How-to Respond to Consumer Inquiries: A Step-by-Step Guide

How-to Respond to Consumer Inquiries: A Step-by-Step Guide

1024 576 The RealSelf Team

In this guide, you will find step by step guidance, complete with screenshots, to help you accomplish the following:

  • Set up inquiry notifications
    • Who receives the consumer inquiry emails in your practice? Learn how to add staff, so they can respond directly from their inbox.
  • Audit your inquiries
    • Do you know which consumers have received a follow-up? Learn how to find and track consumer inquiries utilizing your dashboard.
  • Manage communications
    • Have you been asked for PIN or to verify your phone number? Have you noticed consumer emails have RealSelf in the address? Learn how to verify numbers, find your PIN, and more.
Download the guide


Setting Up Inquiry Notifications

Log into the Dashboard from the Profile Icon at the top right of the webpage. (If you don’t have Dashboard access, please reach out to your account Advocate.)

Click on Edit Profile 

Scroll down to the section for email addresses (after Awards and Professional Recognition). You can forward new inquiries to up to 4 email addresses to ensure prompt follow-up.

Expert tip: Add your email address as Alternate 4 and train three of your team members on your follow-up standards. Your primary responder responds daily to new inquiries. If they are out of the office, Alternate 2 or 3 are able to respond.

To Save your changes, Scroll to the bottom of the page and Click Submit.

Audit Your Inquiries

On your Dashboard under Quick Actions, select Respond to Inquiries.

Your inquiry list shows inquiries Not Responded To and New at the top, then all of your inquiries are sorted by date submitted below.


To respond to an inquiry, you can either Email or Call using the the consumer details in the Contact column or reply directly from the consumer Email inquiry you received in your inbox.

Why does the email address have RealSelf in it? Learn more in the Manage Communications section below.

Expert tip: Use multiple contact methods. No response to your email? Calling can create a more personal touch. And consider adding texting to your methods of response, particularly when a potential patient has indicated this in their consult inquiry.

After calling the consumer, the status of the inquiry will automatically change from “Inquiry” to  “Patient was Called.” If the consumer was emailed, the status of the inquiry will automatically change to “Pending Customer Response.”

Once a response has been made, the inquiry will move down and be sorted by date submitted, and you will no longer see it in the “pending a response” area at the top of your list.

Your system will track your response rate and time based on the First Response via Phone or Email from the inquiry record we emailed you.

To get an overview of how well you are responding, Log into your Dashboard and review your response metrics in the Your Activity area.

Expert tip: Best practice for responding to an inquiry is to respond quickly (the closer you can be to 4 hours or less the better), and respond often (online consumers may not be able to answer the phone the first time you call them… but that doesn’t mean they aren’t interested). Continue reaching out to consumers a minimum of 4 times.

Managing Communications With Consumer Contact Information

Phone Numbers –
To ensure that only authorized staff are reaching out to the consumers, please verify all authorized phone numbers in your dashboard.  If you are prompted for a PIN number, it is because you are calling from a phone number that is not on your list of authorized numbers.

To Add an Authorized Phone number Log into your RealSelf dashboard and Click on Edit.

Scroll down to the Business Locations area and add in All the phone numbers you might use to call a person who inquires about a service you offer. These could be Cell or Landlines you are using.

If you need to Call or Text a consumer from a number that is Not Verified you will be asked to provide a PIN number to complete the call and/or text.  You can Find this PIN Number at the Top of Your Dashboard next to your photo.



Once the call is complete the Inquiry Status will Automatically Update to ‘Patient was Called’ and the inquiry will no longer be highlighted at the top of the list.

Private Relay Email Addresses –
Emails that show as part of the email address are part of the Private Relay System. This email system was implemented in response to our consumers desire to protect their online privacy.

To respond to an inquiry with a email address follow your normal process for responding to a potential patient. You can:

Click Reply from the email notification you receive from RealSelf.

  • Enter the contact information into your CRM or Patient management system.
  • Create a separate Follow Up System for these inquiries in excel or another patient management process you are following.

Note: There is no need to change your current follow up process for an inquiry that has Private Relay contact information. Private Relay contact information will work the same as Non-Private Relay contact information.

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