Getting new patients for your practice usually requires to develop some marketing strategies and to invest certain amount of money. Furthermore, usually healthcare professionals are not really familiar with marketing so at the end you may end up wasting a lot of time doing research or hiring a company that do it for you.
But actually, getting new patients is not the most difficult step, . Once you get new patients is highly recommendable to encourage them to come back to your practice whenever they need, and ideally, recommend you to their friends and family.
To get a new patient can require an investment up to 10 times higher than make a patient to return to your practice. But what are the most effective ways to achieve that?
- Ease the booking process
Think about how patients traditionally book appointment. They usually have to make a phone call, listen to a recorded voice, press ones and twos and then hopefully, they can talk to a real person and have a conversation to figure out what slot in the schedule is better. Allowing your patients to book appointment online will ease this process because they will be able to do it in a few clicks and take a quick look to your whole schedule and select a slot at their best convenience. The easier the booking process the higher the possibility to get returning patients.
Visit our website to learn how Docduc can help you to ease your booking process.
- Provide efficient communication channels
Patients usually have a lot of questions before and after the appointment with you, however, you’re a busy professional and you simply can’t attend all the calls and spend a lot of extra time solving every single questions. This is true for you and for most healthcare professionals.
But what if you could mark a difference here without spending a ton of time?
With Docduc once patients book an appointment with you, they can send you text messages and files you using HIPAA compliant chat. But this doesn’t mean that you will be 100% available at any time, you can set-up a time to answer all the questions at once at your best convenience, without wasting your time.
Doing this, you’ll easily build a strong relationships with your patients and they will be more likely to book future appointments with you as well as recommend you to friends and family.
- Optimize the whole patient experience
A good exercise that will help you to increase the engagement with your patients is to review the whole patient experience. But how can you do that?
It’s pretty simple, just check all the different steps that a patient may follow to have an appointment with you, for instance:
- Start to feel sick and look for a doctor that works with their insurance
- Find you and call your clinic to book an appointment
- Ask for a day off at work to attend your appointment
- Look for babysitting
- Drive 30 min to your practice
- Go to your waiting room, file some forms and wait 20 min
- Attend to your appointment
- Feel happy with your services
- Drive 45 min back home with heavy traffic
- Buy medicines
- Tell the family about the appointment
- Take medicines and start feeling better
This is only an example and it’s highly recommendable to think about different scenarios. But once you’ve clarified all the steps you can start asking yourself specific questions like: How can I help them to reduce the waiting room time? or How is the attention that receptionists are given to patients?
This will help you to take action to make little changes to improve certain aspects to your customer experience and increase their engagement and satisfaction.
For instance, one possible improvement is to provide video appointments, this will avoid your patients to ask for a day off, look for babysitting and spend time driving and in your waiting room. What do you think patients would say about you if you help them with those problems? Of course they will be more than happy to recommend you.
You can check our 4 step guide to start providing telemedicine services.
- Allow patients to provide feedback
People love to share their opinion and big companies know it, think about Yelp, Amazon, Google, Facebook or Youtube. All of this companies generate a lot of useful content using people’s opinions.
Also, nowadays, people want to know about other people’s experiences before do something new or pay for a product of services. Would you buy an amazon product with 0 reviews? Probably not.
So now that you know how to provide an excellent patient experience, why not allow your patients to share their opinion about you?
This will help new patients to make the decision to book and appointment with you and also will help you to detect possible areas to improve.
In Docduc we know the importance of feedback and for this reason we encourage patients to leave a review after every single appointment