The healthcare provider industry has changed a great deal from what it used to be in the past. Today it takes on more of a business approach with client (patient) satisfaction becoming a key component of the service. Even though it is important, building patient loyalty and keeping them does not have to be hard. Patients can be happy with the simple steps you take to make them feel valued and secure health wise.
The approach to patient retention can be similar to what any business would do to ensure that their clients return and chose them over other brands or businesses. Here are some of the ways health care providers can build loyalty and keep their patients.
Make Them Feel Welcome
Right from the time your patient walks in, they should feel comfortable and like the way you are making the effort to ensure their comfort. Some simple things may be neglected and yet they can actually make a patient decide not to return. Take the example of smells, it could be lingering odors that are a total turn off for some patients. At times your favorite cologne may be a source of discomfort to the patients so you would need to have a keen eye and nose to detect any smells that seem to be negatively affecting the patients.
The way they are welcomed too may be a key issue, people like to be remembered so if a patient is visiting for a second time, you may want to call them by name and have a genuine smile as you greet them. And conversation should not be provocative which would mean stay away from hot topics like politics and religion that are likely to cause contention. You also should not indulge in telling them how great your life is as their circumstance may make such conversation inappropriate and insensitive.
Embrace Newage Communication and Marketing Trends
Social Media has become an invaluable tool and health care providers should not be left behind. Use social media sites to enhance discussion and to show who you are. Sharing positive feedback can be done easily with the different channels and this has an impact on the perception of your patients. If they can see other people saying good things about you, they are likely to believe you are indeed a good service provider and maybe they will also share their own experience which will influence more people.
Also, you should know that when people feel like they know you, they are more likely to feel comfortable dealing with you. The right content on social media is likely to convince more people that your practice is an authority figure in the industry and that will keep them loyal to you. Today consumers like to be informed and social media can help to keep them informed.
Be a Friend
Even though you are taking a business approach to health care, you still need to be a friend to your patient. People look forward to visiting friends because it serves to benefit them as well as their friends. In business too, people are more likely to return to do business with a friend or someone who makes them feel like they matter. To be a friend to your patient, you need to take a keen interest in them. You may need to know things like their birthday, anniversary, and remember things they talk about when they come to visit. By being keen, you will be able to send them an anniversary message or a birthday card which shows you think about them. You might also be able to provide good advice outside of the medical field. For example, if a patient is looking for a good college for their child, it helps if you are able to recommend one or if you can put in a good word for them at a college they wish to get into.
Be a friend, but at the same time do not intrude into their privacy, know where the boundaries are and remember familiarity breeds contempt.
Keep Them Informed
There is a tendency of doctors trying to maintain a superior all-knowing aura about themselves. They feel like they do not have to explain much to the patients and they should just trust them to be doing what is best for them. This is something that will only push patients away. Your patients are likely to be more loyal if you provide them with as much information as they want and need. You can run a website or blog explaining the different aspects of your niche practice, anticipate their questions and have answers for them in a blog.
Not only should information be available online, but you should also physically make the time to explain to the patient what treatment you are prescribing and answer any questions they may have as well as provide them with options. Informed patients will be a lot comfortable around you and they will start to believe that you know what you are doing in their best interest.
Take Care of Yourself
You cannot help other people if you are broken down. As a medical practitioner, you need to exude the image of health. A sick doctor does not inspire patients, if you cannot care for yourself how will you care for the patients. As a healthcare provider, do not try to outdo yourself, rest when you are tired and if you are sick, get treatment. You will only end up infecting your patients if you show up to work with flu and no patient would want to leave with more diseases than they showed up with.
Taking care of yourself also means your appearance needs to show that you care about you. Clean clothes, fresh socks, and general cleanliness are important signs of a caring practitioner.
If you want to build patient loyalty and retain them, you need to up your customer care. It is advisable to take professional training in customer care or consider doctors answering service and let everyone working with you at the practice have the same training.
Mike Haynes is a Fitness & Nutritionist Who Believes in Living a healthy Lifestyle.He helps to operate med answering services that provide an economical solution for practices of various types. He is also a expert advisor of Medical billing company which is dedicated to provide accurate billing of patients, daily fitness tips, detailed fitness guides & fitness gear reviews.