Attracting patients is one of the most important issues on the agenda of office and clinic managers. After all, any business needs customers to exist. Including the healthcare services.
In recent years, the rise of internet has strongly changed the consumer-business relationship. Nowadays, it focuses on the needs of the human being. Therefore, it is critical to invest in the relationship with patients to meet their demands and create deeper connections.
You need to create well-segmented strategies to attract your target audience. More than that, you need to keep and build customer loyalty with the existent one. We picked 5 practical tips on how to attract patients and increase credibility and revenue of your business.
1. Register your office to Google My Business
Have you ever searched for a company on Google and received all its essential information on screen, such as phone number and opening hours? That’s Google My Business.
More than a profile with your clinic information, the app allows you to connect with customers through Google Search engine and also Google Maps, all for free.
First step: register your office with the basic data, such as address, phone number, opening hours and website. Then you can add photos of your workplace.
Patients can also make reviews and leave messages on your profile. You receive instant notifications via e-mail when they do it. Be attentive not to answer late.
Another interesting feature is the possibility to know followers and and how often they interact with the profile. For example, you can know where they are from and how many have used the registered phone to schedule the service.
Google is the largest search engine on the internet nowadays. Many people use it to search for doctors. After finding a professional of interest, they search more thoroughly, to evaluate online recommendations before setting an appointment.
2. Invest in digital marketing for doctors
We are currently experiencing the post-digital era without clear boundaries between offline and online world. We use technology all the time for research, entertainment, social interaction, virtual shopping and much more.
That’s why it’s essential to be present online, to build up and keep both relevance and authority in the market. And, thus, attract and retain more and more patients. Especially in social networks, as they offer a great potential for interaction and relationship with the public. The greater the interactions with quality, the greater the visibility of the professional.
So, it is necessary to invest in producing relevant content for each type of platform. In fact, there is no need to all the platforms, which are too many. But there is more doctor-focused social media. To help you plan your main content strategy, we’ve developed a series of articles with practical tips for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, WhatsApp and Telegram.
3. Build the ideal patient journey
Do you know the patient journey? Basically, it is the path the patient travels towards your office. And this involves many phases, such as noticing symptoms, deciding to make an appointment, choosing doctors, receiving healthcare service and the evaluating the whole process.
Undoubtedly, this path can be easy and fast in some cases. However, most of the time, there is a long journey until one feels confident and chooses a specialist. Several aspects influence the final decision, such as complexity of the disease, quality of the professional, evaluation from other patients on the internet or close people, concern about health, inter alia.
Thus, it is essential to understand and map the journey to increase the opportunities of how to attract patients and retain existing ones for your office.
To improve it, you can:
- Offer online appointment scheduling;
- Have a comfortable office;
- Avoid delays;
- Invest in technologies;
- Set a quality standard for services;
- Humanize service;
- Reduce waiting time gaps between the journey stages.
Learn more in this article: how to create the ideal patient journey.
4. Calling old customers back
Check which patients made only the first appointment and did not return anymore. Or returned and never came back. It could surely be because he/she no longer needed the service or does not remember the office name and address. But, there is a chance that the patient did not like the service.
In this case, it is worth contacting the patient, by phone or e-mail, to find out the real reason and try to redeem the patient.
5. Keep a relationship with the patient
Young female doctor texting
To keep in touch with the patient, it is worth to invest in an aftercare process. For example, carry out satisfaction surveys regularly to identify bottlenecks in care and implement improvements.
Another suggestion is, the day after the appointment, send an SMS to the patient saying that you are happy to provide him/her your services, and that you are available. You can also remind him/her of the return visit, congratulate the birthday and wish a happy holiday.
In fact, SMS is just one of the ways to approach. You can also use email and WhatsApp.
By the way, e-mail allows you to send longer contents. For example, you can talk about news in the health area that interest you, give prevention tips and announce innovations of the office, inter alia.
It demonstrates your attention and continuous care for your patients. By this,they will notice your concern for their well-being, which can directly reflect the evolution of treatment.
However, ask the patient if he/she wants to receive content from the clinic and the formats he/she accepts.
And, of course, speed up the process by automated messaging systems. They are faster and ensure information security.
Reviewed by Paulo Schor, ophthalmologist, free professor and director of innovation of the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp) and collaborator of the Faculty of Medicine of the Albert Einstein Hospital.
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