December 30, 2018 OrthoCatapult

Pending Patient Follow-Up: Plugging Your Practice’s Leaky Bucket

Successful sales professionals understand the importance of consistent, continued follow-up with all prospective clients. The sales industry has tracked sales conversion for decades and the statistics below show exactly how important effective follow-up is to closing a sale.

  • Only 2% of sales are made on the 1st contact
  • Only 3% of sales are made on the 2nd contact
  • Only 5% of sales are made on the 3rd contact
  • Only 10% of sales are made on the 4th contact
  • 80% of sales are made between the 5th to 12th contact

Unfortunately, pending patient follow-up in the orthodontic industry falls extremely short when considering these statistics. The OrthoCatapult® team anonymously surveyed 157 treatment coordinators (TC) and found that 89.2% of them only follow-up with pending patients 1-2 times following the New Patient Exam (NPE).† Unfortunately, that wasn’t the worst of it; 7.0% of the TCs acknowledged they never follow-up with patients after the NPE. In fact, only 2.5% of surveyed Treatment Coordinators claimed they consistently follow-up with prospective patients 4+ times before quitting on the lead.

89.2% of TCs only follow-up with pending patients 1-2 times following the NPE and 7.0% never follow-up with patients

Take a moment to absorb these findings. Clearly this is a large contributing factor in why actual close rate percentages for the orthodontic industry averages <50% for actual sales opportunities (all non-adult and adult prospective patients who are ready for treatment and receive a financial presentation).

Let us be clear; we are not throwing the treatment coordinators under the bus here. The typical practice does not provide adequate systems or time for a TC to effectively follow-up with each prospective patient 7 times within 90 days of their NPEs. Traditional follow-up processes are extremely inefficient. Typing engaging letters or emails and leaving voicemails are all very time consuming. On average, the treatment coordinators surveyed stated they had only 15-20 minutes per day to follow-up with pending patients and the average amount of time needed for a single follow-up was 5 minutes. That equates to  only 3-4 follow-ups per day on average. If a TC has 8 NPE per day, then they should be following up with 24 patients per day to reach 7 follow-ups with each patient by 90 days on a rolling calendar. This would take two hours per day using their current systems! It’s no wonder why follow-up is so bad compared to sales industry standards.

Re-Imagined Pending Patient Follow-Up

Now re-imagine the follow-up process. Envision a system that automatically tracks each NPE and prompts the treatment coordinator when they need to follow-up on a proven schedule that is effective, yet not overwhelming or annoying for prospective patients. The system also communicates with the patient in their preferred communication method of email or text with customized templates so each message is unique and well received. Best yet, the system allows the treatment coordinator to follow-up with 24 patients in as little as 3 minutes each workday. Sounds too good to be true, right? It’s not. It’s OrthoMessenger®, a key component of the OrthoCatapult® system and a major reason why OrthoCatapult clients see over 30% growth in pending starts within 6 months of using OrthoCatapult.

Better Return on Investment than Marketing

If you are currently looking to invest in marketing to feed more NPE into the top of the funnel, please do yourself a favor and think about plugging some of the holes in your practice’s leaky bucket first. We are confident your return on investment will be dramatically better, in fact, we guarantee it with our money-back OrthoCatapult Performance Guarantee. Ask any marketing agency to guarantee their marketing campaign’s results!

The OrthoCatapult® Team

Survey Notes: Treatment Coordinators surveyed were non-OrthoCatapult users. Survey responses were gathered July-December 2018. Of the 600 US Treatment Coordinators surveyed, 157 Treatment Coordinators responded.
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