Texting patients boosts appointments, customer service and grows business
There are plenty of hurdles to growing your chiropractic business, but illustrated here are five ways other chiropractors overcome common problems and grow their businesses by texting with patients.
Phone calls are dead. With the rise of robocalls, sales calls, and people not wanting to be interrupted, answer rates have fallen to record lows. Email is not dead, but it needs medical assistance ‒ less than 17% of chiropractic emails are ever opened.
If you can’t connect with your patients, you can’t grow your practice. But is texting patients any better?
Short answer: Yes.
Approximately 99% of texts are read, and the average response time is only 90 seconds. If you want to reach someone quickly, you text them. How do you apply that knowledge to your business?
1. Let patients text you to set up appointments
Patients are actively searching for your services online. What happens once they find your website? Nine in 10 of them would rather text you than call.
Click-to-Text is a button you place on your website that, when clicked, opens a text addressed to your office. SMS Chat is another among a number of texting options. It’s a live chat widget where every message in or out is a text. Both of these are proven to increase inbound conversations.
Texting patients also creates better customer experiences, which helps you with the rest of these points and your overall business.
2. Be your patients’ personal assistant
Life happens, and people forget about their appointments. This costs you money, but it shouldn’t have to. Instead of trying to call and email your patients to confirm appointments, just text them.
You can text one person at a time or dozens. Example:
“Hi Julie, looking forward to seeing you at 9am tomorrow! Let us know if there is an issue that will keep you from making it in. – Monica, ChiroPractice”
You’ll confirm more appointments with less effort, and you’ll also be in the perfect position to save cancellations by rescheduling appointments, should there be any developing calendar conflicts.
3. Retain more patients
Patients get distracted by other things going on, and you fall off their radar. This can be a symptom of a bigger issue that you aren’t giving patients a reason to come back. Texting patients will help.
Let’s say it’s been a month since a patient’s last visit. Send them a text like:
“Hi Bill, hope you’re well. It’s been a month since your last chiro visit. Would you like us to set one up for you?”
They can reply yes or no, and you’ll end the day with more appointments on the books than when you started. This works for any loyalty rewards you offer, and for rounds of physical therapy, too. A few simple texts will give your patients the nudges they need to keep coming back.
4. Earn more online reviews
Customers read an average of seven reviews before deciding to trust a business. If you want to build trust with potential patients, this is where to do it.
Just text your current patients asking them to leave their feedback on your favorite platform (Google, Facebook, etc.). Example:
“Carolynn, thanks for trusting us with your chiropractic needs. Would you please share your experience on Google? We’d really appreciate it. bitly.com/business”
People are 25 times more likely to engage with a text than an email, so you’ll build a better reputation faster (and earn more business) by scoring these reviews.
5. Promote your products (and drive sales)
The services you provide are great, but products provide great upsell opportunities. How do you promote them?
Whenever you run a sale (or are having a slow month), promote your products through text. Include a picture of the product(s), and a link to buy it online if applicable. Example:
“Starting now — we’re giving 20% off all supplements! Use this opportunity to stock up! Visit www.oursite.com/products or reply to this text. [picture of products]”
Is texting compliant?
No text messaging tool is 100% HIPAA compliant, but everything mentioned in this guide is appropriate and good for growing your practice – with caveats.
SMS text messages are not encrypted as they travel between cell towers, and that’s why you shouldn’t share personal health information (PHI) when texting patients. If you need to speak to your patient on the phone, text them to ask when they have a moment to talk. That’s one more great use for texting in your chiropractic office.
As you consider text messaging, you’ll want to look for: A shared dashboard, so your team can text from their respective computers; a secure platform where messages are timestamped and permanently recorded; and a few messaging features like individual conversations, mass texting, and auto- (or out of office) responses.
Kenneth Burke is the director of marketing for Text Request, a business text messaging software company that works with clients from a wide variety of industries across North America. He and his insights have been featured in numerous publications including Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Startup Nation.