After 100,000 enrollment calls: Running the perfect "Enrollment Call" for a virtual care company

In my time with virtual care companies (Wink Health, Virta Health, Bicycle Health, Rewind, Dawn Health) I've set up systems to manage over 100,000 scheduled enrollment calls. In that time, some learnings have come out on how to best manage an enrollment call process.

Enrollment Calls are a surprisingly effective strategy for enrollment into virtual healthcare programs. They are easier to staff than inbound calls and they allow for a 'human touchpoint' quickly in the process that drives credibility and empathy with the patient.

Here are the key pillars of the Perfect Enrollment Call:

Get to the call quickly

Speed is almost always the predominant factor in a good vs a bad conversion rate on enrollment calls. In every context I have developed a call system, I have been surprised how much this matters.

The best way to understand the speed dynamics of your specific vertical is to look at the 50th percentile scheduling delay when you have plenty of availability in your calendar. So if a prospective patient shows up on Monday morning and you have availability all day monday/tuesday/wednesday, how far out is the 50th percentile scheduling? Is it 2 hrs, 8 hrs, 24 hrs? Once you find this value, this is the metric you want to ensure you can always service. For example, you may want 50% of your enrollment calls scheduled within 8 hours.

If you aren't able to service this metric, conversion will drop because people will do one of the following:

  1. Forget about you and not answer your call
  2. Find another option in the meantime
  3. Lose inspiration to do your thing

I've seen conversion rates cut in half because people need to wait just a handful of extra hours to talk to someone.

Make the single call the "one stop shop"

Once you get someone on the phone, you need to take advantage of that moment of connection to finish your entire enrollment process synchronously. Most organizations make the mistake of sending the person paperwork or a credit card form at the end of the call, then experience significant drop-off in that additional step.

Get it all done on that single call! This usually means sending the person forms to fill out via SMS/email and then staying with them while they fill it out. Then set-up the "real" part of your treatment as the final step on the call. This usually means scheduling the first provider encounter.

Lightweight qualifying before scheduling

Put a simple qualifier (4-5 questions) in front of scheduling the enrollment call. The key pieces to screen for are:

  • Region: Do they live in a state or area where they are eligible?
  • Price/insurance: Do people know the price and are ok with it? Do they have a general idea if their insurance is accepted or not?
  • Treatment interest: Do people know what your treatment is? Do they want to start now?

This will save you (and your prospective patients) a lot of time on unqualified conversations.

Remind them of the call

Set up SMS and/or email reminders 24 hrs, 1 hr, and 10 minutes before the call.

The reminder 10 minutes before should say that we are calling in 10-20 minutes and tell them what number we will be calling from. People ignore most calls these days, you want them to recognize your number.

Call them at the scheduled time

Sounds obvious, but the after running 100,000 calls I can add specific precision to how much this matters and how much wiggle room you have. Generally what I have found is, if you send an SMS reminder 10 minutes before saying you will call in 10-20 mins you can call someone up to 15 minutes after the scheduled time without any drop in their pick-up rate and conversion rate. Anything after 15 mins, the pick-up rate speedily drops off.

Knowing this 15 minute window becomes helpful as you scale up and are juggling a larger team with many calls at once.

Have a script with a form each agent is trained on

Create a simple script and call form with something like Jotform. This script has the structure of the call and all the fields you want collected. This allows multiple wins: makes training new people easy, it gives you data on each incoming prospect, and it ensures consistency of calls. These make it easier to understand who you are talking with and how to improve your system.

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