Before we answer this question, let’s get something straight. Everyone wants (or should want) more patients. All businesses deal with attrition and you might as well get used to it. To be sure, you and your team should be obsessed with delivering such an exceptional experience to your patients that they will never go anywhere else. But the fact is – they will.
Death, Taxes, and Healthcare Changes
Some things in life are guaranteed, like death and taxes. People die. People move. People have a change in their healthcare plans that cause them to switch away from you in spite of excellent service and care. It just happens. That is why you need a steady pipeline of new patients walking through your door daily.
As the CEO of your practice, you must be carefully watching your cash. Cash, as they say is king. Good, positive, predictable cash flow is essential to success for your practice. It’s essential for every business in history. And good CEOs have an eagle eye on their cash flow.
New patients are vital to that cash flow, but they are not the only key to a great pipeline keeping your reception room full. Believe it or not, the patients who you’ve already seen are even more important. These people know you, they like you, and they trust you. They are far more likely to return to you and refer to you than people who don’t know you. And yet, most podiatry practices take these people for granted. They assume that they’ve helped these people get better and in the future, if they need you, they will call to make an appointment. They also assume that these people will refer people to you whenever they are asked about a foot doctor they could recommend.
Wrong! These people can’t even remember your name after a few months. It’s not because they are stupid or that they aren’t exceedingly grateful for what you and your staff did for them. It’s because you took them for granted. You didn’t keep in touch with them. You didn’t communicate to these vital people on a regular basis. It’s not their fault – it’s yours. And to be fair, until now, probably no one told you to stay in touch with them. Something as simple as an interesting newsletter that comes to them monthly can completely change the game and keep them returning and referring.
What Should You Do to Attract More Patients?
The answer is market your practice to people who don’t know you yet and to people who do.
Marketing is often frustrating because it’s done incorrectly. The way to market your practice is through education. You simply need to answer people’s questions. You need to address their worries and concerns and with good educational answers. It’s a very high-integrity way to market. I call it “marketing your practice without shouting or otherwise embarrassing yourself.”
More answers can be found on the Top Practices homepage, where you can request a copy of my book, “Why Most Podiatry Marketing Doesn’t Work and What You Can Do About It.” It’s a great resource if you’re serious about marketing your practice well, which you do want.
After all, you’re reading this, aren’t you?