When consumers need help with health-related concerns, they pick up their phones. But not to call for assistance. Who has time for that?
They’re hitting their browsers, hoping to get answers in as few clicks as possible. And savvy healthcare organizations are using chatbots to connect with users and prevent them from bouncing.
Healthcare chatbots are improving patient experience, outcomes and revenue. Optimize your organization’s results by promoting your bot. We offer 5 tips.
What Are Healthcare Chatbots?
Live chat pop-ups (with a human on the other side) were just the beginning. Today’s healthcare chatbots are sophisticated apps that help users accomplish a growing number of tasks. A basic chatbot can direct users to information within your website, like location addresses and business hours. But there’s so much more.Healthcare chatbots are improving patient experience, outcomes and revenue. Optimize your organization’s results by promoting your bot. Click To Tweet
The latest generation of chatbots blends artificial intelligence with natural language processing. Users say or type in what they’re looking for, and the bot uses an algorithm to connect them with helpful information. Bots respond in a conversational tone and ask clarifying questions when necessary — essential features when dealing with a sensitive topic like health.
Healthcare chatbots make it possible to:
- Improve emotional health with guided meditation
- Track acute or chronic illness symptoms and send data to a patient’s designated healthcare provider
- Remind patients via chat message to take daily medications
- Provide healthy living recommendations and information about relevant resources to patients with specific conditions, such as cancer
Improving Care and Brand Loyalty With Chatbots
Healthcare chatbots make it convenient to interact with your organization and improve quality by addressing care continuity, access and utilization. These efforts can boost revenue and patients’ loyalty to your brand.
Here’s how some organizations are improving care and loyalty with advanced chatbot features:
Reducing colonoscopy no-shows and cancellations
Before New York-based Northwell Health launched Colonoscopy Health Chat, they had high rates of cancellations and no-shows. After all, who isn’t a little anxious about a colonoscopy? The chatbot calmed this apprehension in a responsive and conversational way.
After making an appointment, the chatbot sent information via text or email about what to expect. It included video animations and explained the benefits of this cancer screening test. These gentle reminders made the overall patient experience less stressful and increased the likelihood of follow-through.
Improving access to COVID-19 information and care
In March 2020, Intermountain Healthcare launched its Scout chatbot, making it quick and easy for patients to get information about COVID-19. More than a symptom tracker, Scout asked how long patients had experienced symptoms and how severe they were.
It provided personalized recommendations that directed patients to the appropriate level of care, including the emergency room when appropriate. Scout also alleviated strain on health system resources. According to the case study, it fielded 7,500 inquiries in the weeks after launch and reduced call center volume by 30%.
5 Tips for Marketing Healthcare Chatbots
Whether your organization is ready to deploy its first chatbot or you’re already launching advanced features, a little marketing magic goes a long way. Start by putting your bot on your website, especially on high-traffic pages where users might appreciate additional information — such as pages about locations, planning your visit or specialty programs.
But don’t stop there. These 5 tips can help entice users to become a fan of your chatbot — and hospital — for the long run:
- Create a dedicated chatbot landing page
Chatbots eliminate the need for users to come to your website to initiate a query. When they post questions on social media and messenger platforms, your chatbot can provide answers without missing a beat.The chatbot landing page makes it easier for search engines to find and rank your bot. Without it, people might not know your bot exists. Be there to answer the call by creating a search-optimized landing page for your bot.
- Optimize key chatbot content
The benefits of search optimization extend well beyond your bot’s landing page. Chatbot optimization helps your bot rank well in social media searches, and it involves practices similar to web content optimization.When developers are programming your bot, give them a hand by providing relevant, high-volume search terms. Place them throughout your content, including titles and sub-headings.
- Make your bot available to offline audiences
Use QR codes to promote your chatbot to captive audiences, like patients in waiting and exam rooms. With nothing but time on their hands, these users might be more willing to give your bot a try. And a positive initial experience will likely have them coming back later when they have other questions.Put the QR code on a poster or wall decal so it’s easy to scan. Introduce your bot and describe some of the functions a first-time user might appreciate, like scheduling a follow-up visit.Use QR codes to promote your chatbot to captive audiences, like patients in waiting and exam rooms. #hcmktg Click To Tweet
- Encourage new users with special features
Not everyone who comes across your bot will jump at the chance to use it. Consumers may need incentives.Make it a no-brainer by offering something a little extra. If your bot helps schedule appointments, offer days and times, like evening or weekend slots, that are otherwise difficult to land.
- Mine your data
Tracking your bot’s analytics enables your organization to set marketing goals and measure progress toward achieving them. Bot analytics capture a lot of interesting and helpful data, including:
- Chat volume, the frequency and depth of chatbot conversations
- Bounce rate, the number of people who leave without interacting with your bot
- Fallback rate, how often your chatbot says it does not understand a user question
- User ratings, since a high volume of favorable ratings reflects a positive user experience
More Healthcare Marketing Scoop From Our Team
Looking for more fresh tips, insights and intel? Read these posts:
- How to Create Healthcare Newsletters Patients Will Actually Read: 5 Tips
- Why Intent Is Key to SEO Success
- Win Over More Patients: 4 Tips for Marketing Healthcare Convenience
- SEO Cheatsheet for Content Marketers