The world of healthcare marketing is growing increasingly competitive with each passing day. It has become more important than ever to have a foolproof plan in place to grab the attention of new patients, give them reasons to stick around and turn them into loyal repeat patients.
Have you ever wondered why patients choose one healthcare practice over the others? Do they have any logical reasons for preferring a particular brand? Brand loyalty is more of an emotional act, not a logical one, and patients loyal to a medical practice have a strong emotional relationship with it. Every medical practice wants to increase its brand loyalty, which means it is important to do more than just introduce their patients to their products. It is critical to spark your patients’ emotional connection, make them fall in love with your products and keep it going.
Usually, the people love brands that reflect their personal values, make their life easier, provide exceptional patient experience and continue to surpass their expectations. So if a patient is loyal to your brand, it means he or she was faced with a choice between you and your competition, and your patient chose you every time. Your goal must be to create a positive experience every time a patient interacts with your brand, drop by drop making them fall in love with your brand.
But wait! How do you know if patients are happy with your services?
You may believe that you deliver the best patient service experience, and that is what the majority of medical practices think. However, reports reveal that only a small percentage of patients agree with what the majority of practices claim. It is evident that what healthcare marketers claim about their product and services does not matter. It is your patients’ opinions that will actually make or break your brand. You can read more about Brand Perception here.
The Internet is bursting with questionnaires and quizzes you can use to assess your patients’ satisfaction with your brand. Apart from these online quizzes, here are some obvious signs that may tell you if your patient service strategies are successful or not.
1. They keep coming back to your practice
When patients build a trustworthy relationship with a healthcare provider, they are inclined to come back for more. Repeat patients indicate that they trust your service quality, your staff is friendly and they know that you are capable of handling their health problems. Therefore, seeing repeat patients at your practice implies that you are doing a good job to ensure patient satisfaction.
2. Your new patients are referred by your existing patients
One of the sure signs of happy and satisfied patients is that they refer your practice to others. They bring their friends and relatives and turn them into your referrals. The more your patients are happy with your service, the more likely they are to spread the good word.
3. They look for ways to connect with you
If your existing patients are asking for and engaging with you on social media handles, it shows that your patient satisfaction strategies are reaping benefits.
4. They post positive online reviews
Receiving good feedback is a great sign of satisfied patients. When your patients are happy, they do not shy away from posting reviews of their satisfactory experiences at various sites across the web. If patients’ applause fill your feed, then it is a win.
5. They hardly ever complain
Another quick giveaway of a satisfied patient base is that you receive few or no complaints. And if any issues come up, your patients express their concern to you.
6. They appreciate your efforts
When patients experience unmatched service, they want to let others know. Most people are diligent in praising staff and facilities and do not hesitate making their appreciation public by sharing online testimonials.
However, if you find none of these signs in your surveys, or if your surveys contain more unpleasant reviews than positive feedback, then it is high time to buckle down and make immediate changes to up your patient service game.
Tips to Make Patients Fall in Love With Your Practice
When it comes to tips and tricks that encourage brand love, most medical practices are limited to what they can do. Here are five ways healthcare marketers can move relationships with their patients from casual to committed:
1. Make your services unique
2. Focus on your key strengths
3. Provide outstanding service
4. Establish loyalty programs
5. Be present on social networks
Offer Something Unique
Successful healthcare brands attract and retain patients by offering unique services or experiences.
How is your medical practice unique?
Whatever makes you unique, tell people about it. If even local people have not experienced it yet, encourage them to try your services. Brand loyalty does not happen automatically. It is earned when you repeatedly deliver an unforgettable experience to your patients unmatched by your competitors.
Focus On Your Strengths
Once you have identified your unique attribute, you need to tell your target audience about it and build something special on your strengths that you want your practice to be known for.
You may offer an organic product, or something that is locally sourced, or something that caters to the specific healthcare needs of your local community. You might need to work on unique ideas to attract and retain patients. Your unique brand attribute is going to drive your communications, your brand story and your healthcare marketing campaigns.
From the beginning of your brand story to every touchpoint with patients, you will want to reflect what makes your medical practice unique and better than the competition.
Redefine Patient Service
If you want to build and increase brand loyalty, improve the patient experience. Just one satisfactory encounter can make a patient’s anxiety over contacting your staff slip away. In place of stress, your patient will have a willingness to invest more time and money in your brand.
However, before you can start redefining your patient experience, you first need to meet their basic requirements by giving them what to expect – your knowledge, expertise and help in effectively resolving their health issues. Once you have started to engage with patients to solve their specific problems, you can educate and help them use your products as effectively as possible. Before you know it, new patients will be walking through your doors. If you treat them nicely, they will recommend your brand to family and friends.
Assessing Your Patients’ Satisfaction Does Pay Off
Knowing how well your patients are satisfied with your services is critical for your practice’s success. Gauging their opinions will help you understand the challenges and generate suitable strategies to make the necessary improvements. In addition to checking on the signs discussed in this blog, you may analyze your patient volume or use online tools to measure patient satisfaction.
Once you have a happy patient base, your medical practice will be on its way to experiencing advantages like improved bottom line, better conversion and retention rates, and low churn. Eventually, it is your patients who run your practice. Therefore, it is essential that you keep assessing your patients’ experiences and develop appropriate strategies for keeping them happy and satisfied.