Why You Should Consider Customizing All Your Client Communications

If you’re a current Demandforce customer, or a small business owner who is looking to improve your current client communications, sending email campaigns is always a good choice. The world has changed; and nowadays, consumers make purchasing decisions based more on the relationship they have with a company or brand than any other factor (sometimes even more than the product/service itself!).

That’s why establishing and nurturing current client relationships is so important, and can lead to increased revenue, a stronger online reputation, and more referrals. Additionally, according to a 2015 Marketing Metrics survey of businesses, the probability of engaging with an existing client via email marketing is 60-70%, whereas the probability of engaging a new prospect is 5-20%.

So let’s say you’ve decided to send email marketing to your current client database. If you’re a Demandforce customer, this process is incredibly simple. You can, through our easy-to-use online platform that syncs with your current client management system, set up messages to automatically send to certain segmented groups of clients, based on a variety of factors. Here are some examples of the email campaigns you can send through Demandforce:

  • Special promotions for products or deals
  • Newsletters
  • Appointment reminders and confirmations
  • Recommended services
  • Referral campaigns
  • Review requests
  • Social media connection requests
  • Thank you emails and client surveys

If you’re planning on sending out email campaigns, we recommend customizing them to better fit your business, and personalizing them for your clients.

Demandforce Training has the below great short video for current Demandforce customers that takes you on a visual step-by-step to this process. Or for a detailed article on the subject, head to the Demandforce Help Center here.

Customize Email Communications from Demandforce Training on Vimeo.

For more information on Demandforce, visit our website at www.demandforce.com, or call us today at (800) 220-1136 for a free, short demo.

How automated communications provide a better patient experience

If you’re the owner of a small business or healthcare practice, you are probably no stranger to appointment reminders. Studies have shown that appointment and reservation reminders of any type—voice, email, text, or postcard—can have an immediate and positive impact on the number of confirmed appointments and completed bookings.

Yet despite the benefits of appointment reminders and personalized communications with customers and patients, many small businesses and practices have not optimized this process, and staff can find themselves frustrated or overwhelmed by the time it takes to track down unconfirmed patients or organize a system of sending and following up on booked appointments.

When managed or set manually, appointment reminders and other customer communications can become unwieldy and stressful, especially for a small staff that already has a long list of day-to-day tasks they need to complete. Even with the best of intentions, small details can slip through the cracks, and the overall patient experience can suffer.

The solution: automated communications

The solution to this dilemma facing small businesses and practices is simple: automate as many communications as you can for your patients. This is a win-win solution, as it not only makes life easier for your staff, but it increases the entire experience for your patients.

What can you automate?

  • Appointment reminders & confirmations
  • Requests for online reviews
  • Patient feedback via surveys
  • Email campaigns and recall reminders

Automating communications doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated either. Demandforce offers a complete patient communications solution by providing automation assistance for all of the above and more. For example, Demandforce offers an online scheduling system that automates the booking process and the reminder process, making tedious tasks an afterthought. Email and text reminders can be sent through the system automatically without any additional actions required by your staff.

A better patient experience

By automating your patient communications, you are making sure that your patients and customers connect with you in a seamless, consistent manner. This removes gaps in the communication timeline, and also eliminates instances where you contact a patient only to learn that they have already been contacted previously. A platform like Demandforce also integrates with your current practice management system, and leverages the information you have there to make sure that all your communications with patients are relevant and timely to that specific patient.

In today’s modern world, patients expect more than just a one-off positive experience – they want to establish a long-term relationship with their healthcare providers, and one way you can make your patients and customers feel special is by sending them customized messaging that syncs with their previous visit history and other preferences.

It’s becoming easier for patients to widen their search for healthcare providers, and so offering a better patient experience through automated communications solutions will help you stand out from among the crowd.

Why mobile first matters for your business

Did you know…

Over 50% of smartphone users grab their smartphone immediately after waking up. (ExpressPigeon, 2014)

Think about that. We have become so attached and reliant on our smartphones, often they are the first things we reach for each morning. And this shouldn’t necessarily be a distressing fact. Our smartphones connect us to the world and help us communicate quickly and effectively with a much wider world than we ever had access to before.

But what does this mean for small business owners who want to connect to new patients, customers, and clients?

Some stats on the importance of being mobile first

  • Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing, and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead (MicKinsey & Company)
  • Mobile email opens have grown by 180% in the last three years (Email Monday)
  • 91% of mobile users say that access to content is very important (Wolfgang Jaegel)

Your business needs to not only be mobile-friendly, but mobile first.

In an age where 80% of Internet users own a smartphone (Smart Insights, 2015), you need to be thinking about how to immediately connect with your patients and customers online. This includes:

Demandforce offers a complete communications solution for your business.

Demandforce helps you automate your communications and send relevant and timely communications to your entire customer base. These communications can all be optimized for mobile delivery and viewing, keeping you in front of your customers and available where they are most: online, and on their phones.

