Hospitals who use the Online Booking Tool (OBT) are praising its benefits. Not only does OBT save time, it increases after-hours bookings and helps attract new clients. “Our hospital sees an average of 500 patients a week, and 20% of those appointments are booked through OBT,” says Junior Chan of St. Francis of Assisi Veterinary Medical Center. “19% are new client acquisitions.” But succeeding with OBT requires more than implementing the software. It’s important to also build awareness for the tool and make it available everywhere clients prefer to book.
Here are five ways we’re helping hospitals maximize their online booking potential:
Create a clear call to action on your website. We encourage our partners to compel their website visitors to schedule an appointment directly online with a prominently-placed button or link. The link should live at or near the top of the website and stand out, so it’s easy to find. Note: Sites hosted on NVA’s platform are fully optimized. Homepage of St. Francis of Assisi where a big red button invites visitors to schedule an appointment online.
Promote OBT in all voice recordings. Clients who call to schedule appointments may not be aware they can do it online. We ask partners to advertise online appointments in all of their voice recordings, including on-hold messages, voice prompts and voicemail greetings. Clients appreciate the flexibility, since it means they can complete the booking immediately. To make it easy, we even have pre-written scripts our partners can record for on-hold and after-hours callers. Vetstoria includes settings that allow clients to book last-minute.
Link to OBT in appointment reminders. We suggest including a link to OBT in appointment reminder texts and emails. It pre-populates the client’s information, making it more likely they’ll follow through and book the appointment. In fact, an average of 50% of clients will complete an online booking through a reminder. Text and email reminders that include links for clients to book using OBT.
Try not to restrict your appointment calendar. When too much time is blocked out on appointment calendars, clients are left with fewer choices and may avoid scheduling altogether. Hospitals that have the greatest success with OBT, provide users with more options. We recommend that our partners make 90% of vacant time slots available to online users. Cheryl Chamberlain, Hospital Manager of Media Veterinary Hospital agrees. “We are getting online appointments booked like crazy with little complaint,” she says.
NVA’s Support Center is unlike any other, with a dedicated team of nearly 400 people to help you with every aspect of your business – including practical tools and tips like these.