How can your healthcare business not only attract but then retain patients? Investing in strong branding and excellent service is vital to maintain a steady balance of new and returning patients to your facility. Prospects who consume your marketing message will feel more comfortable seeking your assistance with their health issues. Once they've experienced your high-quality care firsthand, they'll happily continue visiting your facility.
Healthcare marketing is an essential part of gaining and retaining loyal patients. For instance, research indicates that digital marketing can contribute to a brand lift of 31% or more — i.e., it can help others perceive your business more favorably. With that in mind, consider implementing the following healthcare marketing tips to help your brand do even better with client retention:
Tips to Attract (and Retain) Patients
1. Provide Great Patient Experiences
The best way to attract patients and get them back is to provide exceptional patient experiences. Think about how this could boost your marketing efforts. Wonderful patient experiences will lead to positive word-of-mouth referrals, and if previous patients ever need to seek further care, your business will be the first one that comes to their minds. Providing stellar experiences is a significant component of any successful healthcare marketing plan.
2. Act on Patient Feedback
When patients are willing to provide you with constructive criticism, it's wise to consider their ideas. You should proactively seek their feedback to hear what they say! Your patients can share information about your company based on their viewpoint, providing a perspective you can't see.
Consider taking patient surveys to identify areas where you can improve your company's performance. These may be simple surveys that contain only a few questions and a traditional 1 to 7 rating scale, or they could be surveys that allow for in-depth comments from your patients. Whatever the case, accepting and then acting on patient feedback may help you attract and retain even more business.
3. Establish Brand Awareness
Before consumers can enroll as your patients, they must know who you are, which is where establishing brand awareness comes into focus. Marketing research indicates that it often takes 5 to 7 impressions of your medical practice before a prospect can recognize and remember it. Therefore, be willing to invest in ads and marketing channels geared towards generating increased brand awareness.
When focusing on brand awareness, use all the tools and channels available to increase your exposure and help customers learn about your facility. For example, you can combine online display ads and outdoor marketing to reach people in your area with your name and assurance about your quality care.
As you increase your marketing presence, your existing patients will see your ads, which will help increase their loyalty to your brand.
4. Build Patient Loyalty Programs
Establishing a patient loyalty program is one of the most practical steps toward patient retention. For example, you can offer benefits to returning patients, like payment programs, so they can pay lower rates if they don’t have insurance to allow healthcare access to everyone. Charging lower rates to people who can pay directly helps avoid the hassle of dealing with an insurance provider, which saves your facility costs by reducing administrative hours. You can also provide additional services, such as special access to resources or newsletters, as a perk of enlisting with your practice.
A helpful and valuable patient loyalty program will encourage current patients to return. As word gets out, it will likely attract new patients to your business.
5. Educate Patients with Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most popular and effective channels for nurturing leads in almost any industry — including healthcare. Use your email marketing campaigns to connect with new prospects in your pipeline and nurture existing patients with helpful educational resources. For example, you may develop emails offering advice on preventing sickness during cold & flu season or maintaining a consistently high energy level through exercise and diet.
Whichever topics you choose to consider, make sure they're relevant to the needs of your audience and that your messaging will resonate with your recipients.
6. Partake in Local Events
Most healthcare practices are, at their core, community-based businesses. Therefore, you must establish and maintain a strong presence in your local community. One way to do this is by participating in local events. For instance, you may sponsor or support fundraising activities or rent a booth at a local event that allows you to meet and talk with prospective patients.
Help Your Healthcare Facility Grow
Investing in healthcare marketing best practices will help you keep your patient retention and your business booming. Healthcare marketing, done right, will increase your practice's brand awareness and enhance its reputation. If you implement the six tips discussed above, you'll undoubtedly see significant results from your efforts.
If you'd like to learn more about developing and implementing a winning healthcare marketing strategy, connect with our team of experts at McClatchy today. We can provide a customized solution to meet your practice's needs and goals. Reach out today!