To find out how Demandforce can help your business be mobile first, visit www.demandforce.com.

Find out how to get more Google+ reviews

If you’re a small business owner, you probably already realize the importance of Google+ reviews for your business or practice. Google is often the first point of contact between a potential patient/customer and your office. The idea of searching on Google has become so ubiquitous, “Google it” is an instantly recognizable phrase.

Therefore, Google+ reviews are strong online currency that can boost your online reputation and make you the first choice for new customers. Online reviews strengthen your social proof, which refers to a human’s natural reliance on feedback and the actions of others to determine what is good or bad in a given situation. Social proof is the reason why studies often show that an overwhelming majority of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations when making a purchasing decision.

A 2014 study done by the marketing firm BrightLocal found that the more reviews a business has, the more trustworthy it is deemed by customers; plus, most customers read up to six reviews to make up their mind about a business.

How many Google+ reviews does your business have?

Don’t worry if that number isn’t as large as you might want it to be. There’s a simple way to generate more Google+ reviews for your business: request them from your previous patients and customers!

With Demandforce, this process is simple to set up. Google+ does not accept third party reviews, so we have created special email templates that you can send out to your database, to request Google+ reviews.

Here’s how to set up a Google campaign in Demandforce

Click on CAMPAIGNS and turn on your ONE-CLICK CAMPAIGNS, and select the “Review us on Google+” option. You can preview the email, and edit the audience or scheduled delivery to best fit your business. By default, the email will send to all customers who rated your business on Demandforce Local or another logged site four stars or above, and will run once every two weeks. However, rest assured – a single customer will only receive the email twice a year.

GoogleReviewExample.png

Once your email has sent, you can view the sent and open rate results in the RESULTS section of the CAMPAIGNS tab. You can also edit or stop the campaign at any time in this area.

For more detailed information on how to set up or use the Google+ campaigns, click here.

Do Your Customers Love You? (Infographic)

In honor of Valentine’s Day this week, we wanted to share this fitting infographic with you.

As a small business owner, customer loyalty and retention are crucial to maintaining a healthy and successful business that is ready to grow when you are. If your customers aren’t happy, your business won’t thrive. But how do you know if your customers love you, and what can you do to keep them happy and coming back?

Follow this infographic, and be honest about your answers, to see the state of your current customer relationship.

However strong your relationship is, you can always improve it! Demandforce offers customer and patient communications solutions designed to help you stay connected with your base, and engaged. Through the use of powerful automation processes like automated appointment reminders, two-way text, custom email campaigns, and online review management – Demandforce can help you always send relevant and timely messages to your customers. To set up a time to see a personalized demo, click here.

domycustomersloveme

Do You Offer Online Booking? You Should.

Online booking made easy

In the age of streaming movies, on-demand TV, and two-day product delivery service, if you are a small business or dental/medical office looking to attract more business and grow, you definitely need to offer online booking.

Online Booking Is The Future (Now!)

According to an Accenture forecast for 2019, by that year 66% of health systems will offer patient self-scheduling, and 64% of patients will choose this option as a way to book their appointments. In today’s competitive marketplace, not offering your patients or customers the option to book online might send them to your competitors.

According to a 2015 survey conducted by the marketing firm Yodle, 60% of consumers want the local businesses they frequent to provide online booking, and one-third say they expect it as an offering. So why not give your customers what you want?

It’s Easy to Implement and Offer

Implementing online booking isn’t scary or difficult, and if you use a marketing and customer communications platform like Demandforce, this feature comes ready to use. Online booking can be added to your Yelp page, directly to your website, and via your Demandforce Local page, so that new customers can request or book appointments immediately after they find you online.

This is helpful because over 42% of online bookings happen after business hours, and the majority of customers polled in a recent marketing survey stated they would rather make an appointment online versus an appointment over the phone. Offering online booking not only extends your potential reach for new customers, but it offers your current ones the convenience and features they want.

Be Mobile First with Online Booking

How often do you check your mobile phone? According to a 2016 Smart Insights poll, over 80% of Internet users own a smartphone, and over 50% grab their phone immediately after waking up. For on-the-go customers, it’s imperative now to offer mobile first compatibility for your customers, and online booking is a mobile-friendly feature that will immediately boost your profile online.

Online booking will help you stand out from your competitors online, assisting you in customer acquisition and recall. It will also save your office time, as you won’t need to send quite so many reminders or phone calls, requesting follow-up or return services. Instead, you could set up a custom email campaign that links to a place where customers can go to book online.

These are just a few reasons why you should consider offering online booking for your customers and patients. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of online booking, and how Demandforce integrates online booking in with its other customer communications solutions catered to your industry, visit www.demandforce.com, or call us at (800) 358-5904.

