Patients have more options for healthcare than ever before. With telehealth services, urgent care clinics, and specialized providers popping up everywhere, patients can find a clinic that is tailored to their specific needs.
As you look forward to attracting new and old patients back into your office again, how can you ensure that your practice makes their first choice?
From accessibility to quality of care and branding, read on to learn what four things rise to the top and motivate patients to choose your clinic.
1. Greater visibility
In order to appear on a patient’s radar, your clinic will likely need to do some marketing. If patients aren’t able to locate your business as they shop around for services, you won’t be able to attract the masses. Think of all the ways that patients take notice of your practice, like searching on Google, seeing an ad, or asking their friends for recommendations.
Fortunately, marketing your clinic doesn’t require a ton of money or resources. With a few free online tools and some creativity, patients will take notice of business.
Get on Google. Google is the world’s most popular search engine. With a Google Business Account, your practice is more likely to show up as patients look for healthcare in your area. While you’re at it, make sure that your website, phone number, and address are all up to date on Google.
Confirm your business on Yelp. Patients love reading reviews to see if your clinic has provided positive experiences. As with Google, keeping your Yelp account updated makes your business appear more established.
Meet with your peers. Networking is a great way to connect to industry professionals for tips and tricks of the trade. By attending virtual or in-person events, you’ll meet peers to build a patient referral network with. Collaborate with other practices to cross-promote your services.
2. Access to appointments
Sometimes, a patient will simply choose the clinic that takes them in. Imagine them calling multiple clinics for an eye exam and constantly getting an answering machine. They’re on a tight deadline and might just go with the clinic that picks up the phone first.
Don’t lose out on appointments because your patients can’t easily book one. To ensure that your services are accessible, think of easier ways for patients to get in touch. In a more digitally-focused world, make sure that your appointment system is friendly to every group.
Manage your phone system. Make sure that your voicemail message is up to date and that your staff are getting back to patients. If voicemails pile up, ask your staff to respond to all inquiries within one business day. You wouldn’t want the patient to book a different clinic.
Maintain a seamless website. Keep your website accessible and easy to navigate. When visitors need to download resources or view contact information, is everything easy to read? Remember that patients may give up altogether if your online experience is unforgiving.
Go mobile. Consider an app for mobile bookings. Younger patients generally prefer self service for speed and efficiency. Many people are now accustomed to smartphones and taking care of business on the go, so an appointment app will modernize your practice.
3. Trust and safety
In many cases, patients put their life in your hands. As a result, they’re more likely to choose a clinic that prioritizes health and safety.
You can build patient trust by sharing your commitment to upholding safety precautions. Whether it’s expressed on your website, social media channels, or in person, let your patients know that they’re come to the right place for quality care.
Display your vaccine status. Has your entire staff been vaccinated? Let patients know on your website or paperwork that your staff has received their vaccines. Continue wearing masks and social distancing in the clinic so patients feel more at ease.
Share positive reviews. Patient trust can speak for itself. Display testimonials so prospective patients can feel confident in the quality of your care. Respond to reviews on Google or Yelp too, and thank your patients for their support.
Showcase your expertise. Your patients look to you for advice. Have some fun sharing knowledge by equipping them with tip sheets for preventative care after their visit, or have your practitioners make informational videos on your site. Provide free helpful content where you can. Keep the conversation going and become a trusted advisor to your patients.
4. Value for the money
As it turns out, cost is not a principal factor for a patient to choose a clinic. Value for the cost, rather, is more important. Is the patient getting what they paid for? Is a clinic providing value that doesn’t come with a price tag? Think of ways that your clinic can provide the best bang for the buck.
Offer flexible payment plans. Try to accommodate patients who can’t pay upfront. Keep your services as inclusive as possible to attract more bookings.
Foster a community feel. If you have repeat patients, does your staff remember their name every time they come in? Send birthday greetings and reminders that you appreciate their support. Attentive customer service is priceless.
Location, location, location. Patients are very likely to choose a clinic that is easy to get to. Travel time has its costs, after all. If you have the fortune of choosing where to open your practice, try a location that is convenient to your target audience.
The patients will see you now
Be the expert in your field and lean into what makes your clinic special. As you look forward to welcoming patients back, remember that staying flexible and adapting to diverse audiences will get you to the top of their list.
Looking for more tips to keep your patients happy? Learn more when you download The Practice Manager's Guide to Creating A Better Patient Experience.