According to a report by Harvard Business Review (HBR), emotional connection trumps customer satisfaction when it comes to loyalty. For sustained growth of your practice, you need to establish an emotional connection with your patients and make them feel valued and cared for. Even after a satisfying treatment, your patient can change doctors for convenience, insurance coverage or wait time. But what they remember is your little extra effort of establishing a connection or bond with them outside your office. They believe you don’t consider them just another number.
When at your practice, listen to your patients and empathize with them to make them feel valued. For that feeling of belonging, train your office staff by asking them to:
- Greet patients by name
- Talk about their work or family
- Interact with their children
This will neutralize issues like long waits, rescheduling appointments, etc. But you cannot limit such conversations to your practice. Below are ways to connect better with your patients outside the office that will keep you in their minds and result in word-of-mouth marketing for your practice.
Website: The need for a practice website is undeniable. More than 70% of people search online before making any purchase decision. Your patients want to visit your website and know you better before visiting your practice. It is the first step toward relationship building. So, your website should be engaging and informative. You must add educational content with your visitors in mind. Images, videos, and an FAQ section are some other connections between you and your patients. Also, it is necessary to have a patient portal on your site. It will help patients track test results, post questions, schedule appointments and much more.
Email: Another great way to connect with your patients is via email. According to a survey conducted by PewResearch, more than 90% of adults in the US use email, which makes it an effective tool to communicate your new services, offers, campaigns, etc. To make your email more effective, you can add your relevant blog, health news or images of your recent work. You can even add a link to your feedback form for higher engagement. Keep your email concise and focused. Make use of an effective call-to-action and subject line. And avoid sending too many emails that will turn you into a spammer.
Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.
Messages: Another way of keeping you top-of-mind with patients is by reminding them of their appointments. You can either make a call or connect to them via messages. Mail or messages can also be used for requesting patients to post positive reviews on review platforms or provide feedback for your practice if any. Try to learn what they liked and what they did not.
Apps: Mobile apps are another amazing way to connect with your patients. mHealth or mobile health technology helps you create a stronger bond with your patients. They can read your blog or articles here that will showcase your expertise and build patients’ trust in your practice. Here, all your existing and potential patients can post their queries, schedule appointments, check test reports and much more. In the US, more than 235 million people accessed the Internet on their phone last year, and that makes the mHealth app a great thing to have for your practice.
Social media: In 2017, more than 80% of people had a social media profile. So you cannot take the chance of not having a strong social media presence. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn help you promote your practice to the world. Potential patients interested in your practice will likely join your social media account. An everyday tip or regular healthcare posts help you connect better with your patients.