In any industry, retaining customers is often much more profitable than acquiring new customers. The cost of patient acquisition, from marketing materials to advertising cost and more, can quickly snowball out of control. Besides, once you acquire a new customer, there are typically some sort of onboarding costs, whether that’s orientation, initial tests or welcome coupons.
Healthcare is no different. Keeping consumers loyal to your hospital, urgent care or private practice will be better for your bottom line in the long run than trying to constantly attract new patients. The question then becomes, though, how do you keep your existing patients coming back?
Engaging Your Current Patients
When you’re looking at who to re-engage, start by identifying what brings your current patients back already. Look at which of your patients are coming back on their own and see if they have anything in common. Maybe half of your patients with young children come back in late July for back-to-school physicals. Whatever it ends up being for your facility, once you realize it’s a draw, you can make sure you market it to everyone.
Maybe you don’t have many recurring patients, and that’s why you’re here right now. Don’t worry. We’ve got a list of 3 ways you can encourage your existing patients to seek additional healthcare services from you (and increase your market share).
- Improve their Experiences
Evaluate the patient experience at your facility. If you’re being honest, how would you rank it? Is your waiting room a calm space where patients can relax and find a moment of peace, or is it somewhere they can’t wait to leave? From the moment they walk through the door, they’re evaluating your practice to decide if they want to come back in the future. The patient experience is one of the most important factors in patient loyalty today.
- Email Campaigns
If you’re not informing your patients of the healthcare services you offer, they probably won’t think to ask you about them. A provider’s time with the patient is limited, and it should be focused on the patient and any issues they’re currently having, not trying to convince them to come back in for another visit. After their visit, though, patients will probably be expecting a message from you. Most businesses now send some sort of follow-up email. This email, and any others you choose to send throughout the year, is a great place to explain your available services and provide your patients with an easy way to book an appointment.
- Improve Your Billing Process
No one likes to get bills, but they’re a necessary part of life, and they’re especially necessary for healthcare. If, however, you can make billing a somewhat enjoyable experience, that might be enough to keep your patients coming back to you. One of the best ways to make this a better experience is to personalize it for your patients. When they receive a payment reminder in the way they prefer using messaging that resonates with them, they are more likely to take action and pay their bill.
Improve Your Communication
At the end of the day, the most important thing you can do to increase your patient loyalty and improve your market share is to communicate better with your patients. While this strategy might sound overwhelming and time-intensive, using a digital engagement platform like PatientBond can take the pressure off your staff.
PatientBond’s platform uses psychographic segmentation to help you learn more about what makes your patients tick. It then helps you craft and send messages that resonate with individual healthcare consumers. One-size-fits-all rarely works in today’s hyper-targeted and personalized world. With psychographics, you can speak your patients’ language.
Encouraging your existing patients to use more of your available services, whether that’s checkups, vaccinations, wellness classes or something else that makes you unique is a great way to improve your market share while being an asset to your community. Send the right messages to the right people at the right time with a digital engagement platform and increase your patient loyalty.
For more on how a segmented digital engagement platform can help healthcare organizations increase loyalty and improve market share, download our whitepaper.