There is more to the success of a medical practice than just acquiring new patients and cultivating a reputation for offering quality medical services. While both are very essential attributes of a successful medical practice, you need to create a solid pool of loyal clients who keep your practice as their main and, if possible, only healthcare provider.
Why Retain More Patients?
Retaining more patients is immensely beneficial to your practice both monetarily and in terms of your practice’s recognition and reputation. Return patients increase your practice’s profitability in the long term as they keep coming back and paying for your services. Return clients are also more likely to select costlier and complex healthcare options as they trust your ability to deliver.
Therefore, it is absolutely crucial for you as a medical practitioner to devise ways of retaining patients and turning them into loyal clients. Here are five actionable, straight-forward tips on how your practice can retain more patients:
1) Maintain Active Engagement with Your Patients
Health is any human being’s most important investment. However, staying on track with one’s health routine and medical appointments is much like New-Year’s resolutions; it is always easier said than done.
Many people show up for the first few appointments but start to lose the impetus to schedule and fulfill other visits. They either get overwhelmed by other obligations or simply lose motivation. As such, if you as the medical practitioner don’t take any initiative to retain them, they might end up disengaging. This might then cause them to lose touch with your practice and search for another healthcare provider next time they need one.
Therefore, the practice owner needs to keep patients actively engaged in order to retain them. To do this, you need to encourage your patients to book an official appointment for the next visit after each session you have with them. Once you do this, you can then send them reasonably frequent reminders for booked appointments so that they can show up for them.
Another way of engaging patients and keeping them connected to your practice is through following up on their medical progress after they come for treatment at your practice. This not only ensures that patients get expert guidance during their recovery, but builds a connection with them and shows them you are concerned with their welfare.
Also, sending them useful, up-to-date health tips—especially during this Covid-19 period—helps to give them value and keep your brand relevant. All this in turn enhances their loyalty to your practice and allows you to retain them as long-term clients.
2) Increase Your Online Visibility
In today’s modern world, technology has been integrated into most organizational operations for higher efficiency, lower costs, and wider reach. The internet is the new marketplace, and only businesses that have a strong online presence stand to benefit from the goldmine that is e-commerce. This is especially so during this pandemic, where movement is restricted and congestion discouraged.
Therefore, just like visiting a physical address frequently increases a client’s bond with a business, being prominently visible online increases your client’s attachment to your practice. Through your online platforms, patients can access useful information, schedule appointments, engage with your publications, and give feedback on your services and products.
On the surface, this active interaction with your online activity might seem to serve only a functional, objective purpose. However, it also forms a psychological impression, establishes a personal connection, and fosters a strong attachment to your practice’s brand.
Consequently, this increases the chances of retaining patients who would have otherwise been one-off clients. Therefore, ensure you have a strong online presence at all times through frequently posting high-quality articles, images, and videos to offer value and maintain visibility.
3) Analyze, React to, and Act Upon Client Feedback
As earlier noted, to be able to retain patients and convert them to long-term clients, you need to make them feel closely and personally connected and attached to your practice. However, that is only possible if your patients see that you genuinely care about their thoughts, opinions, and what they have to say about your practice.
Patients express their feelings about your products and services through their feedback. And while star ratings are useful in knowing what the general attitude towards your practice is, it is the detailed, descriptive feedback you need to pay extra attention to.
This is because it is through that written or recorded feedback that your clients say exactly what they like about your services or what they are dissatisfied about. That way, you as the medical practitioner get to know precisely what you are doing right or wrong so you can either keep up the good work or rectify and make improvements.
Once patients see that you actually take stock of their feedback and act upon their suggestions, they will feel valued and appreciated. This will, in turn, inspire feelings of loyalty within the patient and you will be able to retain them as long-term clients.
4) Maintain High-Quality Standards
As a practice owner, you can employ many other strategies like advertising and marketing to retain patients for longer periods. However, none of those strategies will retain patients if you do not maintain high-quality standards in your service delivery.
This is because while your clients may enjoy five-star front desk services and flattering waiting room treatment, what they pay for is quality medical care. As such, they expect you to employ your medical expertise to give them the highest quality of healthcare possible and value for their money.
If this is not fulfilled, patients become dissatisfied and may abandon your practice and seek other healthcare providers. They might even give your practice very low ratings and deny you potentially valuable referrals. This will negatively impact your revenue and undermine your profitability.
Therefore, to ensure client satisfaction, always provide products and services of the highest quality. Be competent and maintain high professional standards in your service delivery so that your clients can be confident in your capabilities as a healthcare provider. This way, you will retain more of your patients, increase your revenue, and enhance your reputation.
5) Make Your Front Desk More Efficient
Last but definitely not least, ensure that your front desk operations are as smooth and seamless as possible. This is because both potential and existing clients first come into contact with the front desk whenever they try to establish communication with your practice.
As such, whether they leave satisfied and willing to return or dissatisfied and frustrated with your practice depends on how they are handled at the front desk stage. If their call is missed or they are kept waiting long before their call is answered, spoken to in an unfriendly manner that is not inviting, or given less-than-satisfactory service, they are most likely not going to return.
Rather, they will seek alternative health providers whom they feel are more professional and efficient. This will in turn undermine your chances of converting such patients into return clients with whom you’ll have a profitable working relationship.
Therefore, it is essential that you have a five-star front desk that will help ensure you don’t miss any calls from patients, send engaging conversational texts to clients, and offer reliable backup front desk services whenever your team is not available.
UPbook Concierge-Your Remote Backup Front Desk
UPbook Concierge is an efficient and innovative service that acts as a backup front desk. It comes with an affordable optional phone system and automated rewards, and facilitates remote office and telemedicine operations. All this helps to ensure that all patient calls are converted to appointments so that your practice doesn’t lose any prospective business.
To take advantage of UPbook’s unique features, click here or dial (888)700-1902 to contact the UPbook team. They’ll educate you about how the whole program works and how you can integrate it into your medical practice so that you can increase your front desk operational efficiency.