Charlie Winn: “If a lead reaches out via an inbound call, we get that. We also integrate into the phone system, so let’s say you have like a high amount of referral volume coming into your practice. Those folks are going to have your main phone number, we can get those. Inbound calls, web leads, like I just mentioned, and all the follow-up to web leads. We integrate with online booking platforms and chat features as well, so sort of omnichannel.”
Announcer: Welcome to the Ignite podcast, the only healthcare marketing podcast that digs into the digital strategies and tactics that help you accelerate growth. Each week, Cardinal’s experts explore innovative ways to build your digital presence and attract more patients. Buckle up for another episode of Ignite.
Alex Membrillo: [unintelligible 00:00:23] dear friend and one of the best technology partners in the country right now. Every medical group, every PPE provider group needs to know about them if they don’t already, we’re very excited bringing them to our clients. Very, very, very innovative. Charlie Winn, he lives in North Carolina. Don’t hold that against him. I don’t know. Is Panthers fan or Falcons?
Charlie Winn: Panthers, baby. NFC South Champs, never. [chuckles]
Alex: [laughs] Super Bowl attendance, never. We all love mediocre football down here. He’s the CRO there. He’s not the conversion rate optimization special, he’s Chief Revenue Officer. We also have Rich [unintelligible 00:01:01] on the line. Y’all know him. He is on all these things with me. He heads up all of our media, tech, innovation, all that fun stuff. He found Charlie. Now we’re all good friends and I’m very thankful for him having found Charlie in Liine. Charlie, what is Liine?
Charlie: Liine is speech analytics technology that automatically utilizes all the interactions your staff has with patients, tells you what happened, and optimizes conversion rate. You got to have it
Alex: Rich, you’re the more unbiased because we have a lot of call and lead dragging to CRM, friends, and all that kind of fun stuff. Why is Liine working really well for our clients? What does it do as well than other partners? Rich, answer. Start us off, you’re too biased.
Rich Briddock: Charlie, you’re too biased. You can’t ask this one. I got a neutral perspective on this. Let’s give Charlie a big head. Obviously, the big thing for us as an agency that specializes in patient acquisition is you can’t really do that very effectively if you can’t measure patient acquisition. What Liine gives us is the ability to understand how many new patient leads and how many new patient appointments we’re driving, either via phone calls or via form submissions that then our clients then call back and get these guys on the phone and try and book an appointment with them.
Instead of reporting out on calls, any type of call, or any type of form, we’re now able to say, we drove this many new patient leads to you guys, and of those new patient leads that we drove to you, you converted 50% into new patient book appointments or new consults or whatever that next step is, right? Whatever that SQL event is, that is pushing these people down the funnel. That’s huge for us because now we can measure ROI on our efforts. Clients can feel really good about what they’re getting. We can optimize. We can send the right signals to the advertising platforms to optimize towards actual new patient appointments instead of just calls and forms that might not be qualified.
Overall, just see a decent performance lift from integrating this technology. Oftentimes we will say to our clients, we would rather you spend a little less on your media budget to carve out the dollars to get the tracking set up right, and get your tech stack right. Because you’re still going to get more for that lower dollar amount that you’re investing in media if you have the right measurement than if you are not buying this technology and just guessing and just not sending the right signals to the platforms and all that fun stuff.
Alex: Just as important as to know. We know how many leads we’re driving, we know how many appointments are coming out of those leads. Very, very important. Everybody wants a cut now that we’re in a conversation on the private equity groups, they want to know exactly how much return they’re getting from the ad spend. That’s very important. Charlie, just as important as knowing how many leads we’re driving, we also know why some are calling and not booking. That’s one of the cool things I think why the intelligence there is pretty [unintelligible 00:03:57]. We find out why people aren’t booking.
