Patient loyalty within healthcare plays a unique role in the industry. When customers choose their healthcare providers they are connecting with doctors, surgeons, dentists, and nurses that they will have an ongoing relationship. Unlike product brands, when a new healthcare practice comes along, patients do not easily switch over just to try it out. This is due to the serious nature and relationships built.

In an ever-changing industry, we understand that it is difficult to maintain patient loyalty. However, there are simple ways you can ensure your patients have the best experience at your practice. Allow this list of dos and don’ts to guide your practice in becoming the patient-centric facility you promise to be. 

Do’s for Patient Loyalty

1. Segmentation

Successful patient loyalty starts by personalizing your approach to lead to increasing your chances of connecting with your audience. The goal of segmentation is to create detailed profiles of each segment of your target demographic. Qualifying your leads based on specific characteristics will help to define who your intended audience is and contribute to a personalized and effective marketing strategy. 

Separate your segments based on age, gender, occupation, income, education, location, and much more. This will help shape data for how much of a varied audience you have and how to market towards them. For example, if you have a medical practice that focuses on bone and joint surgery in Boston, MA, you should target an audience who will be viable candidates for your practice.

2. Encourage Feedback

The best way to know what your patients want is to ask them directly. Requesting feedback after any kind of healthcare appointment allows your practice to improve itself based on recommendations and suggestions. Some ways to collect feedback based on your performance include reviews, surveys, or post-appointment follow-up calls. If one patient found an issue with your practice, there is a good chance that others will as well. It’s time to perfect your practice and become the place your patients will return to.

3. Educate Your Patients

Educating patients is an important aspect of building trusting relationships. Patients prefer doctors who keep them informed and updated. This way, they feel involved in their treatment process. Offering educational materials allows patients to understand their condition or procedure thoroughly. 

Oftentimes, a large part of educating patients is correcting misinformation. There are lots of misconceptions about the healthcare industry, and many times patients will come in believing them. It is the job of the doctor to ensure the patient is well-informed and knowledgeable about the truth of their condition and treatment for the most successful results. 

4. Update Your Technology

Patients are always looking for the most efficient and effective healthcare. If your practice is years behind in technology and patients are hearing about modern solutions, they may switch to another practice. Integrating simple modern touches to your practice is always a great idea. This can include upgrades such as automated text reminders, and drastic updates such as modern imaging. Although keeping up with all medical advances is near impossible, the most important thing is to ensure your patients view your practice as a safe and reliable environment.

5. Be Transparent With Costs

Cost transparency is necessary to have loyal patients. If healthcare practices are misleading when it comes to costs or are not upfront with patients, there is a chance the patients will be less trusting. By opening up conversations regarding costs, patients will feel better about their healthcare finances moving forward. 

6. Have Friendly Staff

Having a welcoming environment is a crucial factor of building a loyal patient base. Patients recognize things such as seeing the same receptionist when entering your practice. This allows them to build relationships and will keep them coming back. It is important to build your practice as a patient-centered facility. This means doing everything to benefit the patient first.

Although management can’t demand that their employees build relationships with patients, they can select employees that fit in with the practice’s culture. By building a team that shares the value of putting the patient first, you will realize a sharp increase in returning patients. 

Don’ts of Patient Loyalty

1. Have A Dated Website

Refusing to update an old website is one of the biggest mistakes a practice can make. In this day and age, patients are constantly looking for the most efficient medium to communicate, schedule appointments, and find fast information. Websites are great – but it is essential to make sure they are modern and simple to navigate.  

Did you know that most internet users will exit your webpage if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load? Maintaining a successful website is more complex than you might think. You must ensure that it enhances your professional image and drives in new patients. This includes a modern look, simple navigation, and accessible means of contacting the practice. Investing in a newer, more efficient website is a crucial step in modernizing your healthcare practice. 

2. Avoid Social Media

Did you know that 80% of the U.S. population is on social media. These platforms are multi-dimensional, meaning that people are using social media for a variety of purposes. COVID-19 made social media a vital part of healthcare marketing. According to HootSuite, 76% of people used social media to learn about COVID-19. This significant piece of data shows how powerful social media is in forming public opinion in the spread of healthcare knowledge. Therefore, healthcare professionals need to be on social platforms to increase the spread of factual information. 

It’s time for you to meet your patients where they already are. Join widespread platforms and discover the positive impact social media has on your practice. 

3. Refuse to Outsource

Your practice is constantly growing. To keep up with new patients and returning ones, your practice has to expand. By making the decision to outsource your calls, your patients will receive more efficient care.

Poor customer service is one of the largest reasons a customer may choose to switch practices. If a first-time patient calls and does not hear back, there is a great chance they will move on. Take the leap and outsource your calls to a healthcare call center. 

4. Ignore Negative Patient Reviews

Reviews are the best way to improve your practice, especially negative ones. Although unfortunate, these reviews are necessary to improve practices. Patients leave negative reviews out of hopes you will fix the issue. The most effective way to deal with a negative review is to respond to the patient apologetically, and let them know you appreciate their review and are fixing the problem. Don’t forget – any feedback is good feedback!

5. Offer Poor Coverage

Your patient’s insurance is changing all the time and unless you want to lose your loyal patients, you need to expand your coverage. Regardless of how amazing your services are, your customers will not stay unless covered by insurance. Increasing your practice’s coverage and making your services more accessible to a larger percentage of people will allow your practice to expand. 

6. Refuse Telehealth

Telehealth is a huge part of healthcare today. Additionally, virtual healthcare grew during the pandemic and continues to spread. This allows your patients access to your services from all locations, including during travel. Telehealth visits benefit your office by opening time for patients. According to Medical Economics, the average telemedicine visit is only 12 minutes. This negates the unnecessary wait and commutes time. Make your practice more accessible to your patients by allowing them to make an appointment where it is most convenient for them.

Contact NewGen Marketing

The world of healthcare is constantly changing, and NewGen is one step ahead. We offer a collection of services that promise to improve the quality of your practice. From social media management to outsourcing calls, we are here to help. Contact us today to see how we can elevate efficiency and patient loyalty at your healthcare practice.