e-Referrals separate Woolard from the pack

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

CONCORD, Calif. - The majority of Home Med-Equip’s referral sources still fax in their orders, and owner Cliff Woolard doesn’t expect that to change anytime soon. That doesn’t mean he’s going to let his let his Web site’s e-referral feature die on the vine.
Cliff Woolard

“We will have a campaign around it for our sales force and will get out and show it to referral sources who haven’t seen it,” Woolard said last month. “We’ll make a brochure and treat it as a new product just as you would a new concentrator, bed or whatever.”

After tinkering with his site’s e-referral feature for the past five years, Woolard finally feels satisfied with it. What debuted as a crude, endless string of questions (“you could scroll for days,” Woolard said), has evolved into an easy to maneuver, mostly point-and-click operation. For example, if a referral source requires a standard wheelchair with elevating leg rest, a drop seat and hemi-height feature, he simply clicks on those options and adds it to his shopping cart.

On average Home Med-Equip receives 20 to 30 e-referrals a month. A referral source can complete an e-referral in 2-3 minutes, about the same time it takes to phone in an order.

“We view this as another way to provide referral sources with even more options with which to place a referral with us,” he said. “This allows us to differentiate ourselves from the competition.”