and we have a few spots available for innovative clinics that want to participate in this beta.

And, if you want to be among the first clinics to have access to this kind of technology… of course it’s beta, right? So that means it’s not commercially available yet. It’s something that we want to work with on with eye surgeons. We want to work with practice managers to really understand how to make the software work for them.

It’s an amazing piece of technology, but it’s only going to be super valuable when you’ve got your own script on it, if that makes sense, your own personality.

So, there’s a link. And if you guys are interested in registering your interest, just pop in your details in the form on that page.

Marisley: So, the script can be personalized according to each practice, is that right?

Rod: Yes. Well, the nice thing about it is, and I don’t want to overshadow this – is that we’ve been creating scripts and emails and letters for the last 20 years. And we figured out which ones are the best ones, right? Which ones perform the best.

And what we’ve done is we’ve put all of this material into Hattie so that when you buy Hattie or when you decide that you want to use Hattie for your practice, you’re going to get the SMSs. You’re going to get the emails you’re going to get the follow-up sequences with all the material.

Definitely, you have to adapt it.

Right? And it all is adaptable. And the nice thing about it is we make it very simple, but it’s all there already.
And including all the follow-up sequences and all the workloads that I’ve been discussing throughout this entire presentation, it’s all there.

It’s just, you know, waiting to get used and sampled.

Marisley: Awesome. Rod, we have another great question here. To use Hattie, does the website need to be through LiveseySolar? Is there a limitation of who is hosting the website or who is the website designer or that it has to work with any websites?

Rod: Yeah, I wish I could say “Yes, only with LiveseySolar!” No, the answer’s no. Heh, so maybe I should change my business model?

Marisley: No! Make it available for all websites!

Rod: Exactly. Yeah. No, no. Listen, if you have a website that you can put some scripts on to like a form, a web chatbot, things like that. And you know, this software works great with WordPress. So let’s put it that way. If you have WordPress, it’s going to work. Okay? And, it’s not even limited to WordPress. There are other platforms that can work, but yeah, it doesn’t have to be a Liveseysolar website.

And the other thing too, I should also mention, is that I know, without a doubt, because I was on previous webinars that you guys have been presenting. As a marketer, interested in knowing what’s going on in marketing with my peers and colleagues. If you’re a marketer, and if you want to get access to this software for the practices that you represent, hey, that’s cool.

We’re all over that. You know, we’re not going to control it and make sure it’s only us, you know? We think it’s cool because the thing is that we definitely want people to use the system to improve their practice.

And whether they’re working with other marketing agencies or with us (I mean, obviously we think you should work with us), we can’t be everywhere. Right? And we’re also super, super selective with who we work with on a service level Hattie is definitely available. So, if you guys are other marketers out there, do you want to talk? Yeah. Because this is going to help you. This is going to really, really improve your results.

Marisley: We have another great question here: Is Hattie single? Sounds like we’re the practice she has been searching for.

Rod: Ha! I gotta say, she’s pretty cute. I’m not going to lie. I’m not going to lie. You know, look at those green eyes. Right? You can get lost in them. Is Hattie single? Yes. Yes. She is single. We, we definitely would not allow Hattie to get married at this stage. I’m sorry, she’s too young. It’s going to take a while for her to find the right mate. So, um, you know, we’re going to guide her and ensure that she waits.

Marisley: Yeah. Rod, if you could summarize Hattie in one word, like, is she an app? Is she a plugin, or is she a chatbot? Who is Hattie?

Rod: Your “best friend”.

I want you to think about her as an employee. That’s actually the way I see her. You know, obviously how you are not a real person. Right? And, she’s never going to replace a real person. But what she’s going to do is provide artificial intelligence. Hattie is AI that is going to allow your employees and the rest of your team to do everything that they do best and do it more often because nobody wants to do the stuff that AI can do anymore.

Right? This is the future. And I think the key thing is to work collectively with AI to ensure that we can get the best partnership with it.

You know, if you can’t beat it, join it. Right. So, you know, I think that’s the way it works.

And so I would say AI, an AI employee is the way to think about her.

Marisley: So artificial intelligence.

Rod: Yeah. Sorry, two words.

Marisley: That’s okay. But​​ in terms of installing, it would work as a plugin more or less.

Rod: Yeah. I think that’s a really good way of thinking about it. It’s software, it’s an application. We can even create web pages with Hattie.

