To make your practice grow you need to have more patients, while making sure the existing ones keep coming back. The increasing competition practices face in the health care industry has made things tough, but not impossible. Your practice needs both new patients and retention of existing ones.
Here are some ways to encourage regular patients come back to your practice.
1. Appointment scheduling
After the first visit, it's the follow-up visit that concerns every patient visiting your practice. Scheduling a follow-up visit before a patient leaves your practice is a simple and effective way to make them a regular visitor. A prompt front-desk office person can engage with the patients and encourage them to revisit your practice. He needs to explain the need for repeated visits for treatments and be able to schedule a follow up.
2. Reminder emails
It's not necessary that every patient will schedule a follow-up appointment before leaving the practice. In such a scenario, it is your responsibility to remind them through email. For the smooth execution of this process, you need to maintain a track of patients’ next visit. When you find the due date is approaching, send reminder emails or messages to encourage appointment booking. Here, don’t forget to place the online scheduling link and phone number in the email body for quick response. You can also try sending personalized postcards. Offer a reminder postcard to all patients visiting your practice. This will save you from losing any of your patients’ contact details and offer them more personalized service.
3. Prevention > Cure
For better treatment, a patient needs to visit the doctor for his well visits, not just in sickness. This message should be well communicated to all your patients. Youngsters and healthy adults often don’t value this message. They are reluctant to go for regular visits to their doctor. You need to make them understand the need for regular appointments and health checkups, because prevention is better than cure.
A verbal education to the person visiting your practice is not necessarily the only way to explain the importance of appointments. Different modes of communication can help to spread this message quickly, such as website banners, newsletter or email campaigns, social media posts or blogs with detailed information. Nobody would want to see such an information every day, so make it a monthly or quarterly practice. You can share relevant information from reputed sources such as the American Public Health Association and others.
Make them aware of the prevention and screening services that can be availed without any financial burden. You need to proactively contact your patients and inform them of the preventive services.
4. Health programs
Another great way to encourage patients come back is to organize health camps or programs, such as weight management, tests, physiotherapy, and diabetes management, etc. Educate patients on how these programs can help them. Use emails and flyer to promote participation. You should also request for word-of-mouth marketing to increase the number of participants.
5. Discounts and offers
Discounts and promotions are another way to boost patients’ re-visits. This works well with aesthetic treatments, such as skin or dental services. For instance, you can promote discounts or free consultation on the second sitting of laser or dental checkup. During checkout, pitch the offers to encourage the patients to choose you over the rest. Try to create packages, such as one service free on first three sittings, etc. In addition to informing patients while leaving your practice, you can promote these offers on your website, blog page, social media pages, or emails.
Manish Chauhan is Digital Marketing Manager at myPracticeReputation which is an easy-to-use reputation management solution for physicians to help monitor, protect and promote their medical practices at all times in the simplest way possible.