Very few medical businesses are doing what they can to attract new patients, or to even keep the ones they have! A few simple tweaks to your current standards, and you can see significant growth within your organization.
The hair clinic area is as competitive as any in the medical area and there are plenty of lessons to be learned from it. Skin Works Medical Spa for example, is increasingly successful in growing their business through great marketing. They discussed things with us and helped provide some insight below.
1. Know Your Top Referrers
One of the most commonly missed ways to learn more about patients is through the inclusion of a “How did you hear about us?” question on paperwork. Whether you’re a hospital, dental practice or a simple clinic, including this question can help you gain consumer insight.
Does your organization have a website? If so, make sure to include a data capture field that pushes potential patients to provide their name and email address.
Most importantly, consider all of the places your patients get referrals from to your practice by analyzing your gathered data. Use these statistics to understand which referrers are your top earners, and which ones aren’t pulling their weight.
Why Is Capturing Data Crucial?
Data capture is an integral part of any well thought out marketing strategy. Understanding how your patients found your office or practice will allow you to enhance your marketing strategy to focus on the avenues that yield the best results.
Once you capture data, make sure you consistently track it based on geographic location and different time periods. By tracking it well, you can correlate it to your marketing strategies directly such as Google AdWords, social media posts, or in some instances, a seminar
or conference. Understanding how and why you acquired new patients will allow your practice to invest more energy and funding into those acquisitions that simply make sense.
2. Use Patient Surveys
Surveys are a fantastic tool for learning more about the patient experience at your facility. Oftentimes, survey findings are surprising and jarring. It’s the only surefire way to understand what patients are faced with when choosing your practice, and most importantly, the findings can help pinpoint problem areas that need a resolution.
Research questions always require careful thought and compilation. It’s easy to skew the data with biased results.
There needs to be a balance when asking survey questions between the positive and negative aspects. As such, don’t allow the survey to only highlight negative things that are beyond your control. Craft questions that help you to identify strengths and weaknesses within your practice as those are the areas that you can control.
3. Check Online Information For Accuracy
Most patients perform a simple online search when seeking out medical treatments or facilities. This means that your business needs to have up-to-date information posted online.
Conduct an online audit regularly where you check your business information on all medical websites, directory listings, social media, and the Yellow Pages. Also make it a point to double check that all information pertaining to staff is accurate and all contact details are present. If there are any spelling or data errors, make sure to correct them in a timely manner. Paid advertising via PPC services can also be a good way to ensure people see the right information at the top of the SERPs when people search for you.
It’s also worth checking out your reputation online. What are patients saying about you on Facebook, Rate MD, and Google+? If you don’t have the time or the energy to do this yourself, consider a reputation management software to automate the process.
4. Consider First Impressions
Your front desk where the reception staff is ultimately becomes the first impression that patients have of your practice. From the staff themselves to the actual reception area, does it measure up to your standards?
Improve the aesthetics of your reception area by doing the following:
Avoid the dreaded reception area clutter by throwing out old magazines, ancient sticky notes, and outdated pamphlets. Instead, opt for this month’s magazines and create a wall of glossy brochures and pamphlets that’s been professionally curated for your business.
- Focus On Staff
Once you’ve decluttered, it’s time to consider your reception staff. Are they friendly towards new patients and greet them with a smile? Are their uniforms pressed, clean, and well-presented? Before a patient even receives medical care from your organization, their first impressions are of your medical staff. That means a friendly demeanor and a smile are necessary to draw in more patients. If someone is treated with respect in a friendly way, they will want to come back in the future and deal with your practice again.
5. Do A Mystery “Shop”
The only way to understand what patients experience when entering your practice is by becoming a patient yourself. It’s crucial to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your organization accurately. Usually, mystery shops should be completed twice a year online, in-person or over the phone.
Mystery shops should aim to uncover business aspects such as wait times, hold procedures, knowledge of the staff members, and accessibility.
6. Place Value On Relationships
When running a service-based business, relationships are the most important thing. What is your organization doing to strengthen relationships between yourself and your patients and referrers? Keep in touch with patients by sending out newsletters and regular updates.