Patient Retention, You Got Them, Let’s Keep Them

Patient retention as part of your commercial healthcare strategy

By Geoffrey Cooling

Patient retention and referral is an imperative for all Practices in the current economic environment. In fact it is a concept that is becoming of greater importance across all healthcare sectors and professions. A good Patient retention strategy will in turn deliver you good Patient referral rates, the two work hand in hand. It is a concept that is easy to understand when you consider your Patient as a Customer.

Whilst this may not be a new idea to many within our profession, it is a newer concept within some elements of the healthcare world. The idea is to Keep your Patients in order that they continue with your Practice through the natural re-purchase cycle. Over the natural lifetime of a Patient you may expect to sell two or three sets of instruments to them. As earlier and earlier amplification adoption occurs, this may stretch out to five or six sets of instruments.

It makes financial sense to invest in a Patient retention strategy for your Practice. In order to do so, you need to see every aspect of your business through the prism of this concept. Firstly we need to identify what keeps Patients! Satisfied Patients do not necessarily stay with your Practice, satisfied Patients may not necessarily refer new Patients to your Practice.

That may seem strange to you, but satisfied Patients are just that, satisfied. The feeling does not necessarily speak to brand loyalty any longer. Customers have changed, they are faced with ever more choice, ever more options. In order to instil or engender brand loyalty you need to go beyond satisfaction. You need to create advocacy, advocacy for you, your staff, your Practice, your brand.

So what do you need to consider for a strategy that engenders advocacy. You need to comprehensively assess every facet of your Practice. What you need to ask yourself is does or can each facet delight your Patient? Consider the following

The Practice itself physically
Your staff
Your Practice management processes and procedures
Your Patient journey

Truly consider each facet through the eyes of your Patient, your customer. Don’t forget that your Patient is in fact your Customer. Don’t forget you are looking to engender advocacy not satisfaction. If you can successfully undertake this exercise, you can then plan for an in-depth Patient retention strategy. A successful retention strategy will automatically lead to ongoing Patient referral.

Regards

Geoff

About Geoffrey Cooling

my name is Geoffrey Cooling and I am the author here at Just Audiology Stuff. I have been involved in the Hearing Healthcare Profession for several years now. I initially worked as a Hearing Healthcare Professional for a large national retailer in Ireland. After several years in Practice I was approached to work for a manufacturer, where I was employed for five years. I am now the Co Founder of a business called Audiology Engine. We design websites, undertake content marketing and generally look after everything digital for audiological practices. I am also a contributor to many hearing profession periodicals and websites. I have written two commercially available books, The Little Book of Hearing Aids which is written for hearing aid consumers and Audiology Marketing in a Digital World which is written for Audiology Practice Owners. They are both available in Paperback and Kindle versions on Amazon. I also write for consumers on the website Hearing Aid Know, which is a website with the mission of demystifying hearing aids, their types and their technology. I have a great interest in commercial strategy as it applies to Healthcare in general and specifically to Hearing Healthcare. I also have a great interest in the psychology of sales and human interaction. I have been involved with social media for some time, both personally and professionally. I find the engagement and discourse on some social media channels fascinating. I instituted social media strategy for the company I worked for as an experiment. That experiment soon spread throughout the company and I am proud to say that the company is probably one of the most active in the industry. I would like to point out that all views, opinions and thoughts here are mine own. Unless of course they have been planted by the pod people, you just can’t take your eyes off the pod people. Those views do not necessarily reflect upon any views or opinions held by my employer, if I ever get another one. I think that our industry is in the middle of a time of huge change, I think that the change will be forced by both internal and external pressure. I think that private Independent Healthcare Practices will have to be smart and lithe of feet in order to meet these changes. I hope that some of my blatherings are of benefit to those Practices, Independent Hearing Healthcare Practices need to survive. I believe that if that occurs it will be of real benefit to Patients. I hope that I, and my writings will play a small part in their continued success.

Let me know what you think