Charlie: Every lead that doesn’t convert is tagged with a specific reason. Going along with what Rich said, you can get more out of the leads you already have. If you identify the top one or two things, obstacles that are keeping the leads that are already reaching out from scheduling an appointment, you can attack those, and then your conversion rate’s going to go up, you get more book deployments. The biggest shift here is with sort of traditional CRM tools or call tracking in the past. You’re not optimizing for book deployments as Rich said. What we’ve done is we’re using AI to show you whether people are booking automatically. It changes the conversation and the strategy for marketing and lead management to optimize for book deployments, which is really what you’re trying to do anyway.
Alex: Got it. There’s data on the agency really, right?
Alex: Tell us more about that. What are you able to see there?
Charlie: Individual staff performance. Essentially what’s happening is we’ll just use inbound calls as an example. All the calls coming in are recorded, transcribed, speech-to-text, and then we’re analyzing the content of the dialogue. One of the things we can pick up on is who is handling these interactions? Let’s say you have a contact center and there’s 50 people in there, you’re going to know exactly how many leads they handled, what is their conversion rate to book deployment individually.
Then individually, why aren’t people booking when they speak to those agents, right? Then you can get really targeted to, “Hey, these three people have an issue with price objection. These five people are over-indexing on out-of-network insurance.” Whatever it is, and you can have more effective communication around what they need to change to get more folks through.
Rich: Real-life use cases of that with one of our major clients, join clients that’s using it. We were able to help them track the improvements in performance and conversion rates by attacking some of the issues that they had. They had agents who were basically telling people who were calling in to go back to the online scheduler and book their appointment through the online scheduler instead of booking them in that moment when they had them on the phone. Little things like that, that’s a great way to move the needle in terms of the number of new patients you’re driving without having to invest more dollars in marketing. Getting more out of the dollars you’re already spending.
Alex: Rich, how does it help inform some of the messaging strategy, creative, what have you noticed in line in the platform that makes us change what we’re doing on the media front?
Rich: Well, there’s a number of different ways that it can help. If you think about the reasons not booked, another example of a client that we are working with Liine, they’re getting a lot of new patient leads, but they weren’t booking or getting to the next step because they had Medicaid. One of the things that we then did was be much more explicit, both in our advertisement thing and on the landing page that we don’t accept Medicaid. Because we don’t want to have to pay for those folks.
Ideally, you’re vetting them out early, you’re filtering them out before they even get to the page, but if not, you’re stopping them from calling you and wasting operational time for people who can’t take these leads and do anything with them. Then other things I think are helpful too. Liine can tell you the types of treatment that people are coming in for, so if you have a provider that offers multiple different treatment modalities, understanding the types of treatment that people are coming in for, even if the search terms might be a bit more generic, it helps you to say actually, people who are searching for this are really looking for appointments around this.
I’m going to focus the efforts of my messaging on those types of appointments. Because 70% of people who are seeking mental health might actually be wanting psychiatry med-management. I’ve got to put more influence on med management in my messaging because those are the people that are coming through and booking appointments. We can do like that.
Alex: Charlie, Liine just came out with their benchmark report. Your benchmark report not written by ChatGPT, right?
Charlie: Not ChatGPT.
Alex: Seems a mediocre piece of content.[laughter]
What were some of the main– in that benchmark report, share some novel findings. What were the top reasons people are not booking? Some are going to be obvious and some are [unintelligible 00:08:13] that would’ve seemed obvious and I didn’t know that.
Charlie: The obvious one, we work in a variety of specialties, but anytime there’s insurance potentially involved to some extent out of network insurance or out of network insurance, Medicaid are really common there. Rich just gave a great use case for the Medicaid on the marketing side of finding ways that you make adjustments to not drive those patients and pay for those leads. Those are common in those types of specialties right below that, and if it’s a purely elective specialty, by far, the top one is caller procrastination. What does that mean? That means people call in and they ask questions.
Regardless of whatever the specialty is, patients are consumers now, they have a consumer mindset. What does this cost? How does this work? How much is my insurance going to cover, whatever. What happens is staff answer that question to start the call, and they do not focus on booking people. This would actually be interesting if you’re managing a team at a practice group or a call center. If you were to ask all of your agents or your staff exactly what their job is when they answer the phone and talk to a new patient, what they should say is help people schedule.
