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The 7 Rules of Online Lead Engagement For Doctors

Studies have shown that if you aren’t getting in contact with your prospects within 5 minutes of them submitting an appointment request or requesting additional information—you are running an exponential risk of losing that prospect.

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In a world full of noise, time is becoming one of the most valuable resources at our disposal, and this is particularly true for medical practices.

Studies have shown that if you aren’t getting in contact with your prospects within 5 minutes of them submitting an appointment request or requesting additional information—you are running an exponential risk of losing that prospect. With the high costs of paid advertising and the ever-increasing competition in the digital landscape, you literally can’t afford to waste another moment.

Let’s Set The Scene

One Saturday afternoon, you decide to venture out for those new shoes you need for an upcoming event.

You head out to the nearest mall and while walking around you catch a glimpse of the perfect pair. You make your way over to the shelf, pick it up and survey the shoe up close. Now you just need to find your size, but there isn’t a staff member insight.

You patiently wait a few seconds and within minutes you’re tapping your toe and looking around for someone to acknowledge you. But still nothing. So, what do you do?

Let’s be honest…you’re going to pop over to the next shoe store and buy the very same shoes or find a better option there.

This begs a question… Why should online service be any different?

It shouldn’t. And that’s why speeding up your lead response time should be one of your primary objectives if you are a doctor’s office.

Why Does Lead Response Time Matter?

Lead response time is quickly becoming the most powerful determiner of successful contact, conversions, and even bookings and closes for doctor’s offices. The longer you take to contact a lead after they request information, the less likely you are to close that deal.

Best Practices for Lead Response

1. Respond to Every Lead.

Don’t cherry-pick leads!

Have a system in place to manually or automatically provide a professional response to every sales inquiry you receive. If customers take the time to reach out, they deserve a response.

2. Respond Quickly!

Your lead response time should be in minutes – not hours!

Studies show internet shoppers who receive a response within 10 minutes, are three times more likely to book an appointment. Contact leads right away – at their highest point of interest!

3. Draft email templates & VM scripts

Give you smart, trained reps flexibility to customize their prospect messages, but give them a baseline template for each email as well as an explicit script for voicemails. Ideally, these include your best practices around messaging, format, offer, etc.

4. Diversify channels beyond email & phone

At a minimum, your lead follow-up should include both email and phone/voicemail. Leaving voicemails has been proven to increase familiarity and awareness, which increases response rates of future outreach. But diversifying channels further will accelerate the path towards response. Think social, discussion boards, Twitter “favorites”, LinkedIn Groups, their blog comments, anywhere you can generate a value-added impression with them that increases your engagement rate.

5. Personalize the Response

Customizing your response will make customers feel more important.

Your responses to leads should always include:

  • The leads name
  • Your practice’s name, logos, and taglines
  • Contact name, photo, and direct phone number
  • A strong call to action – tell them what to do next!

6. Respond Professionally

If you wouldn’t send it to your mom – don’t send it at all.

Eliminate typos, inconsistencies and irrelevant information that distracts the customer! Courteous and professional responses help instill a sense of trust in your practice from customers that earn you referral business. Adding video to your email can make you stand out from the competition and provide something visually appealing to the customer.

7. Have an After-Hours Game Plan!

Does your practice currently have a process or technology to personalize responses to customer inquiries after hours? If it doesn’t, it should.

Up to 40% of leads are generated after hours.

With a Managed Chat service, you can have access to conversations had with website visitors who visit after your office hours.

Curious to hear your lead follow-up best practices as well, especially those that have been implemented and optimized across your medical practice.

Don’t have a strategy in place? Let us know when you’re ready to elevate your digital strategy to the next level. Contact us at

Published on
Mar 18, 2020

Written by
Keisha Dunstan