10 Best Practices For Patient Retention
Patient retention is a key issue in the hearing aid profession, in order for any clinic to thrive in the current economic climate a practice must be farming from its captured market share. It’s already hard won and probably expensively acquired market share, particularly when you factor over all marketing costs associated with actually acquiring those Patients.
So in essence, what can you do to retain those Patients and in fact hopefully increase your referrals through them?
1. Mark out your brand strategy, remember that everything and I mean everything about your business is your brand. From the standard of the decor of your practice right through to how somebody interacts on a phone call, all of these elements make your perceived brand. Ensure that every point of contact with your Patient is fully versed and on Brand.
2. Deliver service levels that consistently amaze your Patients. Always display that can do, nothing is too much attitude; ensure every person within the organisation displays it just as effectively.
3. Engage your Patients regularly at a human level, with compassion, interest and empathy.
4. In order to engage your Patients at this consistent level ensure that you acquire really good CRM software, customise it to your needs and make sure every person in your organisation uses it to record all contacts with and details of your Patients.
5. Employ a loyalty scheme for your Patients, whilst discount reductions on ancillary products such as batteries and cleaning care equipment should be a given, think about monetary thank you vouchers for referral of new Patients or even a scheme where every referral attracts a higher level of discount on the next product purchase.
6. At every appointment ensure your Patient leaves smiling, a nice chat, some kind words and a cheap giveaway. Spare tubes and tips for thin tube devices, pack of batteries, refill drying tablets, mould cleansing tablets, it does not have to be much, nor does it have to be costly, it just has to be consistent and given with a smile.
7. Try to build a community, ask your Patients would they be interested in talking to some people who are starting out on the journey of better hearing, if so put a buddy system in place. If it begins to take off, organize coffee mornings, you don’t necessarily have to pay for them but if you do it will not cost the earth.
8. Ask your Patients for referrals and favourable reviews, don’t be afraid, don’t think its cheap, don’t be embarrassed. If you are as good as you think you are they will be happy to help out by referring the people they know or writing a few lines for your webpage or a letter for display in your practice.
9. Ensure you connect with associated medical professionals in your area, be they MDs, Opticians or Pharmacists. If the relationship becomes strong enough consider how you both may leverage that relationship to improve both your practices.
10. Finally and I think the most important, offer good instruments at fair prices, fit them well, and work real hard to deliver on your Patient’s expectations. This is what gave me the most satisfaction in practice and also the most referrals.
I would like to expand on these tips, but a blog post is not really designed for in depth analysis, if anybody would like to hear any more on any of the tips, just drop me a line and I will be glad to bore you to tears.