A lot of you probably would have zero people say that. They’re not thinking about what the purpose of the call is, which is simple, scheduling people. Then the conversation gets focused on all the information that isn’t as relevant. Then people say, “Well, let me call you back.” That is rampant and a huge opportunity for practices to just attack that, just change the mindset of staff. There’s a lot of examples of people that are generating millions of dollars a year with the leads they already have by correcting that issue.
Rich: It’s about making people in healthcare approach in a much more retail mindset. I think the traditional approach for patient acquisition in healthcare because a lot of it’s referral based, they’re so warm that you can ask patients to jump through a lot of hoops to become a patient of your practice. I feel like that’s changing now with so many more providers that are out there, so many more retail-focused providers, retail mindset that if you don’t start playing the game and offer amazing customer service and make it really easy, you got to leave a lot of patients on the table.
Alex: Higher salespeople in that call center, baby. What’s a great new patient conversion rate from call to appointment book?
Charlie: The average is 62% across all specialties, so I would say the top practices are 70 and above. One interesting stat about individual people, the top performing staff members convert over 80% and the lowest are below 20. So just think about that, human beings doing the same job and that big of a spread, and their performance is pretty wild. If you are converting over 70% of your overall leads calls and forms, you’re doing pretty well. There’s certainly opportunities to improve, but that is definitely well above average.
Alex: Rich, when we look at all these [unintelligible 00:11:15] and metrics, what do you focus our clients on? What’s most important?
Rich: I think the most important thing is to focus on the majority of our clients, because what they care about is new patients, there’s two metrics in Liine. There’s new patient leads, so people who are looking for that service, whether or not they’re qualified, whether or not they book and then the new patient booked appointment. We’re not really focusing on existing patients, we’re not really focusing on sort of existing patient reactivation. For us, it’s really all about those two metrics that tell us what the new patient is. If you are going to deploy Liine, or if you are focusing on new patients, like Charlie says, there’s so many other reasons outside of just the marketing that you’re doing that determines whether that number goes up or down.
There’s so many other factors and you as a marketing team have got to be clued into that. If the call center is dropping the ball, you got to know about it. If you’ve seen the common objections come up time and time again, you’ve got to be tied into those reasons not booked. You’ve got to understand what’s happening. Now those are the two metrics we look at all the data to really see if there’s any weak points and opportunities for improvement.
Charlie: I was going to say one other one, those are good there. In terms of reasons, one that we haven’t talked about much yet is web forms. An increasing number of patients are filling out contact forms or request appointment online in addition to online booking and the follow-up with those web leads is so critical. Most places that I talk to or me have a really elaborate drip nurture sequencing going on. Hey, somebody fills out a form, we start emailing and we text them, and so forth.
I believe in that. What they’re not doing is calling people immediately. If you call a web lead within five minutes, you’re 10 times as likely to get ’em on the phone, and your average conversion rate goes from 19% to 55% just from calling them right away. That should be like, you shouldn’t even worry about any other part of your web lead follow-up until you’re consistently calling people that fast.
Alex: Liine does that as soon as web lead comes in a call center and patient are connected.
Charlie: Yes. The call center gets an inbound call from us that says web lead, so they know it’s one. They pick up, they’re prompted to press one, then we call the patient. If a patient’s on your site and fills out a web form and gets a call in 40 seconds and it says your practice name, they’re going to book. Like that is Ritz Carlton, so that type of stuff is important. Yes, that’s one of the features that people really like about Liine.
Rich: Yes. I’m glad we touched on it because I tell everybody that.
Alex: I called Liine call tracking to a client, they said, well, it’s like a lead tracking in CRM. Our client who’s smarter than me, they see it differently. Charlie, why is it not just call tracking? How would you differentiate, because it does the web flows, because it does what? How do you think of it, because you integrate with call? Yes, I think I have it long.
Charlie: Yes, it’s okay. Well, the first thing is it’s any type of lead. If a lead reaches out via an inbound call, we get that. We also integrate into the phone system, so let’s say you have like a high amount of referral volume coming into your practice. Those folks are going to have your main phone number, we can get those. Inbound calls, web leads, like I just mentioned, and all the follow-up to web leads. We integrate with online booking platforms and chat features as well, so sort of omnichannel.
