A Thriving Health Practice Needs New Patients
One of the self-defeating principles of practicing good health care is that you should constantly be putting yourself out of business by following through and caring for your patients. When they’re well, they don’t need you anymore. A healthy clinic or health practice should continuously be cycling through patients as some are well enough to exit the cycle, while new patients with new problems enter the cycle.
But before new patients bank on you as the solution to their health care, they have one question on their mind, and it’s the same question that’s been on the minds of all patients since the invention of health care:
Can you help me?
The above question is something that you can’t answer authoritatively because a patient who hasn’t met you yet has no reason to believe what you say. They haven’t built a trust relationship with you, which is the cornerstone of the Health and Wellness industry. The problem isn’t you if you’re running a credible clinic or health practice where you strive first and foremost to help people, like most of the rest of us. The problem lies in sick people buying into the glut marketers hustling therapeutic goods and services that don’t just don’t work. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to win new patients over. They need convincing that you’re on their side.
People Trust Other People
With the invention of online reviews, people have begun to rely on the word of other users who say what they think about a product or service. People’s initial impression of your clinic or health practice can easily be swayed by their expectations based on their reading reviews about you. Whether they’re going to bank their health on you and put down their hard earned money, or co-payment to let you treat them may be in the hands of the stars – the number of stars you’ve earned on popular online platforms. Free platforms like Facebook, Yelp!, and Google will not only offer people to rate your business, but also get specific, and mention what they do, or don’t like about it. It’s great free publicity for your business, as long as you’re a customer service oriented establishment. It won’t work out so well if you, or your secretary, are not good with people. Marketing experts call this “Social Proof,” which means that when people see that other people have reviewed something favorably, they’re more likely to trust that thing, and try it for themselves. So the key to attracting more patients to your clinic or health practice is to have a well-reviewed across multiple platforms. Don’t fret – it’s not as hard as it sounds.
How Can I Implement A Strong Marketing Strategy For My Clinic?
Facebook: make a free page for your clinic or health practice on Facebook. Most of the online world has a Facebook account, and likely 99% of the people in your area. Keep your business searchable by naming your page precisely what the name of your business is. Making your business easily searchable will allow it to show up accurately in search engines like Google. Put a professional
Google, or Yelp!: If your business has a physical address, it’s likely already on Google, Yelp!, and other major platforms. You can click on the business and “claim” it as your own. Claiming will allow you to communicate with reviewers, and update the significant facets of your business, addressed below.
Once you’re in control of where people will find your business, start doing the following.
1. Make it easy for people to find you. Add in a professional photo of your business, and make it the same across all platforms, so there’s no confusion. Add in your business hours and the best way for people to contact you (phone, email, etc.) Make sure the directions to your business are accurate.
2. Let people know you want them to review your business. Start by asking existing customers who already love you to leave an honest review. You can also ask people to “Like” your Facebook page to start building social proof. People can see if their other Facebook friends have already “Liked” your page, and are more likely to engage with you if that’s the case.
3. Send out an email to past customers, asking if they’re satisfied with their care. If they click ‘yes,’ forward the link to a review on Facebook, or similar site, and thank them. If they click ‘no,’ forward the link to your customer service department on your webpage, and see if you can help them fix the problem.
4. Respond to every review, good, or bad. Thank everyone who leaves a useful review, and personalize it if possible. Better than random social proof is seeing that a business is on top of excellent customer service with all their patients and not just the squeaky wheels. Respond to all the bad reviews as well, offering to fix problems, and rising to the challenge of managing criticisms. Don’t argue, accept, and offer help. You may be able to fix the problem, and they will possibly go back and modify their review – but regardless, this is all online for people to see, so be tactful.
5. Do good work. Ultimately, if your clinic or health practice is genuinely in the market of making people better, word will get out – once you’ve made it possible for people to write about you. A long-term business solution is making every patient’s experience excellent because they will eventually recommend a friend down the line, whether it’s through actual conversation, or writing an excellent review for everyone to read.