We’ve previously touched upon the patient journey, which explains the steps patients take from the time they discover your practice to the time they sign the contract. Here’s a brief overview of that journey.`
— Phase 1: Discovery’“ This is when a patient discovers you through your marketing content and learns more about your practice
— Phase 2: Consideration ‘“ During this phase, a patient attends a consultation and is considering treatment
— Phase 3: Decision’“ This typically takes place after they leave the consultation room and it’s the phase when patients decide whether or not to start treatment
Great marketing content will make your practice discoverable; an impressive presentation will give your practice credibility during the consideration phase; and proper follow-up will help patients decide that your practice is right for their treatment.
All orthodontists need to pay close attention to the “decision” phase, especially the amount of time patients spend deciding before signing the contract, in other words the “lag period.”
If your practice has an average lag period that is very long, it is likely that potential patients are dropping off, resulting in thousands of dollars in lost business. A long lag period could also indicate that you are not following-up enough, or that there are inefficiencies within your follow-up protocol.
But how do you measure the lag period?
Say hello to SmileSuite, an orthodontic presentation system aimed at turning consults into contracts. Prior to SmileSuite, practices haven’t been able to efficiently track this metric, making it impossible to know whether follow-up protocols are effective.
With SmileSuite, not only can you track follow-up on all patients, but also follow-ups on individual treatment recommendations.
For example, you can track the lag period for patients who are presented clear aligners. If there’s a long lag period, you can make adjustments with the way Treatment Coordinators are following up. Perhaps more follow-up is needed, or more information about clear aligners should be provided to educate the patient to help them decide sooner.
Simple changes to your follow-up protocols could lead to bigger profits. So isn’t it time you had a system like SmileSuite, to help you figure out what you need to fix?