Then here’s the biggest difference is a concept that Rich loves called leads basis. What does that mean? That means that one human being, one lead, could connect with your practice a number of times in different ways before they book, but it’s just one lead. Maybe somebody calls in and doesn’t book and then later that night they go to your site and they book online. That’s still just the same lead, right? Liine is capturing all that action and reconciling that that is the same person who ended up booking and that’s really, really important. Whereas call tracking is just counting calls essentially and not thinking about that concept.
Alex: That’s good. I got it. Yes, it’s track email forms.
Alex: And calls. You guys must start integrating with– you’re integrating with online booking tools now. That’s the final, that’s the fourth component, I suppose?
Alex: Very cool. Where are you excited to take Liine over the next year? What are we allowed to say that [unintelligible 00:15:23] partner is not going to get mad at us about?
Charlie: [laughs] They never get mad. They’re great partners for us. I think outside of healthcare, there’s tons of sales enablement technology because the bridge between leads and that first deployment or that next step is a huge part of the business, is a critical component. Non-healthcare industries have it figured out and there’s tons of options for them. Those tools don’t work here because they require that salespeople are constantly filling out lead reports and keeping up with data and there just isn’t time for the staff that are handling these interactions to do that. Where we’re headed is we are going to be the platform to use to optimize lead management and conversion to initial appointment.
Nothing else is going to touch us because we’re using speech analytics to automate it. The only thing that staff have to do is talk on the phone and we’re just doing everything else to make sure that those are followed up with. That’s like the vision more specifically, we’re adding two-way texting that’s coming out. We’re going to start doing a lot of integrations to connect the data all the way to revenue and there’s some other benefits, but long term we want to be, it’s like if you’re not using Liine, you’re just way behind.
Alex: Yes. We tell our clients that now. Yes, so they already are there. They’ll be way, way more. Rich, what else? What else do you want the wider healthcare marketing sector to know out there? We want to advance and our healthcare marketing friends and listeners, all eight of them that listen to this, we want them to get better. This technology is critical. You really want them to know what that we haven’t covered.
Rich: I don’t know if there’s anything that we haven’t covered in respect to Liine that I would say is useful to know other than just think about the importance of a deployment like this. Think about, if you are focused on new patient acquisition and you are spending anywhere even in the low five figures on a digital marketing budget every month, then I think Liine is a valuable addition and enhancement to what you’re doing. Ultimately, like you said, Alex, where the economy is, where some of the PE firms are, they need to understand what that CAC is, the lead basis stuff that Charlie mentioned really allows you to do that. You’re duping all of these different engagements and contact points with the patient, get down to like an individual lead that you’ve acquired.
I just think that’s so important because with this technology in 6 months from now and 12 months from now, you can stand in front of the board and you can say, “This is what I’ve driven, this is the growth that I’ve driven into this platform. This is the growth that I’ve driven into these individual locations.” That’s another thing. We can deploy these Liine tracking numbers everywhere.
You get a lot of new patients through Google My Business, we’ve got Liine single trackable numbers on Google My Business and we’re tracking every new patient that comes in through your GMB listing. We’ve got Liine numbers deployed on directories through Yext so it’s everywhere. We’re using Liine numbers offLiine in partner referrals from B2B2C partnerships. We’re really measuring every new patient and where it’s coming in from. This is not just paid search, it’s not just SEO. This is the absolute complete picture. Every marketing effort that your team is doing to try and drive new patients. Whether it is–
Alex: Hard for a marketing director to look like a hero when they don’t track every result that they are yielding.
Rich: Yes. Think about it like this. When the calendar year comes to an end, you are going to be in a position where you can say, “I can absolutely justify the investment that you put into my marketing program because if you give me $2, I’m going to give you five back in new patient revenue because I’m tracking that.”
