Starting a new practice can be a very rewarding experience, as a medical professional may have the opportunity to impact hundreds, or potentially thousands of lives. However, the patient acquisition process can be a challenging one. In addition, retaining those new patients can also be difficult depending on certain circumstances. The common denominator of what encourages patients to stay is exceptional service, but the first step is acquiring those new patients to begin with. Follow these four tips to see new patients entering your medical practice.
Fully Understand The Needs of the Patient
You cannot expect to acquire new patients if you cannot understand them and their needs. This will give you a better indication of what you lack as a provider and areas that you can improve in.
One of the best ways you could accomplish this feat is to provide visitors with patient satisfaction surveys or analyze the results to see where you excel and where you could improve. These topics should focus more on staff communication, hospitality, treatment and diagnosis.
You should also be advised to see what patients feel about you in online reviews, because they could be seen by thousands of people and sway potential clients to either flock to your practice or find somewhere else.
Identify Target Audience
From analyzing the results and coming to an informed determination on where you stand in the eyes of your patients, you should then next identify a target audience. This does not have to be strictly related to characteristics such as gender, ethnicity or age. Another identification factor that you could use is location.
One unique way you could go about this is to take a look at your website's Google Analytics account. By doing this, you will be able to see patients who have converted over to your practice, and those who are showing interest but have not yet made the leap.
Once you utilize this tool, you will be able to easily identify where your time, effort and energy needs to go.
Create a Referral Program
This is a chance where you will get to work your medical marketing skills. Setting a target audience and understanding what your needs are as a provider is important for the prolonged success of your practice. However, you also have to devise a plan to properly utilize them to your advantage. This comes in the form of increasing patient referrals.
The most important aspect about this is to not provide a reward program for referrals, as it is forbidden. However, you can show your humanistic side and engage in an empathetic conversation with your client and their concerns. This will yield in more effective results.
Other unique ways you could go about devising a legal, interactive referral program is to show short, informative commercials about how you could help other patients at your practice. You could also incentivize the patient by slightly discounting the co-pay for their visit while submitting insurance information.
Have a Strong Online Presence
In today's day and age, you will be very hard pressed to find somebody who does not have a device that can access the Internet. A great deal of the population are looking at their phones and doing their research on anywhere they go before they make a physical visit to potentially save them time and money.
You need to ensure it is worth their while, and that is where having a strong online presence comes into play. Patients who are referred to your practice will likely verify information on your website. If they find bad reviews, or if they have an unpleasant online experience, they may take their business elsewhere.
It is recommended to have a commanding online presence, and this comes in the form of having a strong SEO strategy, an easy scheduling apparatus and have an easy navigational experience on your website.