The short answer is NO. Live chat is a great tool, but not for MOST aesthetic practices.

Why not? Don’t we live in a world of instant gratification? Yes, that is true, but in this article, we’ll dive into why live chat is probably not the answer for your practice.

Should I Use Live Chat?

Imagine you are a prospective patient on your practice’s website for a moment. Wouldn’t it be convenient to simply type your question(s) into a live chat box and get the answer quickly?

YES! But this approach may shoot your lead generation efforts in the foot.

There is a certain path that a prospect must take to become a patient

Let’s walk through the patient awareness journey, which typically begins with a pain point. This can be a social media photo, TV ad, or some other “trigger” or self-realization. At this point, they become Pain Point (Problem) Aware.

Levels of Prospect Awareness

Image from Marketing Funnel Automation

The prospect now knows they have a problem and it’s time to start looking for a solution. Here’s the typical path a prospect takes:

  • Research & due diligence, once Problem Aware
  • Becoming Solution Aware
  • Becoming Product (Provider) Aware
  • Comparison between related procedures and treatments; becoming Most Aware
  • Creating a LOGICAL CASE for moving forward and requesting a consultation

By allowing your prospective patients’ journey to begin and end by simply asking a question is allowing them to skip all of these critical steps. You are giving away all the answers without the prospective patient going through the path he or she needs to take to become a valid lead.

Patient Awareness - From problem to Payment

Patients who become aware of an issue aren’t ready to pay you, let alone take action. They follow a path.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against live chat in general. Live chat is fantastic as a customer service tool and on e-commerce websites.

However, when the MAIN PURPOSE of your practice website is to convert cold and warm traffic to consultation requests, live chat can be conversion rate suicide.

Are there any situations where live chat makes sense for my aesthetic practice?

Some live chat solutions ask for the prospects name and email first. On the surface, this seems silly. If I, the prospect, want an immediate answer to my question, then why would I fill out the form to initiate a live chat?

That’s a great question for the prospect, but if you’re an aesthetic practice itching to try live chat it’s probably your “safest” introduction. Why? You’re still capturing the prospects information, just like a lead capture form.

Live Chat Requiring Patient Info

So how is this different from a “standard” website form? That totally depends on your call to action. If your website forms all lead with a weak call to action, such as “Ask a Question,” then there’s really little difference.

However, if you emphasize the consultation as the call to action with all your web forms then you’re generating a more qualified lead. This is different from a live chat “opt-in.”

A live chat opt-in could push some prospects toward instant gratification and away from filling out a form that emphasizes the consultation. Not good.

Conversely, live chat opt-ins may also generate a weaker lead that isn’t quite ready for a consultation (so they never would have filled out your consultation form anyway), and that lead can enter an email sequence that nurtures the prospect via education and reputation building. Good.

Tip: if you’re going to test out live chat then make sure you utilize a seasoned salesperson, with aesthetics knowledge, to handle all the chat inquiries.

Take the Next Step

Are you running a dermatology, med spa, and plastic surgery center and interested in improving your lead generation strategy and tactics? Take the next step toward a new and improved way to generate more qualified leads and give us a ring at 877-673-7096 x2. You can also shoot us a note by filling out the form here.