Any business needs customers to stay afloat. In most cases, getting customers is pretty straightforward (if not easy): businesses need to advertise well and deliver great service. But medical providers are in a bit of a unique situation. After all, no amount of advertising will make a person need the services of an accident recovery center – only a car accident will do that, and going around hitting potential customers with cars is not likely to endear them to your business.
So how can a medical business attract and keep patients? Some techniques are unique to the medical world, but a surprising about of the more general conventional wisdom does apply.
Branding, websites, and advertisements
It’s true that medical practices can’t turn just anyone into a potential customer. But, in a way, this isn’t so unique at all. Bakeries can’t turn health nuts into cake-lovers, and bookstores can’t turn movie-lovers into bookworms. Those businesses just have to make themselves available to the people who already crave their services, and in this sense, medical businesses aren’t so different from the usual sort.
The key is to make sure that people who do have relevant medical needs know about your business, and that means good logos, great website design, and smart advertising. A good website will have good SEO – short for “search engine optimization,” which means making it easy for Google and other search engines to find the site. Lots of content will help, so consider starting a blog. WordPress and its popular plugins can make this process easy, as can a professional SEO contractor.
If a patient asks for you, they’ll likely end up in your office. But what if – despite your great advertising – they don’t know who you are? What if they show no preference for any particular specialist, and ask their doctor to refer them to one?
You want that doctor to recommend your medical business, and the way to do that is to network. Get to know the primary care doctors who will refer patients to your specialists – or, if your practice is a primary care practice, speak to the folks at medical insurance providers to see how you can make sure your practice is made available to newcomers. Get to know others in your line of work and related ones, from school counselors to physical therapists. Their recommendations and refferals can be a great source of patients.
The patient experience
Getting patients is one thing. Keeping them is another. But here, again, the principle is the same for all types of businesses: you need to have great customer service.
Nothing is more important than giving your patients great healthcare, of course, but remember that your business also has other points of contacts with your patients. Your patients have to make appointments (and get reminders to attend those appointments, or to make more), pay bills, and get test results. That is why great medical businesses are only as good as their patient relationship software solutions. Relying on a good provider for patient management will allow you and your medical professionals to focus on the key part of the patient experience: the care!