Recording & tracking new client inquiries
Answered

A couple of months ago, Amanda P. posted about a great way to track incoming calls in the Solo Practice topic area.  

I've been doing this for a couple months and it has really helped me...

I created a fake client called "Incoming Calls" (you can call it whatever you like, maybe Potential Referrals).  Whenever I get a referral, I create a chart note with their information.  That way, if I have to leave a message and they call back, I still have all their information in one place as opposed to finding the piece of paper I scribbled information on from weeks ago.

It really is a great idea. I took it one step further and created some prompts, which I'd like to share here.

Named it "@New Patient Queries" - the @ is to keep it at the top of my client list in SP. The prompts template is in the first note - when someone calls, I copy paste the template into a new chart note for the current caller/emailer, prompting me to record their info, including the all-important 'Outcome" and "Next Steps". 

Name:

Phone:

Email:

Referral Source:

Seeking:

Outcome of Call:

Next Steps:

Unfortunately, you have to be logged into the website to access the 'chart notes' function - the android app only creates notes for a scheduled appt. Wish there was a way to record new calls (and clinical info other than a schedule session) on the app, since I use a cell phone as my practice line and could be anywhere when a prospective client calls. 

 

20 comments

  • 0
    Comment actions Permalink
    Avatar
    Gillian

    Laura, what a fantastic way to organize your wait list! Thank you for sharing this creative use of Progress Note templates. 

    Laura, what a fantastic way to organize your wait list! Thank you for sharing this creative use of Progress Note templates. 

  • 0
    Comment actions Permalink
    Avatar
    Anne Marie Brooks, LMSW

    Laura, I absolutely love this idea of keeping track of prospective clients! I have pieces of paper at home and at my office and have not found a way to keep track of them all! I too use my mobile phone to answer calls for my solo PP and I also wish that the app had access to chart notes to keep the flow in one place rather than on paper! Thank you for sharing!

    Laura, I absolutely love this idea of keeping track of prospective clients! I have pieces of paper at home and at my office and have not found a way to keep track of them all! I too use my mobile phone to answer calls for my solo PP and I also wish that the app had access to chart notes to keep the flow in one place rather than on paper! Thank you for sharing!

  • 1
    Comment actions Permalink
    Avatar
    Jumoke Omojola

    Thank you Laura

    That piece of paper I wrote the info on has a life of its own.

    Great Idea. I am using this right away

    Thank you Laura

    That piece of paper I wrote the info on has a life of its own.

    Great Idea. I am using this right away

  • 0
    Comment actions Permalink
    Avatar
    Sara S. Haynes

    thank you!! best ever.

    thank you!! best ever.

  • 1
    Comment actions Permalink
    Avatar
    Hawanya B. Miller

    Hello Laura, this is an awesome idea. I wonder if you created a recurring appointment for this "phone intake" client so you may see notes and create notes via the mobile app. Thanks again

    Hello Laura, this is an awesome idea. I wonder if you created a recurring appointment for this "phone intake" client so you may see notes and create notes via the mobile app. Thanks again

  • 2
    Comment actions Permalink
    Avatar
    Victoria Davenport

    Hello, I created a progress note form named @New Patient Queries with the information listed above: name, phone, email, etc... I then created a procedure code of No Charge and made this code the default for the "@New Patient Queries" patient. This way when I receive a call I can just add it as an appointment on the calendar and I can just click on the note and select the progress note named @New Patient Queries (which is the first on the list). This has been a wonderful tool thank you... 

    Hello, I created a progress note form named @New Patient Queries with the information listed above: name, phone, email, etc... I then created a procedure code of No Charge and made this code the default for the "@New Patient Queries" patient. This way when I receive a call I can just add it as an appointment on the calendar and I can just click on the note and select the progress note named @New Patient Queries (which is the first on the list). This has been a wonderful tool thank you... 

  • 2
    Comment actions Permalink
    Avatar
    Laura E. Forsyth

    Inspired by Victoria, here's my New Inquiry Note template. The preview doesn't show any short/long answer fields for names of referring clinicians and 'other' responses. Save but don't lock the note to enter follow-up attempts/contacts later. 

    Wish there was some way to transfer the data from the 'Disposition' item from each 'session' to a spreadsheet, in order to track the conversion rate (inquiries/appts scheduled).  Will just have to do it by hand for now. 

    Why is it so much more fun to mess with making new forms and share them with y'all than to finish my session notes? Back to work....

    Inspired by Victoria, here's my New Inquiry Note template. The preview doesn't show any short/long answer fields for names of referring clinicians and 'other' responses. Save but don't lock the note to enter follow-up attempts/contacts later. 