So for example, we could create a landing page, with Hattie that actually is built right there. So for example, if you have a clunky website or just a really small website and you don’t want to pay money to extend it. You can create a landing page with Hattie and have everything right there, and it can look and feel just like your brand, but it has the form and everything there.

So it creates this really quick deployment availability without having to go to a website designer to help you out. Right?

So, yeah, she’s so many things it’s really hard to summarise.

Marisley: Yeah. And I think, you said that Hattie is young, but she’s carrying over 20 years of experience in how to handle patient inquiries with tested and proven communication, text or emails.

Rod: Honestly, I wish I had had 20 years ago because, I think the laser refractive business would be even bigger than it is today if we had access to these tools, uh, 20 years ago. My goodness. Yeah. So yeah, the beauty of Hattie is that the technology has arrived to be able to make use of the wisdom that’s in people to execute on a more routine, repetitive and unstoppable basis, like it just keeps going until you tell “Okay. That’s enough.” And yeah, she never tires. So, yeah, it’s the perfect combination of wisdom, intelligence, and action.

Marisley: Very good. Great, thank you, Rod. Thank you so much for this very inspiring master class today. We have Ziad back with us.

Ziad has some words to share.

Ziad: Yeah. First of all, I would like to thank you both. That was really informative, and very inspiring.
And, I want to remind our audience that they can still watch a recorded session for this webinar and even shared it with any interested colleagues.

And they can just sit on the same landing page and we have three different time slots or dates for this session.

So, please do not hesitate, but mostly thank you very much for today. We are just on time. We don’t want to keep the audience busy more than that.

Again, thank you for taking the time and for staying awake because now you’re in Australia. And for everybody here with us on the call, I would like to say, stay tuned for more master classes that are to come. We will send you the registration information in due time. So, everybody, thank you. Stay in touch and goodbye.

Rod: Thanks very much. Good-bye.

About the author

Rod Solar
Founder & Fractional CMO

Rod co-founded LiveseySolar and acts as a Fractional CMO for our customers. He’s on a mission to help transform the lives of 10,000 people through vision correction surgery by 2024. To achieve that, he inspires his customers to make confident decisions that will help 50,000 people take the first step towards vision correction.

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What our clients say…

“In a matter of weeks, we already saw results with LiveseySolar. Far before we were even finished with our project.”

Erik Chotiner, MD, FACS, Ophthalmologist

“The whole group has been very, very professional. We’re quite early in the stages, but we can see the benefits.”

Dr Nick Mantell , MBChB FRANZCO

“They’re very professional. They know what they’re doing, but they also put us at ease. This helped us to cut through what’s needed to get what we want.”

Mr Praveen Patel, MA (Cantab), MB BChir (Cantab), FRCOphth, MD (Res)

“It’s wonderful to work with an agency that engages on our level and understands our market.”

Dr Anton Van Heerden, MBChB; FRANZCO, Ophthalmologist

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Meet our Founders

We’re passionate about helping leaders of high-quality, growth-minded practice owners double their practice revenue

Rod Solar

Founder & Fractional CMO

Rod co-founded LiveseySolar and acts as a Fractional CMO for our customers. He’s on a mission to help transform the lives of 10,000 people with vision correction surgery by 2024. To achieve that, he inspires his customers to make confident decisions that will help 50,000 people take the first step towards vision correction.

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LiveseySolar completely transformed the way we were approaching this… We’ve gone from having just the dream of having a practice to having a practice up and running with people making inquiries and booking for procedures… It’s extremely pleasing. We feel lucky we connected with LiveseySolar.

— Dr Matthew Russell, MBChB, FRANZCO, specialist ophthalmic surgeon and founder of VSON and OKKO

Laura Livesey

Founder & CEO

Laura Livesey is the co-founder & CEO of LiveseySolar. She has developed powerful refractive surgery marketing systems that increase patient volumes and profits for doctors, clinics, and hospitals, since 1997.

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Rod and Laura know as much about marketing surgery to patients as I know about performing it. They are an expert in the field of laser eye surgery marketing. They know this industry inside out. I believe that they could help many companies in a variety of areas including marketing materials, sales training and marketing support for doctors.

— Prof. Dan Reinstein, MD MA FRSC DABO, founder of the London Vision Clinic, UK