Leverage Technology to Improve Patient Experience
Technology has revolutionized nearly every industry, and healthcare is no exception. As a medical practice, leveraging technology strategically can dramatically improve patient satisfaction and retention rates by enhancing the overall experience patients have with your practice. Here are some of the top ways to use technology in successful practices to improve their patient retention rates, patient satisfaction and keep patients coming back:
Offer Online Booking and Telemedicine
One of the most significant barriers to retaining patients is the inconvenience of booking appointments. You can eliminate this friction point by offering online booking that allows patients to schedule appointments 24/7 from their computer or mobile device. Platforms like Zocdoc make it easy to enable this capability on your website.
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Expanding into telemedicine using software like Doxy or Teladoc is another way to improve communication, convenience and access for your patients. This gives them the flexibility to consult with providers virtually for minor conditions or follow-ups.
Automate Appointment Reminders
A major reason patients miss appointments and fail to follow up is simply forgetting. You can eliminate this issue by leveraging automated reminders via text message first call or email. Platforms like Solutionreach allow you to set up customized reminder sequences.
Create a User-Friendly Patient Portal
A full patient engagement portal serves as an easily accessible online hub that gives patients instant access to their health records, lab reports, care plans, and billing statements. Portals like FollowMyHealth also allow two-way messaging with your staff. This convenience and transparency helps patients feel engaged and informed about their care.
In summary, technology gives patients more flexibility and control when interacting with your practice. Meet them where they are, and you’ll be rewarded with success and higher patient retention strategies and rates. Just be sure to invest in solutions that comply with HIPAA regulations to protect patient privacy.For more information on leveraging technology in healthcare, you can refer to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website.
It's crucial that any digital platforms or tools you use to engage patients meet HIPAA compliance standards. This in-depth guide covers best practices for remarketing to healthcare consumers while maintaining privacy.
Create Loyalty and Referral Programs
Loyalty and referral programs are a tried and tested way to boost patient retention by rewarding existing patients for their continued business and referrals. Here are some tips for creating patient retention programs that keep current patients coming back:
Offer Rewards and Incentives
The key to a successful loyalty program is providing enough value to motivate patients to keep using your services. Some popular rewards include:
- Discounts on services after a certain number of visits
- Free exams or consultations
- Entry into prize drawings after referrals
- Points systems that can be redeemed for gifts or credits
Cash-based incentives can also be effective. For example, you can try to offer patients $25 when they refer a friend who books an appointment.
Promote the Program
Make sure patients are aware of your loyalty program by promoting it prominently on your website, social media, emails, brochures, and in your office.
Have front desk staff explain the details during check-in. You can also mail loyalty cards and referral cards as payment options as reminders.
Think Beyond the Individual
Consider extending rewards to family groups and couples to capture more referrals. For example, a chiropractor could offer a free adjustment for referring spouses. A dentist could give $50 off for kids referred in families.
Loyalty and referral programs demonstrate that you value your patients. The small investment pays dividends by improving patient, retaining existing patients' patient retention, rate and turning your patients into brand ambassadors who drive growth through organic word-of-mouth marketing.
Optimize Website for User Experience
Your website is often the first touchpoint between your practice and prospective patients. An outdated or poorly designed site can negatively impact user experience and cause patients to look elsewhere. Follow these best practices to create a site that converts:
Site speed is a ranking factor for Google and directly impacts conversions. Slow load times lead to high bounce rates. Use a tool like Pingdom or WebPageTest to measure your site's speed and optimize images and code until you reach a load time under 3 seconds.
Ensure Mobile Responsiveness
If your site isn't responsive, patients will quickly become frustrated. Audit your site on services like Google Mobile-Friendly Test to identify and fix issues.
Include Educational Content
Blog posts negative reviews, videos, and other content help establish your practice as an authority. This content also ranks well in search engines when optimized with relevant keywords. Dedicate resources to regularly create SEO-friendly content.
Use Clear Calls-to-Action
Calls-to-action guide visitors to desired actions like booking appointments or contacting your office. Place visible, clickable buttons above the fold on key pages. Drive traffic to your contact form or online booking with compelling language like "Book Now" or "Schedule an Appointment."
Continuously refining your website for speed, mobile optimization, and user experience will pay dividends in the form of lower bounce rates, increased traffic, and more conversions from visitors to patients.
Produce Engaging Content and Video
Content marketing strategy is a key marketing strategy used for attracting new patients, nurturing leads, and staying top of mind with existing patients. Here are some of the most effective types of content marketing strategy initiatives for medical practices:
Educational Articles and Posts
Blog articles, social media posts, and newsletter content focused on common health questions help establish your practice as an invaluable resource. For example, a physical therapist could post exercise tips for back pain.
FAQs and Quizzes
FAQ pages address common patient questions and concerns head-on. You can also create engaging quizzes like "Do I Have Arthritis?" This interactive content keeps patients engaged.
Visual content can convey vital information about health information concisely. Infographics with stats on topics like heart disease risk factors capture attention and help with sharing on social media.
Short videos give you a dynamic way to highlight your services and expertise. Post patient satisfaction testimonial videos and clinic tours to build trust and familiarity.
