Getting Ahead of the Problem with Funnels for your PT Business

Getting Ahead of the Problem with Funnels for your PT Business

What I want to talk to you about here is basically your funnels. A lot of us, we look at funnels and we think of funnels in a certain way. We look and think about these funnels on the front end: ClickFunnels, Infusionsoft, or whatever sort of funnel you're using up front. 

We look at these funnels and think about how we're using the funnel. When we're using the funnel, we look at it to get new people into our business or new patients into our physical therapy practice. The goal is to get them from the first phone call.

We do all of this. We do all the split testing and look at all the data and information up front. We give them a call, and we got them here. But then when you look at the data, it shows that 75% of people are dropping off.

In their state of Rehab survey, you've got a huge problem. Your problem isn't on the front end marketing. You need to solve problems on your back end marketing. Once they get there, you don't do anything. Inside of your practice, you need to build funnels, too. You need to identify the people that aren't happy or maybe who are going to drop off because you didn't nurture them just like you nurture people in your other funnels.

We assume everyone is happy, that they're going to come in and they're going to see us and say that they’re going to be great. You assume that they're going to see you, that you’re going to be great therapist to them, that they're going to love you, that the heavens are going to open and the champagne is going to flow, and that it's going to be great.

It doesn't work out that way. 75% of the people leave in the best case scenario in according to Web PTs State of Rehab Survey. The first thing that you have to do is you have to map your practice. You have to look at where people are, when they're coming in, why they're coming in, and where they're getting lost.

You need to look at that first phone call and then identify within that first phone call how many of those people actually physically show up for their appointment. You have a certain percentage of those people that get lost even before they ever come into your practice. Right there, you have a huge problem.

You need to script that problem. You need to educate your front office. They need to have a script and have something to go on. This just isn't a fact-finding mission wherein when someone calls in your practice, you get their name, date of birth, and minimal amount of information to get them into my EMR so I can put them on the schedule. Then we wonder why they don't show up.

They don't show up because you didn't create a relationship with them. You didn't give them a reason to show up.

You need that script and you need to practice the script. You need to work at it, get good at it, and employ that Disney mastery method. You need to see one, do one, teach one. At the very minimum, that's what you need to do to get those people into your practice.

Then once they finally come in, there's another point that according to Web PT and my data shows that the fourth visit is typically where you're going to lose a lot of people. I don't know why that is. I just know that is a real thing. That's where you learn people lose people.

That's why you can use the free app that we've created: the Aetas NPS app that's available on the iPad store to identify the patients that are potentially going to drop off ahead of time. If those patients are going to drop off, you know ahead of time, and you can identify them, then you now have a funnel.

Now we’re starting to gain data on the patients. When we have that data, we can use that data to nurture these unhappy patients back into happy patients. You need something to identify that by the fourth visit.

I don't care if you write the NPS or you'd want to write it out by hand and then chart it and track it by hand, but if you want to do that, you can also do that and use the Net Promoter question on how likely are they going to refer a family member or friend into your practice. If you use that, you're going to be able to identify the people ahead of time that are potentially going to drop off.

After that first phone call is the first place that you can lose patients. The next place that you can lose patients is the fourth visit. Next is when your EOB is coming, you're going to get drop offs. The patients panic. They get this thing in the mail and they open it up. There are denials on this thing, so these people panic.

The first thing that they do is think that they can’t afford it. You need to get ahead of that problem. You need to be emailing those people ahead of time letting them know that their EOB is coming. Don't get scared even if these things can be scary.

How many of you are using funnels up front? 

Now we're talking about the internal nurturing of a patient and nurturing that patient into happy patient through their entire lifecycle not just on the front end. That drop off at EOB, you’ve got to send an email, text message, or some means of communication to let them know that this is coming. It can be ugly but it's going to be exactly what you told them and you are here for them to reassure them.

Identify happy patients and nurture the patients that aren't happy. You have to identify the ones that are happy and use them by running a funnel on them to get them to come back in and refer their family and friends because they're happy and they like you.

If you're not doing that, you're missing probably the biggest leverage point to get people into your practice and into your clinic. You know that the ROI is through the roof on your happy patients because they love you and most people just don't ask and they're not funneling them.

What we did is we created the Aedas software to funnel and bring all these people back in. To identify those who are unhappy and you want to nurture, you don't necessarily need my software but it makes everything a lot easier. You can do without it.

You need to identify those four key areas and you need to work that funnel. You need to bring these people back in. 

I'm going to go over this one more time just because this is so important. First thing to do is map it out. Look at everything. Look at your map starting from the first phone call and map that out. We found out in our mapping that the first place that people get lost once they call is between the first phone call and the initial evaluation. If they don't show up, it means that they dropped off.

What we did is we built in emails, automated emails with voicemail, and stuff in text message to nurture these people into that first visit. Like I said, your nurture doesn't stop at the front end marketing channel. Once they call, that nurturing campaign has to actually go. It has to kick in a high gear once they get in.

This is something that we have a huge problem with the numbers. When PT put out and other people drop off, that's a huge problem. There's no two ways about it. Everybody can see it as the numbers are out there.

Script the first call. It has to be scripted and your script has to be good. You have to practice objections and how to overcome those objections. Use the Disney mastery method for that: see one, do one, teach one.

