You can expect to invest up to 25 times more to acquire new patients as opposed to maintaining and retaining existing patients. That’s why all practices must have solid marketing processes, systems and strategies in place. The best part when you have all this together is that when your patients are happy, they naturally and automatically refer their friends, family and colleagues to your practice. This provides repeat business and automatically provides advertising that is practically free.
Furthermore, to truly connect with your patients and get them coming back for more involves following a few guidelines. To start, you could refer to your patients as your tribe, your inner circle, part of your family, or part of your community. You, the practitioner, then position yourself as the expert and leader of this unique group of individuals and that gives you the basis to begin building your “Red Velvet Rope Policy”. Michael Port talks about this in his “Book Yourself Solid” book, a great read to help business owners ensure they only work with the people they want to serve, those that allow them to do their best work.
I want to give the “Red Velvet Rope Policy” a bit of a different spin when it comes to private practices. Have you ever been to a red-carpet event? If you have, I am certain you felt amazing walking into that event, like a VIP who was incredibly fortunate to be there. That’s exactly how each one of your patients must feel in every stage of the communication process with your practice.
Here are a few guidelines to get you started:
Communicate, Communicate and Communicate some more: Be completely transparent. Let your patients know what’s going to happen during their appointment. Update them on what their options are and be sure they clearly understand what’s important to them.
Practice universal kindness and compassion: Show your patients you truly understand their needs and what they hope to achieve. Whether they come back in three months, 6 months or a year or two later, it will be important to develop a system to keep track of pertinent information that will help you remember who they are. This will make each patient feel important.
Reward Programs: Reward programs have been known to increase customer spend by 26%. When it comes to patients, finding ways to show appreciation for something as simple as when they are on time for an appointment, when they refer a new patient, or just as a thank you to make them feel special can go a long way in building long lasting relationships.
Continually Add Value: As a private practice, your one and only goal is to make your patients’ lives better. Going above the call of duty and giving them information that is helpful to them (not your practice) will allow them to see you as a trusted and valuable resource. You could write regular blogs on your website, send regular emails and be active on Social Media as well.
In the end, developing long lasting patient relationships is by far the most important strategy there is to get repeat business and increase referrals. You’ve got this, but if you need help, get in touch with us today and see how we can help you turn your private practice into a relationship-building, patient attraction practice.