Patient retention as part of your commercial healthcare strategy
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 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.