A healthcare believer is a patient who talks favourably about your practice and your services and passes on positive word-of-mouth to other people within the community. This is great, right?
Healthcare believers are great for your practice as they help to build your reputation, attract new patients and get people talking about your practice.
True healthcare believers usually do this naturally, however, there are some things you can do to help your patients take the first steps to becoming a supporter of your practice.
Lead By Example
The best place to start when shaping healthcare believers is to focus on your employees. If your employees don’t believe in your practice or chosen field of healthcare, then you don’t have much hope for converting your patients. Find ways to engage your employees in the practice and help them to embody the practice mission. Your employees’ enthusiasm and faith in you may then rub off on your patients.
Empower Your Employees
If a patient experiences any issues while at your practice, they are usually looking for a quick resolution or some kind of reimbursement. If employees are unable to resolve the issue straight away, patients may feel like they have been neglected. It’s then a good idea to empower your employees to take necessary means to make patients happy and resolve the issue quickly. This may involve offering a return visit at no charge for example. Exceptional customer service leads to happy patients who are then more likely to tell their friends about their great experience or recommend your services.
Nurture The Community
Connect your most passionate patients with each other to create a community around your practice. This is a great way to create continued engagement and make patients feel valued by the practice. For example, you could set up a running club, etc.
Connect With Your Patients On Social Media
Social media is an effective channel to build a relationship with your patients. You can keep your patients informed about the practice, communicate with them by answering questions and provide valuable health information. Social media also encourages the sharing of content, which means followers may be more likely to share your content with their friends and effectively spread your message to a wider audience. People are also more likely to read content that is recommended by a friend then content a practice posted about itself.
You could offer incentives to encourage patients to promote your practice. This is usually what we recommend during a Family & Friends event or referral program, this generally works best when approaching true healthcare believers amongst your patients.
Creating practice supporters won’t happen overnight. It takes time to build a relationship with your patients and to grow their trust in you. Yet once you have a good relationship patients will be more willing to promote the practice. To build your patient trust you can offer exceptional customer service, provide them with relevant helpful information, answer their questions, and always be friendly.
As general rule it is helpful to remember that while building a relationship with your patients and providing them with exceptional customer service this may not only benefit the patient and your care to them but always your practice as a whole.