Archive for month: June, 2014

Capitalizing on Your Good Work and Goodwill — Get Testimonials

Categories: Articles

Testimonials are the lifeblood of referral marketing. Many customers and clients are happy to give them when you do a great job or provide outstanding service on a project or over the long term. Sadly, few companies then put them in the right places to capitalize on them.

Building a good testimonial requires more than just doing good work. A blog post by Cairril Mills, owner of a design and marketing firm in Bloomington, IN, goes beyond the obvious. She advises approaching the clients who are like those you really want to work with and make sure they have a compelling story to tell. Then, interview people most likely to impress the prospects you want to impress. Get them to describe the problem or need they had, how your business helped them solve that problem or fill that need and the benefits gained from their relationship with you.

The best way to get the testimonial is to do a video interview. Focus on your customer’s or client’s face – or faces if you’re interviewing more than one person – and engage them in a conversation. You want them to tell a story, not recite a bunch of answers. As you engage them, give them time to talk, and don’t worry about too much silence; it will help your editing.

If you can’t do a video interview, you can easily record a phone conversation and display a static picture or series of related images while the audio is heard.

A good line of questioning should include:

  • What was their pain point?
  • What were they doing about the pain point before working with you?
  • How did you help them identify their problem or need and implement your solution?
  • What were the specific benefits?

Once you have their story, you can tell it in a number of ways in a number of places. A blog by Kristi Hines, list six different places where you can post testimonials – each serving a specific purpose. They are:

  1. Facebook Reviews
  2. LinkedIn Recommendations
  3. YouTube Videos
  4. Local Search Directories
  5. Niche Trade or Industry Review Sites
  6. Google Alerts and Social Mentions

Local search directories and niche review sites require that the reviews be genuine – written and posted by the actual reviewer. You also need to monitor those review sites so that you can respond to negative reviews to head off major problems. (That’s the downside of opening your business to reviews; however, we can tell you is it well worth it. In many cases, a negative review can be turned in to a very, very positive review; there’s not space in this article, so ask us how)

If you’ve served your customers and clients beyond their expectations – and offer them an appropriate reward – you should be able to collect testimonials that can motivate your targeted prospects.

NicheLabs can help you develop a strategy for testimonials and then set them up on your website and social media channels helping you nurture your community and monetize your goodwill.

We are a full-service agency for businesses that don’t have a CMO or VP of Marketing or that don’t have the people or time to develop websites and digital/ direct marketing campaigns. We have the resources to help you develop an integrated marketing communications program that includes social media, website content and email marketing for a total marketing communications and digital solution. And we’ll help you make decisions you can live with.

For more tips and insights about digital marketing advancements, connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter or subscribe to our monthly newsletter to read summaries of our weekly posts.

To speak with our team, please Email us at, call 888.978.9254, or if you are mobile, visit us on your smartphone. When you and your customers and clients have good stories to tell, NicheLabs can help make sure they’re seen and heard.

Dollars & Cents

Categories: Articles

There’s nothing like a real-life success story to illustrate the bottom-line, dollars-and-cents value of staff phone skills training.

In this case, a physician group specialty practice more than doubled its new patient revenue by training their staff to more efficiently and more effectively answer the phone and convert callers into made and kept appointments.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to capitalizing on physician advertising. There’s an up side and a downside, and the difference is in how the office is trained and prepared (or unprepared) to handle inbound calls. And frankly, nearly every practice has something to learn and much to be gained. Even when a practice does zero advertising, we see the same staggering new patient results.

Our President, Zac Wright, whose official job title is actually Difference Maker, provides the following numbers from this vein practice in a central time zone with four locations and an average case size of $2,900.00 per new patient. “Accounting for each location,” Zac reports, “they went from 185 new patients in September last year to 347 new patients in September this year.”

Doing the math, the new patient revenue more than doubled from about $536,500 per month to over $1,000,000. Zac—who is understandably diligent about tracking results—says that, “Overall, they realized an across the board increase of about 50 percent for all locations in the three months following training.”

So, you might ask, just how did they do that? The answer may be a bit of surprise.

The “Anti-Sales Philosophy”
Zac tells us “all we did was leverage their existing staff—their largest overhead expense, by the way—and turned them into revenue producers.” In other words, this practice didn’t change its personnel, and what’s surprising is that the training created “revenue producers” and “brand zealots” using an anti-sales philosophy.

“That’s right, anti-sales.” Zac says, “We never want the staff to sound like they are selling anything. In fact, they are not ‘selling.’ Training is about helping the patient appreciate the quality of care, understand what’s involved in treatment and the support that the office provides each patient. And they set an appointment for the prospective patient in an entirely new way… a patient-centric way.”

