In our recent article we presented the idea of using CRM for marketing automation in your practice. At its heart, customer relationship management is a patient-centric philosophy that ensures you can efficiently and effectively serve everyone from prospect to current patient in the best possible way.
It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to understanding how CRM can automate your marketing, this case study provides that picture. One plastic surgeon is using her CRM software to help maintain community with her current and past patients through automated reminder calls. The ability to automate these calls allows this plastic surgeon to:
- Focus on existing patients - Encouraging repeat business is much more efficient than working to find new patients. By sending promotional phone calls to past clients, this practice has found a simple and effective way to gain referrals and book more appointments.
- Encourage existing clients to bring in new patients - Automated reminder calls are used to announce a Refer-A-Friend promotion that has increased the client base. Referring patients are rewarded with a discount or promotional giveaway.
- Create conversation and community - Automated reminder calls invite patients to Open Houses celebrating holidays. Refreshments, discount coupons, and product samples are given out at these events. Local physicians are often invited as well.
- Calls are used to promote relationships with patients - Birthday greetings that include a discount code are sent out further strengthening relationships with patients.
- Offer free classes - Patients are invited to attend free weight loss, back care, and pain management classes. These are inexpensive to conduct, remind patients of other services provided by the clinic, and provide opportunity for friends to invite prospects to discover the clinic.
- Generate buzz - Reminder calls improve your online marketing. Some reminder calls are used to highlight webinars, podcasts and the clinic’s presence on social network sites and blogs.
- Nurture patient loyalty – Because this clinic has a number of Spanish speaking patients, this is an inexpensive way to prerecord language specific messages to those patients.
The return on investment on marketing automation is superior to other strategies. Postcards that often go unread and emails end up in spam but voice messages are generally listened to. You are practically guaranteed someone will receive your message, whether in person or on an answering machine, for less than the cost of a postage stamp!
How to Make Marketing Automation Work
This case study illustrates how the best marketing automation focuses directly on conversing with people. HubSpot recently reported that marketing automation is beginning to be less effective. Hubspot’s conclusion the problem is less emphasis on direct conversation with prospects. In other words, too many users of marketing automation believe the software will create clients.
Marketing Automation does nothing to help generate new leads: It’s true. While marketing automation could help you generate warmer, better-educated leads from an existing list, marketing automation does absolutely nothing to help you to generate new leads. Because marketing automation does not help you generate new content or optimize your website for SEO, mobile devices, or social media. As a result, marketing automation is a very expensive route that encourages you to just spam the same list you already have in new and different ways. Instead, make sure that you have implemented a full inbound marketing strategy by blogging regularly, networking on social media inside of your field, and making sure that people can access your site and content on a variety of devices.
This case study illustrates why focusing on the conversation and interaction with prospects and patients is still central.