To grow your practice, you need to increase patient acquisition. But retaining your existing patients is much less expensive than acquiring new ones. This is an essential aspect of medical marketing. You need to keep your patients happy and make sure they don’t find reasons to say goodbye to your practice. Here are five ways to keep your patients happy and returning:
- Convenience and comfort
Before visiting your practice, your patients need to book an appointment in advance. They call your office number and set an appointment in the coming weeks and they have to cancel their existing commitments for your appointment. Every time they have to visit your practice, the same process is followed. So, you need to have a simple appointment scheduling process, preferably an online one using a patient portal. Here, they can book an appointment in advance for a suitable date and time.
Also, on coming to your practice, patients might need to wait for a much longer time than expected. You need to check if your waiting room is comfortable and well-equipped for patients to pass their time.
- Office staff behavior
A long wait time is a disappointment for your patients. In such a scenario, poor communication or incomplete information received from front-office staff can be worse. This negative impression will compel your patients to post a negative review for your practice online, subsequently, hitting your online reputation.
So assign tasks to all staff members equally. Train your front-office staff to pay proper attention to patients, such as appointment reminders or follow-up scheduling, etc. Try to automate things such as conducting an online patient survey using forms or sending appointment reminders using email and text messages.
- Patient feedback
To retain your patients, you need to learn about their issues. You can’t fix a problem unless you know about it. You can ask patients directly about their concerns when they visit your practice or you can request their feedback via emails and patient survey forms. These forms should not be too long. To hold the interest of a participant, the survey should include objective-type and straightforward questions. Also, remember to thank your patients for taking the time for your patient survey.
Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.
Communication bridges all gaps. To retain your patients, you need to have a good doctor-patient relationship, and this is possible through extensive care and good communication. This will make the patient feel valued and understood. With the help of communication, you can explain to your patients their ailment and treatment. This will keep them motivated to follow your practice and suggest their friends and family visit you.
Don’t limit your communication to the practice. Connect with your patients over social media platforms, emails, text messages, postcards and wishes on occasions, etc., along with word-of-mouth marketing. Patients will then love to post positive reviews about your practice online.
- Online reputation management
Online review sites have given patients the power to express themselves. Most often, patients read online reviews by other patients to learn about their experiences. If mostly negative reviews are present about your practice, patients will most likely prefer switching to some other doctor. So to influence your existing and new patients, you need to manage your online reputation. This helps you push down any negative reviews and more positive reviews will provide benefit of the doubt about the not-so-perfect reviews.
To save your patient base from declining, you need to satisfy your patients with extensive care and maintain your online reputation. For this, always motivate your patients to share feedback and post positive reviews online.