Building and sustaining a successful medical practice requires a balance of client retention and new client acquisition. No medical practice – no matter how robust or established it is – can rely solely on providing great care to patients as their only strategy for growth. As with any business, your medical or dental office must invest to some degree in new customer outreach in order to stay successful.
The good news is that some of the most effective tactics for growing your practice don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. The four following strategies are effective, inexpensive tools you can employ right away that will help your practice attract and keep new patients.
Not only is engagement key for client retention, it’s also a great way to leverage feedback from your patients, earn patient referrals and get found by potential new clients.
Get active on social media, sharing relevant, helpful content, photos of staff, and office news. Show appreciation to your clients by emailing birthday well-wishes and mailing holiday cards. Not only will your thoughtfulness inspire your patients to recommend you to friends and family, but your active presence online will also encourage online reviews and improve search engine optimization (SEO) for your website and increase your online rank.
According to the National Institutes of Health, “Communication continues to figure consistently as a significant theme in both patient satisfaction and complaints about care delivery.”
Nothing negatively affects customer retention more than “lack of communication.” Patients state that, when calling their provider, they simply want to be able to get through to a person in a reasonable timeframe when they need it. A single call left without a response can lead to decreased patient satisfaction overall, loss of current patients and the loss of potential new patients.
Often, medical office personnel are made responsible for multiple jobs within the office – answering phones, checking-in patients, billing, etc. – but it’s important that communication isn’t allowed to fall through the cracks! Consider signing up with a medical answering service, which can provide reliable, professionally trained communication services to your patients for as little as a few dollars a day.
Getting involved in your community is a great way to build patient loyalty, create a team environment among your staff outside of the office, and get exposure to a huge pool of potential patients, all while doing something you can feel proud of!
There is no shortage of community service opportunities a medical practice can get involved in. Consider,
- Supporting the local elementary school’s fundraiser
- Sponsoring a little league baseball team
- Having a float in the town parade
- Raising money or taking donations for a local organization you support
- Participating in a community garden nearby
Work With Outside Professionals
Medical practitioners, business managers and entrepreneurs often have one characteristic in common: they are chronic over-achievers. But running a successful medical practice requires that you dedicate time and resources to every aspect of your business: from daily operations to marketing, and everywhere in between. One of the most important things to accept if you want your practice to see growth is that just because you can manage something in house does not mean you necessarily should.
Recognizing your office’s greatest pain points and addressing them head on by working with an outside specialist you trust will allow you to shift your focus back to where it matters – your patients.
The Doctors Answer – Helping Medical Practices Grow
The Doctors Answer is a medical-only answering service, boasting over 25 years of experience providing medical, hospital, dental, and pharmacy offices with professional call answering services. Visit our website to learn more, or to sign up for answering services that are secure and reliable.