8 Ways to Attract More Patients to Your Medical Practice
Marketing is essential to the success of any business, and that even holds true when it comes to medical practices. While it’s important to maintain a good relationship with the patients you already have, it’s just as important to grow your practice and add new patients.
In 2018, 40 percent of surveyed physicians reported that they saw an average of 11 to 20 patients per day. And for a medical practice to grow, around 30 new patients should be added to the roster each month.
Retaining existing patients and bringing in new ones demands hard work and dedication. It’s critical to offer reasonable pricing for a variety of services, but there are also some other steps you can take to attract even more patients to your practice.
Encourage online reviews
Reviews are one of the most efficient ways to attract new patients and grow your practice, and also one of the easiest steps you can take. The Internet has increasingly become the sole source of information for many people, including those looking for a new doctor. There are a variety of platforms that allow patients to post reviews about healthcare practitioners, and most people check out what patients have to say about your practice before signing up with you.
Start encouraging your patients to share their feedback in an online review. While you can ask them in person when they’re in your office, it’s also helpful to send a follow-up email thanking them for their visit and encouraging them to review their experience online.
If you find patients are hesitant, consider offering discounts or free services to motivate them to post an online review. With their permission, you can also add their feedback to your practice’s website. Not only will this help maintaining patient relationships, but it will also get your name out there for any prospective new patients.
Have an active social media presence
Take the time to invest in someone who knows their way around social media, as it’s a great way to expand your reach past your physical office. Start by posting useful and engaging information on your Facebook and Twitter feeds like wellness tips, preventive care, and general health information.
The key is to make the content relevant so that users are more apt to share it. When a current patient “likes” your Facebook page, retweets your tweet, or comments on a post, their entire social circle sees it. That’s basically free advertising that can direct user traffic to your page and help generate new client leads.
Be flexible and responsive
People are busy, and they can’t always fit into the specific hours of 9 to 5. In order to appeal to more patients, make sure your office hours and appointment schedule suit your patients’ needs. If your patients need early morning appointments, lunchtime visits, or evening hours, do everything you can to make yourself available at their convenience.
In addition, the best way to get positive referrals is to make sure you’re responding to patient needs and that they’re satisfied with your attitude and services. Show a genuine interest in what they’re going through, as your manners — and the look and feel of your practice — are critical to your success. If you can’t communicate well with your patients, you can’t deliver a positive and uplifting experience.
Expand your services
It’s helpful to take the time to analyze the demographics of the community you serve. If you see a majority of parents with young kids, consider adding a dedicated pediatrician to your practice.
On the other end of things, consider expanding your services to include a monthly geriatric clinic if you practice in an area with a large number of elderly residents.
And don’t just consider expanding your services, but also expanding how patients can access those services.
Young patients are used to having everything they want online — and that includes a technologically connected healthcare experience. For example, instead of calling your clinic to get their lab results, upgrade your systems to ensure patients can download this information from your portal. If patients are satisfied with the convenience offered by your practice, they’re more likely to leave a positive review and recommend you to family and friends.
Connect with the community
If you’re trying to bring in new patients, it helps to go out to where the new patients are — out in your community. Consider participating in community events or fundraising efforts to get the name of your practice out there, all while projecting a positive image of your practice that helps you retain the clients you already have.
Think about how you can cast a wider net than just donating to the same event every year.
See if there is an opportunity to speak about a current health concern to a new group of people. Speak about senior wellness at the local retirement village. Host a seminar for kids on how to care for their health and practice good hygiene.
The idea is to get noticed by people who might not already know about your practice and the services you provide. Supporting these people in the community means they could easily become your patients in the future.
Ask for referrals and be a referrer
Much like asking for online reviews, take the time to ask your current patients to refer you to their friends, family, and coworkers. Don’t consider this being pushy, as most people won’t think about it if you don’t ask. Simply tell them that you have room for new patients or that you are adding new services, and thank them for any referrals that they could provide.
Along those notes, return the favor when it comes to your relationships with other doctors. If you refer patients to a doctor who specializes in an area you might not be as familiar with, they’ll be interested in referring patients to you in return. You all have the same goal — providing the best-in-class care to your patients — and these relationships can be a win-win for all involved.
Personalize and optimize your website
Your website is the place many prospective patients will go to first when researching online for a doctor, so make sure it reflects the look and feel of your practice. Instead of using generic stock photos on your website and social media profiles, post real-life pictures of your staff and office. This adds in some personality that can set you apart from the crowd.
Consider adding a blog to your site that covers general health and wellness topics. Adding fresh content to your site not only helps with SEO, but it also shows that you know your practice and diligently work to keep your patients informed.
Creating a relevant and informational website is probably the most important marketing tool you can use, but you have to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. In 2018, 52.2% of all worldwide online traffic was generated through mobile phones, and more than 57% of all U.S. online traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets.
Make sure your website works equally well on mobile devices and is responsive on every platform. It should be a tool used to educate your potential patients so they can make an informed decision and call your clinic for an appointment — or better yet, make an appointment through your website.
The final thought
As a medical professional, you’re busy, but it’s important that you continue to foster new patient relationships while maintaining a positive relationship with the patients you currently have. Take some time to review your marketing efforts and focus on areas that you could improve on.
Finally, train your staff to treat every patient — new or current — like they’re the only patient that you’ll be seeing that day. When they feel cared for, they’ll keep coming back, and they’ll tell they’re network of family and friends about their great experience.