Everyone knows you must create an excellent experience for your patients when they come to your office. It’s a crucial part of serving them—not only respecting their time and needs, but also caring about them as people. This means greeting patients with a smile through every stage of their care, listening to their concerns, and helping them get what they need. But this is not the only time or place you build relationships with your patients. It’s not even where those relationships start.
In fact, building relationships with your patients begins long before they enter your office and doesn’t end when they leave. This is the key to welcoming new patients and getting them to return.
The Start of the Relationship
It begins, first and foremost, with your outbound marketing: your website. This is the online “face” of your office. It’s also the first interaction most patients will have with you. People are growing more and more connected to the internet, especially in the age of smart phones and tablets, so they typically find you when they’re searching online. You need your website to be congruent with the helpful, friendly, professional atmosphere they’ll experience in your office.
As your online “face,” your website needs to do a lot for you. Is it easy to find the information people are searching for on it? Do you have content in multiple forms—articles, videos, blogs, FAQs, pictures, and so forth—that educate patients about their conditions? Do your website and social media together make it easy for people to request more information, or to make an appointment with you?
Does your website look modern and state-of-the-art? Does is reflect the capabilities and technologies you have in your office? In that same vein, is your office itself beautiful and updated—and are there photos people can see online? All of this is about putting your best foot forward so people feel welcomed and cared for before they even set foot through your doors.
After they leave, you can’t expect your patients to remember you and return again when they need you. The saying, “Out of sight, out of mind” applies here. You have to continue to nurture that relationship by reaching out to them.
You should be connecting to patients through multiple avenues, including e-mail and print. This means using your database to reach out through e-mail campaigns and electronic newsletters. You should also send out a print newsletter filled with valuable information your patients actually like. That way they do not forget your name or your practice and can easily refer others to you.This way, before they ever set foot through your doors, while they’re on site and being treated, and after they’ve left your office, patients never feel as though they’ve really left the practice. We focus on all aspects of this kind of patient communication—which some people, including us, call marketing. If you’d like to learn more about this and our approach to marketing, just contact us! You can reach us by phone at (717) 725-2679 or by e-mail at [email protected].