The way healthcare providers run their business has changed dramatically since the beginning of 2020. When the year started, there were networking events, tradeshows, and community activities to be able to meet potential patients. Now, because of COVID-19, everything has shifted online and if your office hasn’t adapted to this new normal, not only will you lose potential clients but you might lose existing patients to those professionals who have.
Here are 5 things you must be doing today, to attract and retain more patients.
- Have a brand message that stands out. It’s no longer okay to just be a doctor. You need to build a brand around what you do. When a potential patient checks you out online, do you check out? What do they find when they enter your name into Google? People used to choose doctors based solely on recommendations from their friends or family. In today’s world, they take that recommendation and then they head to Google to make their own determination. Things to consider:
Do you have a strong presence online?
Do you have a brand that identifies you, your practice, and your beliefs?
Is your website inviting?
What are you putting out on social media that will connect you with both your existing and potential patients?
Can they relate to you?
Do you appeal to this demographic?
These are all questions you need to ask yourself about your particular business. Take the free assessment below to see how you’re doing on all of this.
- Position yourself as a healthcare expert and land in the media. Is that something you’ve even considered? By being in the media you are automatically positioned as an authority in your field and that makes you much more credible to existing and potential patients. By “celebritizing” yourself, you will attract more patients. Imagine when someone Googles you and a segment from your local news comes up showing you discussing a healthcare issue or a new medical procedure. You’ve just established yourself as an expert and people will want to visit the healthcare professional who the media is using as their expert. This allows you to ride the media’s coattails. If the media uses you as their medical expert, then the patient will want to use you as well.
- Use social media to expand your reach. Imagine you land in the media and you then use that segment, article, or interview and push it out on social media and expose your practice to thousands, even hundreds of thousands of potential patients. Social media must be an integral part of your marketing. Depending on who your ideal patient is, you’ll want to decide which social media platform is best to help you get found by that demographic. Educating and informing people about your topic of expertise online also positions you as an expert in your field and with the appropriate use of hashtags, will help you get found online. Don’t forget to check out the free assessment below and see how you are doing.
- Do you have an engagement program set up so that you stay in front of your existing patients? With things like urgent care and local drugstores having a medical professional located right there in your neighborhood, people sometimes forget to go to their regular doctor. Reminding them you are there and staying front of mind will have them wanting to come to you versus a quick alternative. Some medical practices have lost as much as 80% of their patients, don’t let that be you. Something as simple as an electronic newsletter will allow you to provide value to your patients. Things like best practices for your industry, a tip, an exercise, a healthy recipe, and your recent media exposure will allow you to stay in front of your patients on a regular basis.
- Know how to optimize your Telehealth/virtual visits so patients come back to you. When COVID hit, many of the insurance companies sent email blasts to their members about their in-house Telehealth programs. This took business away from the individual practices. Your patients should be coming back to you. You know them. You have their medical history. You have worked with them before. Many people were scared and found alternatives by using Telehealth/virtual services outside of their personal healthcare professionals. If you offer virtual visits, did you let your patients know? Do you have a system in place to keep your patients informed of these types of changes? And, most importantly, are you optimizing these visits so your patients feel comfortable and informed of the process?
If you need help with any of these, there is a simple system available to help you incorporate these into your practice. Before you learn more about it, take this free assessment and see where you are on your 2020 and Beyond Marketing Plan and what specifically could benefit your practice today. Get started here,