    Wish there was some way to transfer the data from the 'Disposition' item from each 'session' to a spreadsheet, in order to track the conversion rate (inquiries/appts scheduled).  Will just have to do it by hand for now. 

    Why is it so much more fun to mess with making new forms and share them with y'all than to finish my session notes? Back to work....

  • 0
    Comment actions Permalink
    Avatar
    Luana Bessa

    Hi everyone, thanks so much for sharing your strategies! I do like this idea, but I am curious why folks prefer to use a dummy "client inquiries/incoming calls" account, rather than add potential clients in Simple Practice as inactive, with this Prompts Template as a note in that client's inactive chart (until they convert to a full client, in which case the account gets activated)? I am just getting started with my practice, so am still in the steep learning curve of it all, and I'd appreciate any feedback as I choose how to organize my own incoming calls. Thanks all!

    Hi everyone, thanks so much for sharing your strategies! I do like this idea, but I am curious why folks prefer to use a dummy "client inquiries/incoming calls" account, rather than add potential clients in Simple Practice as inactive, with this Prompts Template as a note in that client's inactive chart (until they convert to a full client, in which case the account gets activated)? I am just getting started with my practice, so am still in the steep learning curve of it all, and I'd appreciate any feedback as I choose how to organize my own incoming calls. Thanks all!

  • 0
    Comment actions Permalink
    Avatar
    Gillian

    Hi Laura! We're always thinking about how to improve SimplePractice and are actively following this thread to understand what you'd like to see in a feature like this. It's always great to see the conversations around how our customers currently approach wait lists - thanks so much for your input on this. 

    Hi Laura! We're always thinking about how to improve SimplePractice and are actively following this thread to understand what you'd like to see in a feature like this. It's always great to see the conversations around how our customers currently approach wait lists - thanks so much for your input on this. 

  • 1
    Comment actions Permalink
    Avatar
    David Flowers

    @Luana B

    This sounds like a great idea as well. My caveat with it is that my Inactive Clients list is already so huge, between people who stop coming to therapy and those who schedule appointments but never show, I just don't want to keep growing that database. Maybe that's a stupid concern because obviously, either way, you are growing something -- either your Inactive Client list or your Potential Clients chart notes.

    Doing it all as chart notes under client name Potential Clients also allows you to keep it all in one places, versus having separate client names for each prospective client.

    Just my initial thoughts. I'm going to try Laura's idea and see how it works. If there are hiccups, I may then try yours as well. Thank you.

    @Luana B

    This sounds like a great idea as well. My caveat with it is that my Inactive Clients list is already so huge, between people who stop coming to therapy and those who schedule appointments but never show, I just don't want to keep growing that database. Maybe that's a stupid concern because obviously, either way, you are growing something -- either your Inactive Client list or your Potential Clients chart notes.

    Doing it all as chart notes under client name Potential Clients also allows you to keep it all in one places, versus having separate client names for each prospective client.

    Just my initial thoughts. I'm going to try Laura's idea and see how it works. If there are hiccups, I may then try yours as well. Thank you.

  • 1
    Comment actions Permalink
    Avatar
    Lara Elfstrand

    I'm wondering if there could be a way to have 2 different types of inactive clients:  past clients and potential clients... so that I could look at the list that I actually want to see at the moment.  

    I'm wondering if there could be a way to have 2 different types of inactive clients:  past clients and potential clients... so that I could look at the list that I actually want to see at the moment.  

  • 0
    Comment actions Permalink
    Avatar
    Renee Rivera

    Initially I liked this idea and put in into practice for a couple months. But then I realized how it impacted the INSIGHTS section, where SP provides some basic stats. The number of appointments shows was significantly inflated because I set an a client (INQUIRY CONSULTS) per this idea. I really like being able to quickly look at these stats, so I am not sure this idea is going to work for me. Anyone have this concern and come up with a workaround?

    Initially I liked this idea and put in into practice for a couple months. But then I realized how it impacted the INSIGHTS section, where SP provides some basic stats. The number of appointments shows was significantly inflated because I set an a client (INQUIRY CONSULTS) per this idea. I really like being able to quickly look at these stats, so I am not sure this idea is going to work for me. Anyone have this concern and come up with a workaround?

  • 0
    Comment actions Permalink
    Avatar
    Laura E. Forsyth

    Yes, and the workaround yields valuable information!

    At the end of each month, I plug the all stats from SP into a spreadsheet that tracks my income, number of sessions, number of clients, number of new inquiries and number of inquiries that convert to appointments. I simply look at how many sessions "New Inquiries" has each month, then subtract that amount from the total shown in Insights to get the actual session count.

