We did an accidental experiment in our practice regarding the power of online marketing. As you know, there is a balance between having availability in your schedule and having enough patients scheduled to be confident you can "stay busy." We have had a pretty good handle on our schedule for a while.
Through a series of events we found ourselves in a scheduling bind. First we were booked so far out, there was no availability at all. None! So we just stopped all recall / marketing efforts. Maybe not the best idea, but we were too busy to think clearly. Suddenly, there was too much availability on the schedule and we were not seeing enough patients. Then it occurred to us, we had turned off all of our marketing efforts.
|How we got in this mess|
First thing we did was open up the online scheduler so people could schedule appointments online. This didn't really generate any significant response, so still we remained too slow.
Second, we sent out an email announcing that appointments are available online. And literally within one day - our appointment books were back to the level we like.
Since we have a strong, balanced marketing system in place it didn't take much for us to overcome this particular problem. And the damage was minimal, because we noticed it quickly and responded.
I was not surprised that we saw an uptick in scheduling once we began actively marketing again. But I was very surprised at how fast it happened.
Like I said, this is an experiment that I don't recommend you duplicate. Just learn from my failures.
Have a great weekend,
p.s. Recently I sent you a link to our Online Marketing Calculator. If you missed it, you can now find it on the blog page in the Google article.