Building Patient Loyalty – It’s Easier Than You Think
In the “old days,” the delivery of health care was not seen as consumer-oriented. Instead of hopping on the Internet to research the best / highest-ranked providers in their community, most people simply used the same doctors as their friends and family.
But times have changed. Technology puts more power into the hands of consumers, and cost sharing has led to an increased sense of competition throughout the industry. Because of this, it is incredibly important for doctors to not only attract new patients, but build loyalty as well. And it’s easier done than you may think.
Reduce Wait Times
In a competitive-driven model, providers need to become as efficient as possible to reduce those wait times. We live in an instant-gratification world and consumers will no longer put up with wait times over 30 minutes. Hiring additional staff and leveraging technology like an EHR system are a couple of ways providers can become more efficient.
Customer Service Training
The opinion a patient forms of your practice starts the second they call to make an appointment. Because of this, it’s important that staff be trained not only in regulatory and compliance matters, but customer service best practices as well. From the administrative team to providers to billing specialists, it will benefit your practice if everyone is on the same page customer service-wise.
Marketing and Social Media
You can’t necessarily fault physicians for being slow to embrace digital marketing and social media. After all, it’s all most can do just to keep up with the continuous industry regulatory updates.
But, the reality is, consumers simply expect everyone, doctors included, to have not only a website, but also a blog and social media accounts. Social media is, without question, one of the biggest drivers of consumers’ experience and perception. It allows providers to impact the discussions in the industry and be seen as experts.
Empower Your Patients and Communicate Effective
Patients want to take an active part in the decisions regarding their health and treatments. In order to do this, they need information. Providers should create and offer education and informational resources for their patents. They should also work on their own communication skills to be better able to address questions and concerns.
Patient loyalty is how providers can ensure their practice stays afloat. By following these suggestions, you’ll be able to offer your patience the kind of service that will keep them coming back for more.
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