Capture customers, payments

Mobile payments have increased, but time spent on those searches had decreased
Monday, July 25, 2016

WATERLOO, Iowa – Whether it’s offering information, selling products, or providing an easy way to pay, providers more than ever need to shift their focus to technology, say industry experts.

Capturing customers

Providers need to be where the customers are—these days, that’s online.

“People don’t go online anymore—they live online,” said Josh Weum, of Google, in the session, “Micro Moments: How Our Biggest Opportunities are Found in the Smallest Moments,” at the VGM Heartland Conference in June. “We use our phones 50 times a day and that changes everything.”

That includes changing how you market to potential customers, he says. Although there’s been a 20% increase in mobile searches, there’s been an 18% decrease in the amount of time spent on those searches.

“There’s not as much time, so our solutions need to catch their attention,” said Weum.

Providers need to ensure their brand is present across the web—always there, always relevant and always optimized, he said. 

“It’s important to get that brand out there,” said Weum. “People can’t buy a brand if they don’t know it.”

It’s all part of taking advantage of brand loyalty becoming a thing of the past, he said.

“People are happy to use a new brand if it gives them what they need,” said Weum.

Above all, providers should treat their websites as their No. 1 salesperson, he says. Implementing “near me” searches, localized listings and local inventory can drive customers into your bricks-and-mortar location, said Weum.

Capturing payments

Sixty percent of patients walk out the door without paying a dime upfront, says Jennifer Leon. Instead of the old model of mailing bills and chasing customer payments, providers need to consider setting up an auto-pay option.

“Most people want some form of payment that’s easy and fast,” said Leon, senior director of Brightree Patient Collections, during a session titled “Stop Billing Your Patients! The Facts, Fakes, and Feasibility of AutoPAY.”

Auto-pay systems schedule money transfers to pay a recurring bill. It is secure and encrypted, and it is PCI compliant, she said. Patients get notification of the amount due before their credit card is charged.

“It’s good for whatever, whenever,” said Leon.

And if the patient would rather walk out of your store rather making an initial payment upfront and agreeing to enroll in an auto-pay program?

“Let them,” said Leon. “It’s not worth it to us anymore to keep a patient that isn’t willing to abide by our policy.” hme