Aim to publish new blog and social media content consistently, at least 1-2 times per week. Repurpose content across your professional website, email newsletters, and all social channels.
Adding rich media like videos boosts engagement metrics. Take advantage of free software like Biteable and Canva to create polished videos and graphics without special skills.
Monitor and Leverage Patient Reviews
Positive online reviews are social proof that you provide a great patient experience. Proactively monitoring patient interaction and managing your reputation online is crucial for improving patient retention and strategies and attracting new patients.
Ask for Reviews
Don't be afraid to ask satisfied patients to leave reviews on Google, Facebook, and other platforms. The easiest time is right after an appointment when positive impression of the customer experience still is fresh.
Respond to Negative Feedback
No practice is perfect. If you receive a negative review, respond professionally with an apology and offer to address their concerns. This shows you care.While positive reviews can attract patients, negative feedback left unaddressed can be very detrimental. So this guide provides tips on avoiding common marketing mistakes that may inadvertently create bad experiences that lead to negative reviews.
Share the Love
Repost positive testimonials from customers both on your business website and social media. You can also use an endorsement widget to showcase reviews from repeat customers, right on your site.
Claim Review Listings
Actively claim and update your practice's listings on review sites like Yelp and Healthgrades. This gives you more control over your profile.
Stay Top-of-Mind with Email and Social Media
When patients have a positive experience with your practice, you want to nurture that relationship over time to earn their repeat business and referrals. Email newsletters, phone calls and social media are perfect channels for marketing plan staying top of mind.
Send Regular Email Newsletters
Newsletters allow you to provide value through health tips and practice updates. Segment your list by patient types and send content tailored to their various healthcare needs, 1-2 times per month.
Run Contests and Giveaways
Everyone loves a chance to win a prize! Occasional contests and giveaways spike open rates. “Refer a friend for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card” is one example.
Be Active on Social Media
Post regularly on your practice's Facebook, Twitter, Instagram accounts. Share educational and inspirational content to nurture followers. Respond promptly to comments and messages.
The goal of your outreach is simply to stay on patients' radar, so the wait time, they remember to book their next appointment with you or recommend you to friends.
Collaborate with Local Healthcare Influencers
Partnering with other trusted healthcare businesses and professionals in the market research your area can expand your reach and credibility with your target audience of potential patients.
Approach complementary businesses like pharmacies, gyms, or nutritionists about co-marketing campaigns. For example, a “Get Healthy” campaign could tie customers in services from different providers.
Host Events Together
Brainstorm relevant health events like a blood drive, race, or community workshop to co-host with other practices. This provides goodwill exposure and networking.
Set up formal referral relationships with trusted providers when appropriate. They benefit from specialized care for their patients while you receive pre-qualified leads.
Partnering strategically with other top healthcare providers and influencers establishes you as a well-connected expert in healthcare organization in your community. Patients perceive this as social proof of your reputation.
Attracting new patients requires a substantial marketing investment. But nurturing patient relationships with existing patients generating leads to further retention and improve patient retention efforts is equally important for medical practices.
The tactics covered in this guide, from leveraging technology to further patient engagement to collaborating with local influencers, all contribute to the ultimate goal of providing an exceptional patient experience. Focus on conveying empathy most patients, building trust, and making their interactions with your practice as convenient and personalized as possible.
Earning repeat business from loyal patients has a multiplying effect. They will refer friends and family if you exceed their expectations consistently. By combining patient retention strategies and marketing strategies with your ongoing lead generation efforts, your practice and retention marketing strategy helps and is sure to grow thriving patient relationships for your success over the long haul.
If you are struggling to improve patient retention and increase repeat visits, The Customer Factory offers a free discovery call to assess your current marketing strategy. Our experts can provide objective guidance to help you optimize your approach and implement proven tactics to boost loyalty and referrals.
It costs 5 times more in medical bills to attract a new customer than to retain an existing patient persona become one. Loyal patients are also much more likely to refer others to your practice, saving you marketing dollars. Retention and patient acquisition and boosts your bottom line the same way.
Ensure your site is mobile optimized with fast load times. Include educational content like blog posts and FAQs. Make it easy to book appointments online. Allow patients to complete paperwork electronically. Provide a patient portal to access health records
1-2 times per day for Facebook is a good goal. For other platforms like Instagram or LinkedIn, 3-5 posts per week is sufficient. The key is to post consistently to stay top of mind. Mix educational content with promotional posts.
Relevant potential partners may include physical therapists, gyms, nutritionists, home health agencies, pharmacies, specialists that complement your services, healthcare practices, hospitals, and independent doctors with different specialties.
Loyalty rewards can include discounts for booking multiple services, free exams after a certain number of visits, points that can be redeemed for products or credits, entries into prize drawings for referrals, and more.
Newsletters are a great place to share health and wellness tips related to your specialty, promote new blog content, highlight services and providers, offer discounts or giveaways, and announce events and community initiatives your practice is participating in.
Ask patients directly but focus on those who you know had an excellent experience. Catch them right after appointments before they leave your office. Email and text reminders work too. Offer an incentive like a discount for leaving a review.