When the economy gets bad, a huge mistake healthcare practices make is to cut down on their marketing expenses to market your practice.
Big companies spend a large amount of their income on advertising. This amount tends to be a consistent proportion of their overall income. Consider this: do they spend this amount of money because they are big, or did they become big because they did this?
Never cut back on marketing; it’s cumulative. When it comes to healthcare services it often takes an individual seven positive affirmations before they take action and become a patient. If you stop at the first or even third marketing campaign then you will have missed a large proportion of this market. Only stop marketing efforts that are not working.
This means you have to track the results of every marketing piece you do. If you find something isn’t working, either stop or adjust it. Don’t stop marketing.
- Do you have a documented marketing strategy?
- How effective is it?
- Do you track each marketing activity and measure its performance?
- Do you have a marketing initiatives budget?
- What is your ROI on marketing activity?
- Do you know what delivers you the best results from marketing?
- How many people walk in off the street as a result of your location?
- Do you conduct patient surveys?
- What do you do with the survey information?
- Do you have a strategy for increasing your Average Patient Value?
Marketing is the foundation of practice growth. Your marketing has two distinct categories:
- External marketing
- Internal marketing
Consider this: Do you need more new patients to reach your practice potential? Or do you need to ethically service your patient data base better?
Internal marketing is about creating patient loyalty and then getting them to become your next marketing campaign.
Here are 10 things to create patient loyalty.
- Go the extra mile. Offering something extra is often more appreciated than price and it can generate more goodwill, with minimum costs.
- Boost staff motivation. Raving Fans come from Raving Staff.
- Keep it fresh… but familiar. Make it fresh and applicable to inspire and engage patients with something a little different.
- Invite complaints. If your patients are unhappy you need to know about it before they take off to another practice.
- Remind patients that you’re there. Patients feel unloved if you don’t remind them that you are there every 3 months at a minimum. This can be done by e-mail, flyer, text or advertising – don’t think that you are overdoing it. If you don’t remind your patients you value them, somebody else will.
- Maintain a human touch. Customer service is a discrete function of your practice.
- Be performance focussed. Get results!
- Monitor feedback. Take patient questionnaires seriously and ensure that your staff do, too. Follow up specifics directly and address negative feedback immediately.
- Offer good after treatment time support. The care you provide is not over when somebody leaves the practice. Offer that extra support after treatment time is over to delight your patients such as email & phone correspondence.
- Be your own competitor. Your patients will often want to try something new but there’s no reason why you can’t be the one to offer it.