Patient Acquisitions: Speed to Lead and Customer Service

This episode of All Things Business for Physicians features special guest Scott Hansen, founder, and owner of OrthoChats. OrthoChats is a premier, professionally managed, 24/7, live online chat service exclusively for orthodontists and their practices. Since launching his business, Scott’s company has also been serving other healthcare specialists including dentists, audiologists, and so on. Scott lives in Kansas City with his wife.

Be sure to check out this episode if you want to learn about:

  • How OrthoChats capitalizes on “radical convenience” and why this can improve efficiency, customer engagement, retention, and profitability
  • How to convert people to patients (and why so many offices with decent call or website traffic still struggle in this regard)
  • The philosophy of “speed to lead” and why a difference of 5 minutes to 10 minutes in contact delay can make a thousand-dollar difference in your revenue
  • The importance of having someone on your team who understands market research and changing technology
  • How to get the greatest return on leads coming in (and it’s usually not just the marketing team’s fault)
  • The importance of better training for office managers and receptionists
  • Just how essential the first impression really is
  • The best advice Scott can give to practices struggling to turn traffic into new patients

The following is a brief summary of the show itself for your own “radical convenience“:

  • After making the transition to more of a marketing and management position within his business, Scott quickly learned a concerning truth:  “[About] 95% of the people coming to our website left without ever taking action,” he states. This led him to ask himself the question: “Why couldn’t we convert that person into a patient?” Eventually, after researching pre-existing vendors who could provide live chat options (a service, Scott noted, was offered by big companies far more often than small companies like his), OrthoChats was born. Scott was inspired by the customized way his platform could provide helpful, educational, and engaging value to prospective “high value” clients while also being uniquely tailored to fit their practice. Lesson? If you don’t see something you want, maybe it’s time to figure out how you can create it yourself.
  • A huge realization for Scott was that the traditional model for small businesses was to simply be open during business hours…even the website, to a degree. In other words, if no one is available online to provide 24/7 communication with prospective clients, how much potential business was being missed? This jumped out at as a glaring missed marketing opportunity that Scott capitalized on with OrthoChats. He nods his head to other businesses using live chat for his inspiration: “I can’t really take credit for being smart,” he says, “I just do what other smart people do.”
  • The proof is in the pudding…and the chat box. Scott references one client for whom OrthoChats has generated 700 new patient leads. Plus, “the results scale with the size of the practice,” he’s realized from their data, noting that both small and large orthodontic practices enjoy similar percentages of website engagement and lead generation.
  • What’s Scott advice for capitalizing on website traffic? In addition to making sure the layout, copy, and call to actions are clear and high quality, he also advises businesses to “engage people when they’re at the peak level of their interest.” It’s why OrthoChats is so successful at generating business, but even making sure that return calls are made ASAP is huge, too. “When people give you their information [to set up an appointment], [call them] immediately.” These are the bones of the marketing philosophy of “speed to lead,” which OrthoChats takes advantage of using a specialized live call feature.
  • “You can bring a horse to water…” Scott points to the fact that for most businesses, new patient leads should be the top priority since just getting them doesn’t guarantee they’ll generate revenue for you if they’re not handled appropriately. Having operational processes in place helps convert these leads into business, and training receptionist staff (among other things) is essential in this regard…
  • …But keep it simple. “Don’t reinvent the wheel,” Scott warns office managers and doctors. “Just go and learn the process from someone who knows what they’re doing.” Focus on providing services your customers truly want, and making a great first impression, from your website to your front office to your consultation room.

You can contact Scott at or call OrthoChats at (816) 282-0429.

Resources & References


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A healthy practice is built on solid science, proven methods, and a clear path to success. Our Patient Acquisition and Retention Framework™ (PARF) puts you in control of finding and keeping the right patients while growing your practice for long-term health. To build a new patient acquisition machine, you need a blueprint, training, accountability, and transparency. That’s what we call The Bridge, which is the first step within PARF™. It’s where we discover your needs and learn how we can help take your practice to the next level.