The core idea is that the patient can’t benefit from the services of the doctor or the practice over the phone. They can only help the patient once they come into the office, and a first appointment is the beginning of a process of caring for the individual. Onsite staff training—Patient-Centric Scheduling—works from the perspective of helping the patient and boosting revenues for the practice.

Connect with Zac to see how training your team is the proven, pragmatic, foundation for boosting your revenue.

Zac Wright
Difference Maker
(Z) 470.255.2454
(O) 888.296.9545
(F) 866.356.0279
Schedule time:

Practice Manager of the Month

Categories: Practice Manager of the Month

The HST team is about “professionals dedicated to the success of medical practices.” Each month, we recognize a practice manager who shares our passion and success in doing this, and provide you her or his advice.

Cherie L’Archevesque
Allergy and Asthma Consultants

Cherie L’Archevesque, Practice Manager for Allergy and Asthma Consultants in Atlanta, truly enjoys interacting with staff and patients and the resulting feeling that she is helping people. She also enjoys taking on the challenges that have been presented with the recent changes in healthcare, and helping the practice to adapt to those changes. Whether the changes are positive or negative remain to be seen, and depends on who you ask, but Cherie’s approach to her job is to focus on the positive so that the practice will benefit long-term.

Cherie firmly believes that it’s important not to let small things bother you, and that it is of great advantage for practice managers to be available to staff and patients, and not put up barriers. In other words, remain accessible no matter how challenging things might get. Cherie says, “With five locations to manage, it can be challenging working with staff, because I can’t be onsite everywhere at one time. I feel we have a great support staff, though, and I need to maintain a balance between being the person in charge and treating people with respect.”

Dr. Paul Rabinowitz says, “Cherie’s excellent and skilled leadership and her genuine care and concern for our practice have enabled her to set standards that we admire and respect.”

When it comes to serving patients, Cherie says, “With patients, we have an atmosphere that is welcoming and opening. For example, we do not have an automated messaging service, resulting in more of a personal touch. We have a lot of competition, so we need to do things for our patients that really stand out, and that personal touch is one of those things.”

Prior to joining Allergy and Asthma Consultants, Cherie worked as an administrator for a smaller practice with multiple locations in New York state.

When asked to name someone in her life from whom she received the best advice about being successful in life, Cherie said, “My Father. He’s my role model, because he was successful, and came from humble beginnings. In all things, personal or professional, he taught me to treat others like you want to be treated – with integrity, professionalism, and respect.”

When Cherie is not busy managing the Allergy and Asthma Consultants practice, she enjoys contemporary acoustic music (e.g. Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz), gardening, cooking (she loves fried corn!), reading, and teaching Sunday school at her church. She also serves as the uniform chairperson for the marching band at her daughter’s school.

Congratulations, Cherie! Well deserved!

Steps to Increased Revenue When the Phone Rings

Categories: Articles

For a doctor or office administrator, the first red-flag warning sign is when the office phone is ringing, but the inbound inquiry calls are not converting to new patient appointments. The practice was not prepared to handle the calls properly and opportunity was lost.

For one practice, with a typical case size of $2,200-$3,200, it was a huge problem. Fortunately, they saw the symptoms and acted quickly. Many healthcare advertisers—about 90 percent—lose money on the phone with advertising generated inquiries.

In fact, we encounter this problem so frequently that we use a comprehensive rating system to chart and report the effectiveness—or lack of it—in handling initial inquiry calls. We’ll gladly tell you more about how this works, but in outline form, successful practices train employees around a proven process from inquiry to new patient appointment.

There are five core components to the system that are critical for success. Think of these as stages in a process that begins when doctor advertising causes the phone to ring.

  1. EFFECTIVE GREETING: There’s a lot more to it than simply saying “hello.” The key component is “effective;” a call can easily be “DOA” without a proper start.
  2. INFORMATIVE ANSWERS: Surprisingly, staff members may not be prepared, and unscripted and incomplete answers to caller questions erode confidence.
  3. CONTROL OF THE CONVERSATION: A prospective patient probably does not know what to ask or how to progress to the next steps. Guiding the conversation delivers useful information and leads it in the direction of a first appointment.
  4. CAPTURE AN APPOINTMENT: Knowing when and how to “close” and set an appointment is a critical step. (Simply failing to offer an appointment is the number one killer of opportunity.)
  5. FOLLOW-UP: Questions about the patient and their needs and interests help secure the appointment or provide background for a subsequent follow-through with an unscheduled caller.

What’s the score in your medical practice? Are you using a systematic approach that includes these five components? If you are one of the many healthcare providers that is converting only one in ten prospective new patient callers, your physician marketing and advertising dollars are being squandered, and worse, your new business opportunity has the sound of a deeply annoying busy signal.

Zac Wright
Difference Maker
(Z) 470.255.2454
(O) 888.296.9545
(F) 866.356.0279
Schedule time:

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