    I started tracking my monthly income years ago and added on categories as I learned more about the business end of having a practice. It can be pretty darn reinforcing to enter the data each month! Tracking year after year can show seasonal variations, whether your practice is growing, the effect of events in your own life, etc.

    Plus, tracking your "conversion rate" is an important part of the assessing the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and how you respond when someone makes an initial inquiry.

    The information emboldened me to leave a well-loved but demanding and under compensated part time job to focus on practice.

    Here's a link to a template of my MxY Log spreadsheet in Excel, stored on Google Drive. All the formulas are there, so you can play around with it. Feel free to adapt it to your own use.

    https://1drv.ms/x/s!Avq8zeJG4QQ3zRGsxbeasLl6OqIg

    Cheers!

    Laura

    Yes, and the workaround yields valuable information!

    At the end of each month, I plug the all stats from SP into a spreadsheet that tracks my income, number of sessions, number of clients, number of new inquiries and number of inquiries that convert to appointments. I simply look at how many sessions "New Inquiries" has each month, then subtract that amount from the total shown in Insights to get the actual session count.

    I started tracking my monthly income years ago and added on categories as I learned more about the business end of having a practice. It can be pretty darn reinforcing to enter the data each month! Tracking year after year can show seasonal variations, whether your practice is growing, the effect of events in your own life, etc.

    Plus, tracking your "conversion rate" is an important part of the assessing the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and how you respond when someone makes an initial inquiry.

    The information emboldened me to leave a well-loved but demanding and under compensated part time job to focus on practice.

    Here's a link to a template of my MxY Log spreadsheet in Excel, stored on Google Drive. All the formulas are there, so you can play around with it. Feel free to adapt it to your own use.

    https://1drv.ms/x/s!Avq8zeJG4QQ3zRGsxbeasLl6OqIg

    Cheers!

    Laura

  • 0
    Comment actions Permalink
    Avatar
    Annabelle Coote

    I'm a huge fan of workarounds but I also would like to see more options for this in SP.  I have been creating a "potential client" file per each calendar year.  I have a paper form that I use and then scan it in so I have a record.  I am not creating sessions nor chart notes.

    I would love there to be an option to have an "open" note for each potential client that didn't have to be filled in and saved and then edited, etc as the situation developed.  

    A big problem is that only clinicians can access these notes and I would like an admin asst person to be able to as well.

    I'm a huge fan of workarounds but I also would like to see more options for this in SP.  I have been creating a "potential client" file per each calendar year.  I have a paper form that I use and then scan it in so I have a record.  I am not creating sessions nor chart notes.

    I would love there to be an option to have an "open" note for each potential client that didn't have to be filled in and saved and then edited, etc as the situation developed.  

    A big problem is that only clinicians can access these notes and I would like an admin asst person to be able to as well.

  • 0
    Comment actions Permalink
    Avatar
    Patricia Mims

    I am doing a website and brochure and would like to integrate SP into my system.  What website should I include on both for client's to make contact. I am new to the system. I probably don't want them to schedule until I speak to them.  Please provide simple instructions.  Thank you!

    I am doing a website and brochure and would like to integrate SP into my system.  What website should I include on both for client's to make contact. I am new to the system. I probably don't want them to schedule until I speak to them.  Please provide simple instructions.  Thank you!

  • 0
    Comment actions Permalink
    Avatar
    Gillian

    Annabelle, and others who have posted here - we're following this thread as we plan and scope a native Wait List feature in SimplePractice. You can add your thoughts and subscribe to updates on our Ideas board here: https://simplepractice.uservoice.com/forums/918553-simplepractice-feedback/suggestions/36868597-wait-list-management

    Patricia, welcome to the SimplePractice Community - we'd be happy to help. I would recommend adding the SimplePractice Booking Widget to your website, then including your website on your brochure, so you have a single clear call-to-action on the brochure (Visit My Website) and a single clear call-to-action on your website (Schedule an Appointment). 

     

    The Booking Widget is a button that you can add to your website that allows new clients to book with you. To add it to your website, you'll first need to enable and set up Online Booking. I highly recommend taking our class on Online Booking at simplepractice.com/classes. This class walks you through setting up your Online Booking settings. Alternatively, our Help Center has step-by-step instructions on setting up Online Booking here: https://support.simplepractice.com/hc/en-us/articles/207624876-How-to-set-up-Online-Booking

    Once you've done that, you'll want to embed the Booking Widget onto your website. The steps to do this vary depending on your website host. Here are the step-by-step instructions for doing this: https://support.simplepractice.com/hc/en-us/articles/115004734123-How-to-add-the-Booking-Widget-to-your-website

    I do see that you'd prefer that clients do not schedule prior to speaking with you first. In that case, I'd recommend adding a Service Code for a 15-minute phone consultation under My Account > Settings > Billing and Services > Services. Then, make that service the only service available for new clients to book when setting up your Availability. 

