Healthcare Businesses’ Guide to Improving Patient Retention
In the realm of healthcare, patient retention refers to the ability to maintain a loyal patient base. Although the primary objective of medical professionals is to treat and heal their patients, many cases require ongoing treatment or care for chronic conditions, resulting in multiple visits to the practice.
The three most critical goals of every medical practice are leads, patients, and appointments. While lead generation is important, retaining existing patients should be the primary focus, as loyal patients represent a significant source of appointments. Without patients, even the best doctor cannot see profit, and their practice will fail.
Nearly 68 percent of appointments come from existing patients, and 12 percent to 15 percent of patients who are loyal to a single practice represent 55 percent to 70 percent of appointments. Also, Retaining patients is crucial, as losing a patient wastes 7x the resources used in converting a lead into a patient.
Measured as a percentage of returning patients, patient retention is a crucial metric for determining the success of a healthcare practice. However, By retaining patients, healthcare providers can reduce acquisition costs and strengthen their reputation through positive word-of-mouth referrals. Therefore, the ultimate goal should be patient retention, as loyal patients are valuable assets to a medical practice.
Here are some ways healthcare businesses can improve patient retention:
Establish Trust with Patients
Fostering patient trust is crucial to the success of any medical practice. Also, A practice that prioritizes respect and makes patients feel valued is more likely to earn their trust and loyalty. Without trust, the patient-practice relationship is destined to fail. To build trust, practitioners must consciously work to cultivate strong relationships with both new and existing patients, and leverage patient behavior data to tailor their services and recommendations.
Any breach of trust can be disastrous, as patients are quick to share negative experiences with others and may switch to a competing practice. However, when patients trust a practice, they are more likely to recommend it to others and remain loyal over time. This underscores the importance of building and maintaining trust in any medical practice.
Learn from Other Practices and Patient Complaints
Every interaction holds significance. It’s not just the first meeting or limited to the healthcare provider. Also, Each encounter holds value, including patients, referral sources, suppliers, insurance representatives, and all others you interact with or have a relationship with, even other healthcare businesses, to improve your digital marketing for B2B efforts. They all comprise the audience for promoting your brand through internal marketing, and this includes even entertaining patient complaints.
Do you typically avoid patients who voice complaints? This approach is misguided. Instead, you should actively seek out and address patient complaints. Patients who express dissatisfaction are actually a valuable marketing tool. Negative feedback provides insight into areas where your services could improve; highlighting what needs your attention and what you can disregard.
Know Patients’ Expectations and Exceed Them
Providing healthcare services to patients is no longer just about treating their health issues or addressing their complaints. It is also about exceeding their expectations and meeting their unique needs. However, it can be difficult to satisfy patients you don’t know well. To set appropriate expectations, be sure to get to know your patients personally and understand what they expect from your practice.
Meeting patient expectations is empowering for them. Being truthful, empathetic, and honest about their health issues is essential. Keep in mind to avoid making unrealistic promises that you cannot deliver. Patient satisfaction is the key to retaining them and building a sustainable practice, and failing to meet their expectations can lead to negative experiences that they will remember for a long time.
Stay Ahead of Competitors Via Digital Marketing and Automation
Marketing automation involves utilizing software to automate certain routine marketing tasks. Manually monitoring and updating patients is a tedious process, as there are numerous daily tasks required to keep your practice fresh in their minds. Healthcare digital marketing and automation can help you stay ahead of your competitors by enabling you to re-engage with your patients.
Providing exceptional patient service and easy access to critical information and support is crucial. This is one of many reasons why automating your marketing processes is necessary. Through marketing automation, you can manage patient contacts, send regular emails, schedule promotional newsletters, and transmit text messages and appointment reminders. And by standardizing your routine procedures, you can deliver on your promises to your patients.
Marketing automation has many benefits for your practice, particularly in engaging and retaining patients. Regardless of how you view it, it is a valuable tool that can enhance your practice in many ways.
Give Patients Some Pleasant Surprise
We all appreciate pleasant surprises, and they don’t necessarily have to be costly. When considering how to surprise your patients, think of something that would add value to their experience and is unexpected.
For instance, sending a personalized, handwritten note to your patients can leave a lasting impression and demonstrate how much your practice and staff value them. Such touches go beyond the norm and can help build trust between patients and your practice.
Offering freebies or discount coupons when patients least expect it can change their perception of your practice too. Small gestures like these can help you stand out from the competition and reinforce your commitment to providing exceptional patient care. Remember, it’s the little things that count and can make a significant difference in how patients perceive your practice.
Check Feedback Surveys from Time to Time
To enhance patient engagement, be sure to use the feedback surveys. Though they may seem unexciting, most patients find surveys to be of value. By gathering feedback directly from patients, you can strengthen the connection between your practice and its patients.
This feedback can also be utilized to create compelling content that promotes patient retention. Listening to patient complaints and understanding their concerns is crucial for improving weak areas of your practice. By doing so, you can successfully re-engage patients who may be considering leaving your practice.
Digital marketing can greatly improve the credibility and reputation of your healthcare brand, as you can engage with your patients and other healthcare practices better. Legend DigiTech is here to help you reach your goals.