Alex: Yes. It’s awesome. It does enable that. Let’s talk about deployment real quick. Charlie, is there a small way to get started for them to dip their toes in? What do they need to know? Just the marketers involved or you need to get ops and finance involved? This is a big decision-making unit, big buying unit that needs to be involved at cross sections. It sounds like Liine doesn’t just help marketers, it helps ops people know how to optimize the call center, and so it’s revenue. Talk about little deployment or the big deployment and then who needs to be involved.
Charlie: Yes, I was just thinking about piggybacking on Rich’s comments there, which were great about ops stuff. If your platform’s growing and expanding and obviously having the marketing insights critical and then your team’s going to grow. Whether it’s a call center or maybe some of the platforms have just different brands that have different teams that are handling these leads. Streamlining the process of handling and converting leads is paramount and you can get a lot of consistency because you have the data. In terms of implementation, we always work with marketing folks. We always work with ops folks as well. It’s light overall. The process takes about two weeks usually. We have a kickoff call.
We make sure we understand all the different marketing components that you’re leveraging strategy-wise so that we’re hooked up to them so we can measure them. Then there’s some custom things like what treatment types you want to measure and things like that. It’s very non-invasive, the way that we can get started. Again, usually, we can do that within about two weeks, get up and running. Then most practices in the first three to four weeks have one or two key insights that they can take action on and already start delivering some value.
Rich: I think one thing, and Alex, you did ask me what other thing would I convey to our audience? There is one thing that I will convey, which is Liine is a healthcare-specific technology. It is HIPAA compliant. That is a huge deal right now. The fact that the way that Liine pushes data back into ad platforms and analytics platforms, it does so as an offline conversion event, which means you don’t need to leverage pixel data in order to get conversion actions into these platforms. With HHS changes, there are healthcare providers out there right now that aren’t using pixels anymore. You can still get this information into your ad platforms without using pixels.
If you’re in a position where your compliance team has told you to remove pixels from websites or anything like that, because of the HHS stuff, you can still get valuable new patient acquisition information, both in your own reporting and in your ad platforms and your Google Analytics using this solution in a HIPAA-compliant way. That is another huge advantage for people out there who are in certain situations where maybe they don’t have the visibility because of these compliance changes that they once had. This is a way to get back to that.
Alex: I love it. Compliance becoming something we talk about every day as marketers with our healthcare clients. So strange that it–
Charlie: Got to be compliant, man. Got to.
Alex: It wasn’t huge. Even a year ago, it’s like, yes, Salesforce is HIPAA compliant, fine, but you can use other things in HIPAA compliant ways like HubSpot and that was fine. Now they’re not enough [unintelligible 00:22:40] and so it’s crazy. Charlie, any parting words about Liine?
Charlie: Man, I don’t deserve you guys. That was awesome. No, if anybody’s listening and wants to try us out, we figured out that there was no platform that specifically made, as Rich mentioned, specifically for healthcare. We didn’t think that was fair. There’s unique challenges that need to be overcome, and the only way to do it is truly automate things through speech analytics technology. Would love the chance to prove that to anybody who’s listening and hit me up.
Alex: You can find it. Liine is spelled with two Is. Why’d y’all do that?
Charlie: When you’re a disruptive tech company, you have to find a common word and misspell it. That’s a rite of passage. Then we’re getting all the lines of communication and then also the domain was available for not that expensive.
Alex: We weren’t going to be Pinnacle Web Solutions. There’s a cardinal right there. All right, let’s be [unintelligible 00:23:33]. Also, the business is worth more when you’re your own little name that’s not used anywhere else.
Charlie: Totally, man.
Alex: Liine’s going to go big bucks. Invest now. Invest now. Charlie [unintelligible 00:23:45]. All right, guys. You find it L-I-I-N-E. You find Charlie Winn, W-I-N-N. If you can’t find either of those, come find me and I’ll point you to Charlie if you need a little help with the street signs. All right. Charlie, Rich, thanks for joining us on Ignite. Very fun. We got the talk shop talking to [unintelligible 00:24:04], and I hope our listeners enjoyed it. Thanks, guys.[music]
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