    Our Success team is standing by to help if you have any questions at all. You can reach the team through the ? bubble in the lower right-hand corner of your SimplePractice account. 

    Annabelle, and others who have posted here - we're following this thread as we plan and scope a native Wait List feature in SimplePractice. You can add your thoughts and subscribe to updates on our Ideas board here: https://simplepractice.uservoice.com/forums/918553-simplepractice-feedback/suggestions/36868597-wait-list-management

    Patricia, welcome to the SimplePractice Community - we'd be happy to help. I would recommend adding the SimplePractice Booking Widget to your website, then including your website on your brochure, so you have a single clear call-to-action on the brochure (Visit My Website) and a single clear call-to-action on your website (Schedule an Appointment). 

     

    The Booking Widget is a button that you can add to your website that allows new clients to book with you. To add it to your website, you'll first need to enable and set up Online Booking. I highly recommend taking our class on Online Booking at simplepractice.com/classes. This class walks you through setting up your Online Booking settings. Alternatively, our Help Center has step-by-step instructions on setting up Online Booking here: https://support.simplepractice.com/hc/en-us/articles/207624876-How-to-set-up-Online-Booking

    Once you've done that, you'll want to embed the Booking Widget onto your website. The steps to do this vary depending on your website host. Here are the step-by-step instructions for doing this: https://support.simplepractice.com/hc/en-us/articles/115004734123-How-to-add-the-Booking-Widget-to-your-website

    I do see that you'd prefer that clients do not schedule prior to speaking with you first. In that case, I'd recommend adding a Service Code for a 15-minute phone consultation under My Account > Settings > Billing and Services > Services. Then, make that service the only service available for new clients to book when setting up your Availability. 

    Our Success team is standing by to help if you have any questions at all. You can reach the team through the ? bubble in the lower right-hand corner of your SimplePractice account. 

  • 0
    Comment actions Permalink
    Avatar
    Annabelle Coote

    One of the problems with the booking widget is that once a client is scheduled for a call or appointment of any kind, even if it's a 15 or 30 min initial free consult, they become a client in the system they either clutter us the client list.  But also, then you can't easily send out the new client portal set up with the new client email and forms the same as you would a new client.  You have to type out a new email and so on.

    If there were an option to have a separate potential client list in the system that would be great.

    One of the problems with the booking widget is that once a client is scheduled for a call or appointment of any kind, even if it's a 15 or 30 min initial free consult, they become a client in the system they either clutter us the client list.  But also, then you can't easily send out the new client portal set up with the new client email and forms the same as you would a new client.  You have to type out a new email and so on.

    If there were an option to have a separate potential client list in the system that would be great.

  • 0
    Comment actions Permalink
    Avatar
    Gillian

    Hi Annabelle, as you might have seen in my earlier comment, we are actively working on features that will do this. Right now, we're considering a third status for client records - "Waitlist" instead of "Active" or "Inactive," so you can separate out clients who have requested appointments but have not been scheduled or seen.

    Hi Annabelle, as you might have seen in my earlier comment, we are actively working on features that will do this. Right now, we're considering a third status for client records - "Waitlist" instead of "Active" or "Inactive," so you can separate out clients who have requested appointments but have not been scheduled or seen.

  • 0
    Comment actions Permalink
    Avatar
    Annabelle Coote

    Hi Gillian,  Thanks for the clarification.  It wasn't clear that you were working on a third status -- that is really helpful - I do hope that it would be possible to give schedulers access to notes created for such cases as a "scheduler" (or someone with an administrative assistant type role) might very well be managing the contact for "waitlist"

    Hi Gillian,  Thanks for the clarification.  It wasn't clear that you were working on a third status -- that is really helpful - I do hope that it would be possible to give schedulers access to notes created for such cases as a "scheduler" (or someone with an administrative assistant type role) might very well be managing the contact for "waitlist"

  • 1
    Comment actions Permalink
    Avatar
    Annabelle Coote

    Also, though it's a bit different, I would really like to be able to differentiate between different types of clients -- such as therapy clients, coaching clients, supervision clients, etc.  And I know there are others who have requested this option.

    If there is a plan to work on expanding types of status, perhaps this could be included.

    Also, though it's a bit different, I would really like to be able to differentiate between different types of clients -- such as therapy clients, coaching clients, supervision clients, etc.  And I know there are others who have requested this option.

    If there is a plan to work on expanding types of status, perhaps this could be included.