The secret to leveraging online reviews for your business

We’ve all seen the stats and heard the success stories about how online reviews raised a company’s profile online, netting them more new customers and more loyal customers. But do you know the secret to leveraging online reviews to help your business?

The secret of online reviews

If you’re new to collecting online reviews, you might be nervous. Yes, your business is doing well, and you treat your customers well—but… you never know. What if one customer is unhappy, and decides to vent their frustration online? If you send an email to your entire customer database asking for reviews, don’t you risk collecting negative reviews as well as positive ones?

Well, here’s the secret to online reviews: all your reviews don’t have to be glowing 5-star raves. In fact, customers are often less trusting of businesses that only have glowing reviews, especially if you only have a small number. For example, a medical practice with only 4 reviews—all 5 stars—looks less legitimate than a medical office with 780 reviews, and a 4.5-star rating. 

Collecting more online reviews

Once you decide to collect more reviews, it’s time to figure out how to get them. You could individually contact each and everyone one of your past customers, either by a phone call or email, and ask them if they could take a few moments and submit a review. But who has time for that? With Demandforce, you can set up an automated email campaign to send out to a targeted audience—say customers who have visited your business within the last two days—and request that they post a review.

The email is pre-built and only requires a few clicks from your customers to fill out. The email is mobile-friendly as well, so wherever your customers happen to be at that moment, they can still quickly and easily respond.

94% of Demandforce customers saw a positive growth in their online reviews once they joined, and of those businesses who use the custom email campaigns, the average open rate for their emails was 30%.

Leveraging your new online reviews

While collecting testimonials and reviews is a great first step to building your online reputation and helping out your business, they aren’t helpful unless you leverage them. Another powerful feature of Demandforce is its ability to auto-post your reviews onto social sites directly, saving you the time of reposting or following up to make sure the reviews are live. This also saves your customers time, and thus encourages more customers to actually review your business. It’s a win-win-win that boosts your business’ reputation online, and helps you leverage online reviews to attract new business and grow your company.

To learn more about how Demandforce can help you build, extend, and protect your online reputation, visit our website by clicking here.

Setting up a one-click oil change reminder campaign for your auto shop

Demandforce is a platform that syncs with your current management system to help you automate your customer communications, and simplify the way you connect and engage with everyone who comes to your auto shop.

Don’t spend time sitting in front of your computer, setting up reminders or sending emails to every customer who’ve seen that week. With Demandforce, you can set up automated messages to send out to certain segments of your customer base to remind them to…

  • Set up an appointment for standard maintenance
  • Think about recommended shop services
  • Refer a friend to your shop
  • Post a review after an appointment

One of the easiest ways to get customers to come back to your shop is by sending them an oil change reminder, which you can do directly from your Demandforce platform. You can find the oil change reminder campaign under the One-Click Email Campaigns.

If you choose to send this campaign out to your customers, you can choose to send it to customers who have received an oil change with you within the last 12 months, and this campaign will run once a week, at most 6 times a year. You can choose to exclude customers who…

  • Have a future appointment scheduled
  • Have visited within the last 45 days
  • Have not visited you for an oil change in over 24 months

Segmenting your campaign like this is important so that your customers receive the right message, at the right time – and they don’t decide to opt out of a message because it’s irrelevant or received too often.

For a full step-by-step of how to set up a one-click oil change reminder for your auto shop, click here.

A Quick 4 Online Reputation Checklist

As the owner of a small medical or dental practice or small business, your online reputation is important to establishing your credibility to your patients and customers, attracting new business, and growing your bottom line. However, if you’re just starting out on the online world, you might not know where to start. But you need to stay conscious of what you’re posting on the Internet, and how quickly it can spread.

Here’s a quick 4 checklist you can use to determine the strength of your online reputation, and what you might need to focus on.

✓ Set up a Yelp business page, Facebook page, and Citysearch page for your business.

If you don’t have, or don’t maintain, a public profile on any or all of these sites, you’re missing out not only on the opportunity to attract new clients; but you also might be allowing a negative reputation to build itself online without your knowledge.

✓ Google your business and set up a Google Alert

You should always be aware of how your practice or business is being represented online, and who’s talking about it. Setting up a Google Alert for your business name, and even say—a competitor’s name or keywords for your industry—keeps you aware of what’s trending, and who’s talking about you.

✓ Collect testimonials and positive reviews to share on your website, on your storefront, and online.

Don’t know how to collect reviews? With Demandforce, you can send one-click online review requests to your patients and customers to help you collect more and better online reviews.

✓ Survey your customers to see what you can improve upon and what it is you’re doing that they like

Sending patient and customer surveys helps you keep appraised of what’s working for your customers, and what might not be. Plus, it shows your customers that you care, and that you’re proactive in accepting feedback and always looking to improve the customer experience.

Once you have addressed and set up these four aspects of your online reputation, you’ll be on your way to discovering a whole new world of potential patients and customers, and owning your online reputation.