Healthcare has changed. A hospital, an urgent care center or a primary care doctor is more than a place a patient goes to when they get sick. In the age of healthcare consumerism, it’s a brand.
Did you just cringe a little at the sight of that word? It’s possible. That word tends to have that effect on healthcare professionals.
Healthcare didn’t use to be a landscape that embodied consumerism, but with patients shouldering more healthcare costs and having expectations conditioned by Amazon, consumers have no choice but to shop around. The providers that will stand out, grow market share and invigorate patient loyalty will be the ones that build a strong brand presence. Here’s how your center can do that.
Get Involved in the Community
Be seen as a healthcare leader in your community by getting involved in your community. Try supporting local causes and charitable organizations by collecting donations or donated items at your center or by directly donating to a local cause for a campaign or event.
With or without a pandemic, there are plenty of events you can take part in like in-person or virtual 5Ks, school fundraisers, pep rallys, parades or giveaways at a local grocery store. Better yet, create your own health-related event or partner on another one like a health and wellness expo, a food drive through a local food pantry or a blood drive. When healthcare consumers see your face in the community doing good, it creates a positive impact on your brand that resonates.
Have a Presence on Social Media
There are many healthcare consumers who consult social media before choosing a provider, especially when it comes to reviews. For hospitals, the 2020 PatientBond Consumer Diagnostic national market research study notes that nearly 1 in 5 health consumers looks at what’s posted on Twitter and Facebook to determine their hospital choice. It’s not as high as the ⅓ of health consumers who use online ratings and reviews to make their choices, but it is still worth noting.
Patients have gotten so savvy and acclimated to technology that they expect you to use social media and to know how to use it effectively. They also expect you to get back to them on questions promptly as 40% of consumers expect a response to their social media outreach within an hour and nearly 80% expect one within 24 hours.
If you haven’t used social media or have touched your profile in a while, posting on a consistent basis using consistent messaging will provide the best results. And if you can, have someone dedicated to managing your social channels so that they can respond to comments, messages and reviews promptly and consistently. Other than promoting yourself, social media is a good avenue to get the word out on accurate important health information and public health issues like COVID-19 to stay on top of misinformation.
When it comes to social media, consistency is the key to building an audience and keeping it engaged. Health consumers can count on you as a trusted voice in the community and it can be one of your most powerful tools to build strong brand awareness.
Build Up Online Reviews
Online reviews, whether they’re on social media or another website like Google, Yelp or Healthgrades, can impact your bottom line.
We all want high reviews, but it can take time to get there. In the meantime, responding promptly to customer reviews that warrant the response is important, especially negative reviews. Even if the poster doesn’t improve the rating after you’ve helped them, potential customers can see that you’ve tried.
After appointments, sending a satisfaction survey over along with ways to review you online will encourage transparency and your willingness to improve, leaving a positive impact on patients that builds loyalty and a positive impact on potential patients that will inevitably see good reviews about your center over time.
Engage in a Compelling Way
Not every consumer likes to stay on top of their health goals, which is why PatientBond uses psychographic segmentation to help healthcare providers engage with patients. Psychographics focus on the beliefs and values that motivate a person to take action and are determined using a quick classifier.
When providers use this model within a tool like the PatientBond Digital Health Platform, it results in more engaged patients that are open to visiting their doctor, staying on top of their patient payments and taking care of their health.
It may seem like a lot, but these efforts, when used together effectively, will dramatically improve your brand image and increase patient loyalty in no time.