Competition for new patients is quickly escalating with the introduction of retail easy-to-connect clinics, telemedicine appointments, and freestanding Urgent Care clinics. But acquiring new patients is an important part of physician satisfaction, revenue health, and growth. Here are four key ways to acquire new patients – and they all start with providing positive patient experiences.
- Word Of Mouth
It's no secret that people are more likely to trust their loved ones over what they read online. Therefore, word-of-mouth referrals from family and friends are crucial to obtaining new patients. Because you likely want word-of-mouth advertising that is of the positive variety, delivering quality service is the first step. If you wish to encourage word-of-mouth referrals and advertising, then your patients need to experience something beyond what they expected.
- Positive Online Reviews
Positive online reviews come from positive patient experiences. If your practice is providing those, patients should be encouraged to share their feedback with others. A simple follow-up message can typically be sufficient encouragement, but not always – making it convenient is essential. Another way to inspire these reviews is through offering discounts or free services to motivate patients to post online reviews for your practice. However positive online reviews are attained, they help maintain patient relationships and encourage the acquisition of new patients, and therefore they hold a significance that organizations would do well to not underestimate.
- Fantastic Search Ranking
Your digital team should ensure that your organization is ranking for what patients are searching for. When people are seeking out healthcare information online, you want to be at the top of the list on Google, whether they are looking for an answer to a medical question or browsing for an organization that provides the services yours does. One way to achieve a fantastic search rating is through the purchasing of "Pay Per Click" (PPC) ads. Because 81 percent of people click on a sponsored link when looking for healthcare information, their value cannot be undermined. Another way is through search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is how your organization shows up in search results without directly paying for ads. Both are crucial when it comes to achieving a fantastic search ranking, and for long-term and short-term results, they are best used hand-in-hand with their performance monitored.
- Engaging Social Media
Patients want to connect with your brand. Ensure your organization is ready to compliantly and compassionately interact with them, should they reach out. Being active and responsive on social media is crucial these days. With social media becoming an increasingly common way for patients to interact with healthcare organizations, exposure is essential. And it is with this exposure that you can attract a large volume of new patients and increase the branding of your practice. One social media platform you want to ensure your organization is represented on is Facebook. With its more than two billion users, it's an easy and direct way to get your name out there.
Word of mouth, positive online reviews, fantastic search ranking, and engaging social media are just four ways that your healthcare organization can effectively acquire new patients and maintain existing ones. For more information, check out our infographic, Improving Patient Communication.