How To Get More Patients In This Age Of Healthcare Consumerism
Ajay Prasad is the CEO of GMR Web Team, a full-service healthcare digital marketing agency focused on patient acquisition and retention.
With payer networks and physician referrals traditionally supplying new patients to most healthcare providers, consumer-based marketing hasn’t been a top priority in the industry for decades. Enter healthcare consumerism, and you might struggle to attract new patients if you don’t adequately promote your practice online and offer the care experiences that most consumers expect in this digital age. All of the health information that is easily available online today empowers consumers to select the best provider available. It takes a robust digital marketing strategy to differentiate your practice as the most visible and preferred in their eyes.
Strategies For Getting More Patients
Here are some time-tested strategies to attract more patients to your practice in this age of healthcare consumerism:
Make Sure Your Website Is Patient-Friendly
With Google processing more than a billion health-related queries every day (which account for around 7% of all daily searches), it’s clear that the patient journey starts online for most people. To take advantage, make sure your website is patient-focused.
That means it should be:
• Easy to navigate.
• Optimized for easy access to relevant medical information.
Make sure you provide a seamless user experience that allows prospects to find the information they’re after quickly so they can happily choose to do business with you.
Build A Robust Online Presence
A robust online presence makes your practice an available choice to the vast majority of consumers exploring provider options during the research phase of their care journey, and it’s therefore mandatory for new patient acquisition. Search engine optimization is an essential component of this strategy.
The first three organic results on search engine results pages get the most clicks. For this level of visibility, optimize your website content for the medical terms that target patients in your location are using during their searches. Reinforce this with high-precision paid search campaigns for quicker results, and use social media to engage and educate prospective patients.
Build A Positive Online Reputation And Generate Reviews
A robust online presence gets you found by prospective patients on the web, but your practice’s reputation determines whether they’ll choose you as their next doctor. An excellent online reputation is vital for making a great first impression on consumers as 71% of them check online reviews before selecting a new provider.
Start by requesting that your happy patients write post-appointment reviews that reflect their pleasant experiences, portraying your practice in good light. By regularly collecting and publishing their positive feedback, you can build and maintain a stellar rating online with the ability to convert new website visits or online profile views into appointments.
Monitor Patient Satisfaction
Continually monitoring patient satisfaction through post-appointment surveys can help you improve your experience and avoid having too many unhappy or unsatisfied consumers who either write negative reviews or don’t say anything after care.
Create A Patient Service Recovery Program
One of the essential benefits of monitoring patient satisfaction is that it lets you quickly intercept and resolve complaints from unhappy patients before permanently losing them. It goes hand in hand with a patient service recovery process aimed at addressing and remedying any raised concerns and turning unsatisfied patients into happy, loyal ones. You can protect your practice’s online reputation by intercepting and resolving patient complaints before they’re published online.
Implement A Patient Referral Program
You can rapidly grow your practice with a patient referral program that capitalizes on your satisfied, loyal patients. Put a digital system in place that enables you to send these patients requests to refer their friends, colleagues and family members to your practice. Patients who have a positive experience with your practice are more likely to recommend your services to others by direct word of mouth online.
Patients have always wanted the best care and treatment outcomes, but they haven’t always wielded sufficient power to find and select the best provider for their expected experiences. It’s a lot different in our age of consumerism, where patients are well-informed when it comes to choosing their preferred provider at any time, even if they’re out-of-network.
To stand out in the digital space and get more patients, make sure you have a robust online presence supported by an optimized practice website, an active social media presence and a solid reputation on the web. Also, patient satisfaction monitoring and service recovery programs can help you create loyal patients and turn them into brand promoters through word-of-mouth referrals and positive online feedback.