One in five patients say waiting for a practice to open is their biggest pain point when scheduling an appointment, according to a study by GetApp.
Fortunately, there’s a way to eliminate that problem.
“We wanted to give patients a way to connect with our practice 24/7, so we added Simplifeye’s live chat to our website,” said Damon Dierker, OD, FAAO. Dr. Dierker is the Director of Optometric Services at Eye Surgeons of Indiana, a thriving ophthalmology practice in Indianapolis, and the President of the Indiana Optometric Association.
Simplifeye’s team responds within seven seconds to website visitors and is fluent in seven languages. The chat team follows the eye clinic’s protocols for answering questions and gathering relevant information. While Simplifeye does offer direct scheduling that integrates with most practice management systems, Dr. Dierker opted to have the appointment requests sent to his team to finalize.
Eye Surgeons of Indiana provides a wide range of services including cataract surgery, glaucoma treatment, specialty dry eye services, and other types of vision care. A new patient can generate thousands of dollars in revenue.
Dr. Dierker says the numbers speak for themselves:
50 New Patients Each Month
80% Of Patient Leads Convert to Appointments
$150,000 Revenue from Live Chat Appointments
“Adding live chat has been a big win for our patients and our practice. We were blown away when we had two new patients schedule within the first hour after integrating the technology.”
Damon Dierker, OD, FAAO
Eye Surgeons of Indiana
Live chat has added value in another way, too. It saves their team time because Simplifeye collects the contact information, insurance details, and reason for the visit. That shortens the amount of time the Eye Surgeons of Indiana team spends on the phone.
Some of the data surprised the team.
“We were a little surprised that new and existing patients both take advantage of live chat,” Dr. Dierker explained.
“Referring doctors like having this option too, especially if they’re referring a patient after hours.”
Simplifeye’s live chat service responds 24/7, 365 days a year. That’s helped patients be able to get the information they need any time.
Dr. Dierker’s office updated their voicemail message to include, “Please leave a voicemail or you can visit our website to chat with a live representative right now.” Many practices also update their Facebook auto-replies with a message that directs people to the live chat on the website for immediate assistance.
“We’ve made a significant investment in improving our online presence over the past few years. Live chat allows us to convert leads to new patient evaluations and also services our existing patient base,” said Dr. Dierker.
What does he tell colleagues who are considering adding live chat to their websites?
“The ROI is off the charts!”
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