You're going to lose people in the fourth visit. Before the fourth visit, you have to be putting in that net promoter score. We have a free NPS app or you can do it by hand. Hand it to the patient and they need to give you a score. On a scale of zero to 10, they give you a score of six or below, they're likely to drop off. You need to address that. You need to go in and you need to talk to that patient and nurture them back into a happy customer.

Next is their EOB. In my practice, this comes about 14 days or email goes out 12 to 13 days after their initial evaluation so that they know ahead of time. In this, we do a little video embedded right in it introducing the physical therapist and letting them know that they’re going to see the explanation of benefits soon. That would be the insurance company explaining what they're going to pay and what they're not.

Sometimes, these things can be scary. Tell them not to worry and introduced your billing specialist and have them on the video with you. Explain that the billing specialist is there solely to help them with this problem. Tell them not to worry as it will be exactly what you told them it is. You need to send them that video to prevent those drop offs from the people that are scared of the huge bill that they just got them out.

You also need to identify your unhappy customers using that app. Identify the unhappy customers and nurture them throughout the campaign. Use your internal funnel to nurture them into happy patients. Once you've created the happy patient, then the real magic happens.

You identify those happy patients and market to them using your funnel. It is going to be the highest ROI in your practice. I can guarantee you of it because everybody knows that you’re great by word of mouth. It's got the highest ROI because it doesn't cost you anything.

If you do a tiny bit of nurturing with those people, they're going to send their family and friends. Not only that, whenever they go to the physician or the hospital system and someone tells them that they want to get physical therapy, they will refer you to them because they really like you as a great guy and because they had a great experience with you.

All of these is because you're there reaching out to them and nurturing them. They will say that they wanted to see you. They will fight back when they're told to. You're now creating your own little army of people that are out there fighting for you to the physician. Even if that physician isn't going to refer to you, at least they're going to think that you're pretty good because they're going to see people after people who like you and want to see you.

What is my open rate and follow up rate with the email with a billing video? Mine is phenomenal like 90-95% because what we do is we frame it. We tell them that it's coming because we have an app and that is part of our software. Now my therapists know that the email is coming and they tell the patients that they’re going to receive an email from them.

We've created a relationship and we've nurtured this relationship to the point so that when we send them something, our open rates are through the roof because we're using an internal and an external file. Everybody thinks about funnels is this “digital” thing. We use this to foster the relationship with the provider to increase our open rates. We also use text message and ringless calls that goes straight to voicemail.

When all of those happen, your open rates go through the roof. That's one of the problems because everybody knows the emails are fake. They know you didn't write the email in there. There's no surprise there to anyone anymore as they know they're fake.

What do we do? We embed and data mine that first phone call. We embedded data and emails so that it's personalized to them. They actually think that you really reached out to them. Not only did you reach out to them, you remember the two most important things to them or what their goals were. The reason they came to you is embedded in an email.

Our open rates go through the roof because we're merging the clinical staff and the tech for the funnel. So we have a real person funnel, combined with a tech funnel, that makes our open rates phenomenal.

Let’s say you're not using the software, I really suggest that you try to sync that up to the best of your ability so that you look at the potential places that they're getting lost and telling them ahead of time that an email or text message is going to be coming so that the patient knows that this thing is actually coming. When it comes, they open it because they think that you actually said that.

This is my goal with my tech. I want to build a relationship with the patient. I want the tech to foster that relationship with a patient. I don't want to just be sending them emails. I want those emails to be embedded as part of our process so that the in-clinic and out of clinic becomes one thing.

The patient doesn't know where the tech is kicked in and where the human being is. They don't know where their therapist (physical therapist, occupational therapist, chiropractor) is so that they don't know where they are and where the tech is. They think that they're the same and they can't tell because the tech is so smooth and that both the provider and the tech is giving them the same message.

If you didn't catch from the beginning, I really suggest that there is a lot of stuff in here that you are really going to be able to leverage and it's really going to make you a lot of money within your practice. By creating that internal funnel, not the front end marketing funnel but the internal marketing funnel which is a bigger leverage point at a lower price point with less work than that front end funnel because you control it better, you can manage it better. 

I'm always open to the conversation and that's what I do. That's how I got here. Most of this stuff isn't mine. I talked to other people inside and outside of the physical therapy world. I've looked at what they're doing. I've been looking at other people's research. I looked at it and I saw how they were doing it. Then I tried to leverage it further, tried to turn that business mindset that really is lacking in physical therapy, and create automated systems to make it happen.

I tried to take it to the next level because it's missing. We get so busy that we do not have time to generate the relationship with our patients anymore. We have around two to two and a half hours of documentation sitting there. We have business stuff that we're trying to do.

Now we're trying to do workshops and trying to write letters to people. We're marketing more than ever before. We're trying to work out ClickFunnels. We're trying to find ways to cut our days of the week down. 

We can get to this marketing that really needs to change. We really need to be able to build relationships with our patients. We've got to get back to that in. It's not just us but the whole thing's a mess. We're married to our computers, we don't look at our patients, and we're losing the relationship.

We need to rebuild that relationship. We need to start fostering that relationship. We need to start leveraging the technology that's out there that exists to create a better relationship, to leverage that relationship, to grow our business, to create happier patients, and to do a better job for our people. That's the general idea.

If you didn't watch from the beginning, watch it from the beginning. It's well worth your time. If anybody has any questions, just put them below. If you want any help building out this internal funnel, let me know. I built out my software and pretty much give it away to you. I'll show you those nurturing steps throughout the whole thing. If you want to reach out to me, I'll gladly do that.

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