Have you analyzed your patient acquisition strategy lately? If not, it’s worth revisiting your approach.. It can be hard to look at something you’ve created or are working on and think that it needs to be changed, but sometimes that’s the best way to reinvigorate your efforts and, in this case, improve your market share.
Signs You Should Rethink Your Patient Acquisition Strategy
- Low Acquisition Rate
This one might sound obvious, but it’s an important metric to track. If your acquisition rate is suddenly very low or if you have a negative trend over time, there’s a good chance you need to make some changes to your strategy.
- Retention is Decreasing
Similar to acquisition rate, retention rate is crucial. While we’re certainly focused on finding new patients, it’s important to remember that loyal patients are sometimes worth more than new ones who don’t stay with your practice for very long.
It’s also important to look at these first two metrics in relation to one another. If your acquisition is down but your retention is suddenly much higher, you might not have a total cause for alarm, especially if you’re at or near capacity.
- Fewer Referrals
If you regularly ask new patients how they found out about you, this can be an easy metric to track. If your referrals have decreased, it might be a red flag. Satisfied patients are more likely to refer their friends and family to your office. If you’re getting fewer new patients citing referrals, you might have a patient satisfaction problem on your hands.
You’ll also want to follow up with patients who have come to your practice through a referral. Are they still there after time passes? Or have they left your practice for a competitor? Again, this can provide valuable insight into your patients’ level of satisfaction.
Fixing Your Patient Acquisition Strategy
Maybe you’ve realized that your acquisition efforts need some refining. The good news is that we have a few ideas that you can implement today to strengthen your strategy.
- Focus Your Attention Online
Begin by analyzing your social media presence and online reviews. If your reviews are lower than you’d like, ask your satisfied patients to leave you a review. Many times unhappy patients are more likely to leave reviews than satisfied patients, so make sure you ask for those positive feedback.
Also consider if your social media presence needs an overhaul or at least a more consistent presence. Patients are beginning to shop around for healthcare based on a provider’s social media presence. By providing strong value and creating a sense of community and trust, you can begin to build relationships that turn into loyal patients.
- Be with Your Patients for Good Moments, Too
Chances are you likely see your patients only in upsetting moments. Let’s face it — most people wouldn’t choose to go to the doctor or the hospital unless they really needed to (or for an annual visit). Make a point of being involved in your community. This way, potential new patients can begin to learn about you, and you’ll be top-of-mind when they need a physician.
Take this one step further with your current patients. (Remember: happy patients lead to referrals!) By using a service like PatientBond’s patient engagement platform, you can send personalized messages to your patients throughout the year, reminding them of important wellness events, proactive services like a flu shot and generally keeping up with their lives. The PatientBond platform even uses psychographic segmentation to ensure that your messages are designed for the individual patient who receives them.
- Be Available to Your Current and Potential Patients
Can your patients reach you, either on an app or through email? Are prospective patients able to send you a message on social media or find your contact information easily on your website? The harder it is for people to contact you, the less likely they are to try to reach out. These initial contact points are what form the basis of your relationship with a patient, and ongoing communication is critical to continued patient satisfaction.
What part of your patient acquisition strategy are you going to evaluate first? By taking the time now to see what’s working and implement changes for what’s not, you have the opportunity to make a big difference in your acquisition efforts and increase your market share.
For more on how our patient engagement platform and proprietary psychographic segmentation model can strengthen your acquisition strategy, download our case study.