Unlock the Secret to Converting More Leads: Respond to Inquiries in 5 Minutes or Less

Do you reply to your website inquiries within five minutes? According to a poll we conducted at a recent webinar attended by approximately 300 surgeons, most practices do not respond to inquiries within this timeframe. While practices eventually get in touch with leads, it often takes days. Responding to your leads within 5 minutes can increase conversion rates by over 80%.

That is challenging for practices in the vision correction industry. Practice owners rarely train their staff in sales. Staff have many responsibilities beyond answering the phone. Thus inquiries from new leads can feel distracting. This lack of training and inadequate operational systems make it difficult for practices to handle inquiries.

The most influential person in a clinic is the first inquiry handler

Whether from phone calls, chats, social media, or emails – inquiry handlers have a huge influence on your practice’s success. However, practices do not typically hire salespeople or train their staff enough to handle this responsibility effectively.

For practices that receive warm referrals, they may not need to have ideal sales conversations, and order-taking discussions are often sufficient. However, to attract cold audiences through advertising and marketing, practices must have good sales conversations to compete effectively. Unfortunately, most practices do not train their staff to handle these leads, leading to low conversion rates.

Following up with leads is also critical, as it is unlikely that cold leads will book an appointment immediately. If practices follow up, they can avoid losing potential patients to more responsive competitors.

Increase conversion rates from inquiry to appointment by responding to inquiries within five minutes

A study conducted by MIT found that the odds of connecting and qualifying an inquiry drops by 80% after five minutes. Responding within the first minute can increase conversions by 391%.

However, healthcare practices take an average of two hours and five minutes to respond to leads, much longer than other industries. Surgeons are often accidental business owners and do not consider sales and marketing before starting a practice, leading to a lack of processes and investment to handle inquiries efficiently.

To solve this problem, practices can use technology such as Hattie, which responds to inquiries with two-way SMS almost instantly. AI-powered chatbots in Hattie can also turn every missed call into a text conversation, ensuring no lead is left behind. When someone completes a call-me-back form or a self-test on a website, Hattie can automatically call them back and bridge the call with the business’s staff. The AI bots in Hattie can now even read your online booking calendar, and guide a lead through the booking process as if they were talking to a human, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Stuck in voicemail hell?

A common complaint from patient coordinators is that they try to ring back people who complete forms but get tied up in voicemails. One of the reasons we suspect causes that issue is that leads ignore their follow-up. Why? The data above tells us that speed-to-lead is king. The odds are that your lead has already engaged with another provider that replied faster than you.

With lead-response automation, your contact rate would increase. An increased contact rate leads to an increase in conversions. More conversions mean more appointments. More appointments result in more surgeries. If you can double your contact rate this way (which is almost certain if you respond within 5 minutes), you might just convert twice as many leads, which might just lead to doubling your sales revenue.

In conclusion, practices must respond to inquiries within five minutes to increase conversion rates from inquiry to appointment. Vision correction practices, in particular, need to improve their response times to compete effectively. Technology such as Hattie can help practices handle inquiries efficiently and increase conversion rates.

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.

About the author

Rod Solar
Founder & Scalable Business Advisor / fCMO

Rod Solar is a co-founder of LiveseySolar and a Scalable Business Advisor for its customers. Rod mentors and coaches eye surgery business CEOs/Founders and their leadership teams to triple their sales, double their profit, and achieve their “ideal exit”.

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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 & Scalable Business Advisor

Rod Solar is a co-founder of LiveseySolar and a Scalable Business Advisor / fCMO for our customers. Rod mentors and coaches CEOs/Founders and their leadership teams to double their sales, triple their profits, and achieve their “ideal exit”.

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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