How to Use Chatbot and Voice Scheduling to Increase Patient Acquisition

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In addition to utilizing traditional marketing techniques, it’s important to expand your efforts to include new technology in order to increase patient acquisition. Consider all of your available outlets and marketing channels. One often overlooked resource that can be used as a marketing channel for patient acquisition is scheduling. Using patient engagement software can help increase patient acquisition through online and voice scheduling. Chatbot and voice scheduling are two marketing channels you may not be leveraging today.

These channels are excellent for patient acquisition, and they also create a scheduling method that is convenient and user-friendly for patients. 

What is Chatbot?

Chatbot is an online patient scheduling platform that can transform the digital experience for patients. Practices use chatbots as an extension of their self-service patient scheduling options. Chatbots can help you improve the patient scheduling experience and increase booked appointments.

A customized chatbot enables your patients to quickly and easily find the appropriate appointment type, provider, and time slot.t. Through chatbot, patients  can access care in their preferred way, promptly find the right healthcare providers, and self-schedule appointments at the most convenient times using. Chatbot is similar to online scheduling. However, it provides a personal step-by-step process for patients who are confused by online scheduling methods.

A chatbot tool can be added to any page on your practice’s website or across your entire website for easy patient access. When using the chatbot feature, patients are guided through your scheduling workflows with automated software to help them schedule an appointment that matches their needs and your care offerings. First, your patients will be asked to provide some of their information, like phone number and name, so that the chatbot can find that specific patient. Chatbots can also determine if patients are new and capture additional data. Then, they will begin the scheduling process and will be offered appointment dates and times.

What is Voice Scheduling?

Interactive Voice Response, also known as medical IVR, is a smart appointment scheduling system that offers patient accessibility to self-scheduling while decreasing the workload on your team. Voice scheduling is excellent for those patient demographics that prefer the phone over the internet.

For patients that find it too difficult or time-consuming for traditional appointment-making methods or online scheduling, voice scheduling can be an excellent alternative. Patients can call your scheduling phone line and the automated voice response system will instruct patients to use their phone’s keypad to quickly and accurately reflect their condition and appointment requirements. 

First, when patients call the voice scheduling system, they will be greeted by a pre-recorded, automated message that gives them a menu of options to choose from. You can customize this menu based on the options available at your practice. Once they go through the menu options by clicking buttons on their phone, each patient is matched with the ideal provider and appointment. This is based on their responses and the specific scheduling guidelines and workflows that you’ve set up.

Voice scheduling will reduce the amount of time patients have to wait to schedule their appointments by phone or in person. In addition, it will also reduce the number of phone calls for appointment requisitions. By opening up phone lines in this way you can make more time for patients who are calling with questions that cannot be answered through voice automation or solved online or through other methods.

How Can These Marketing Channels Help Increase Patient Acquisition?

Reduce No Shows

Having scheduling options that are convenient, user-friendly and flexible can improve patient acquisition by reducing no-shows. These tools will not only help patients initiate scheduling an appointment, but they can also make it easier for patients to cancel or reschedule their appointments. If your patient has a busy week and knows they cannot attend their upcoming appointment, they may not make the time to physically call your office and cancel or reschedule their appointment. In this case, the patient would likely be counted as a no-show. However, with tools like chatbot, voice scheduling and online scheduling, busy patients will have an easy alternative route to cancel or reschedule their appointment, which takes little effort and time out of their already busy schedule. Making scheduling more accessible to patients also reduces the number of patients who may not follow up as recommended. Patients may be more encouraged to see their doctor for planned follow-up visits if they are able to easily schedule and reschedule their appointments conveniently on their own time. These tools can encourage established patients to make follow-up appointments at a convenient time for them. 

Reduce the Burden on Your Staff

By allowing patients to schedule their own appointment either over the phone online , or with a chatbot, your staff will have less calls to field every day.tasks. Reducing the burden on your staff in this way will provide them time to focus on high-value administrative tasks or patient care, which will improve efficiency and the patient experience. 

Increase Scheduling Convenient for Patients

Tools like chatbot and voice scheduling made available through a comprehensive patient engagement platform provide your patient’s the ability to book appointments outside of your office house. Without having to get a hold of your staff during the workday, your patients can book appointments when it’s top-of-mind for them, whether that’s early in the morning, at the end of the day or even on a weekend. Providing patients this flexibility increases patient throughput and satisfaction, since they don’t have to worry about taking time out of school or work to book appointments.

Furthermore, this convenience may be the encouragement needed for new patients to schedule an appointment. 

User-Friendly and Accessible

Tools like chatbot and voice calls for patient self-scheduling don’t just provide more channels for your patients to book through, it also gives them the opportunity to choose a booking method that best fits their preferences.These tools are user-friendly and easily accessible to patients and may give them fewer excuses for themselves to put off scheduling their appointments.

Your Patients may also be very familiar with automated voice call or chatbot scheduling as a result of other speciality practices they frequent or even other appointments they have they book, like a haircut, manicure, spa, etc.  By providing options your patients are already familiar with, they will be more comfortable booking appointments fast and at their convenience.

Encourage Patients to Use These Tools

To get patients comfortable with scheduling tools like chatbot and voice scheduling, some patients may first need to be introduced to these methods and learn how to use them. There are numerous ways you can encourage your patients to try alternative forms of scheduling, other than the traditional process of calling scheduling staff, or making their follow-up appointment while at the office. One way you can accomplish this is by advertising these scheduling methods on your website by creating an inviting banner. You can also promote scheduling methods on social media platforms or via email campaigns, telling patients they are able to take this step on their own, at their convenience. . Consider having signs in the office that share ways to schedule appointments, like brochures in the waiting room. Have your staff mention online and voice scheduling after the visit, even consider sending them with a scheduling card that has a QR code linking to your website for scheduling. 

Meet patients where they are by allowing more technological freedom to schedule their own appointments, all while improving staff productivity and reducing no-shows. Clearwave’s voice scheduling and chatbot tools can allow you to experience all of the benefits of our modern patient engagement solutions. Let Clearwave help pave the way in your practice for a better patient experience, less staff burden, and a smoother workflow.

Are you interested in learning more about how chatbot and voice scheduling can help you practice increase patient acquisition? Schedule a demo today to learn more about how Clearwave can help you!

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