Building your practice reputation is no longer a choice now, but a necessity to keep your business running. Here are some ways in which you can create a positive reputation and attract more patients to your practice.
Nurture Relationships With Your Present Patients
Yes, they have been visiting your practice for a long time and seem to be satisfied with the services offered, but don’t make the mistake of taking these patients for granted. They are your brand advocates and source of word-of-mouth marketing for your practice. Make efforts to communicate with them to understand their pain points, if any, and make sure you address them to improve services at your practice.
Embrace Social Media
People are increasingly expanding on the habit of discussing healthcare with family and friends on social media. Having identified the change in consumer patterns, physicians are now increasingly adopting social media as a tool to build relationships with patients and the general public. Each social media channel has its own unique style of communication. A range of social media platforms can facilitate exchange of information and dialogue between patients and patients, and patients and healthcare professionals.
Provide Thought Leadership To Patients
Social media empowers physicians to stay well-informed about how patients perceive healthcare, that too directly through their eyes. Social media connections with patients give them insight about the problems patients face with healthcare services, their own health in general and issues they come across while working toward their healthcare goals. Physicians can share their knowledge and expertise with those who need it. Sometimes, it’s just an experienced opinion they need. But ensure that you always remain professional and remember to keep private discussions/details offline (keep the HIPAA guidelines in mind).
Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.
Evolve With Changing Consumer Behavior
Change is a law of nature. Even your patients keep evolving with time. So how will you come to know what patients really want out of a consultation? For instance, someone with diabetes because of obesity might be seeking a diet and healthy lifestyle consultation to cure the disease naturally. Here social media comes to rescue! You can spark a discussion among patient communities on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These discussions reveal the mind-set of patients and revelations can be manifested in the form of better services at your practice. Social media, therefore, keeps you abreast of changing patient preferences, choices and decisions.
Proactively Maintain An Online Presence
Giving your practice on online presence means much more than setting up a website with your practice address, office hours and phone number. Digital marketing through social media platforms like blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter is a great way to market your practice to your existing patients. General health information, useful tips, preventive measures about some specific diseases or fitness/diet tips can be posted on social media, which will be seen by others when they log in to the social networking website. When your existing patients and other readers follow you, they will quite likely share your post, which gives an additional opportunity for online visibility to a broader audience. This can, in turn, bring in more referrals to your practice and help develop a positive online reputation.
While making efforts to develop a positive online reputation and maintaining online relationships with your patients, it’s very important to improve in-office practices, as well. You’re only as good as your team, so be sure to train them well to deal with patients over phone and while they are in the office.
As patients are increasingly turning to digital touch points as a starting point for their healthcare research, make sure you leverage the opportunity to create an online brand of your practice by catering to their needs.