In recent years, healthcare has become another avenue of business which marketing can make or break. Every healthcare provider wants to give their patients the best care possible, but attracting and keeping loyal patients can be the true difficulty in being able to maintain a practice. Whether you are a dental practitioner, a doctor’s surgery, or a mental health clinic, you will need to start marketing yourself as being the best people to take care of your patients. Doing so requires lots of time, patience, and money, but you can make a start by following some essential marketing tips which will set you off on the right foot, and keep patients coming in your door for years to come.
Follow a core ethos
It is easy during the marketing process to start to see your healthcare company as a business, which in the current market, it will be. Yet, like some businesses, it can’t lose its key focus, which is giving patients the best and most reliable care they can find. Having a pure ethos at the heart of what you do can remind you of why you come into work each day, and will also show your prospective and current patients why you are there. To ensure everyone knows you are operating with this ethos in mind, you should include it on posters around the building and on your website, making it as integral to your practice as your healthcare name.
Have a website
In more traditional times, healthcare providers would find their patients in the local area, where there was no need for websites. In the modern day, some people come from far and wide to find the best care, and they can sometimes only find this using the internet. This means you need a website which stands out and has all the information you need to be presented clearly to the public. This includes any pricing, important details, as well as what your practice specializes in. Mostly, it should feel personal. Today, there is a huge disconnect between the living world and the medical world, and having a custom website can help bridge this gap before people enter the practice. For example, having a custom dental website would be ideal if you are opening an oral hygiene facility.
Don’t neglect your brand
A large part of your website is made up of your brand, but this branding goes far beyond the online world. In fact, it needs to start in the logo of your practice, which will be the first thing people see when they walk by your building. Merging a polished logo, great graphic design, and your ethos together will help you create a solid brand, where people will be able to remember it and pass the word onto those they know. In this case, the care you give your patients as an essential piece of marketing as any other, as it will determine how loyal your patient base remains.
Write high-quality content
Often, what stops people from becoming interested in a healthcare service is the lack of information they find on the company. One of the best ways to ensure this information is put across in a personable and accessible way is by uploading regular content to your website. This can be in the form of copy, blog posts or guest posts from revered healthcare professionals, which will help you to build a great image for your practice over time.
Use social media
Like most businesses, healthcare has started to move its marketing online. In fact, social media has become one of the main platforms on which people can build a brand and advertise to prospective patients. While you will not need to gain a global reach, you can expand your current catchment area to include people from further away. This helps especially if you provide a niche service, such as holistic therapy or mental health care, which people may not be able to find elsewhere. From sites like Facebook and Instagram, you can alert your patients to any information; they need at the touch of a button. If they are happy with the care they have received, online reviews can be a great way of attracting new patients and keeping your current ones loyal.
Have great customer service
Over the years, customer service has come to be the defining part of what keeps people coming back, or not. While much of this has started to take place online to attract more patients, most of it revolves around behavior in medical practices from the staff. Having regular training and rigorous hiring processes ensures you are hiring people who will hold the patient’s best interests at heart. The happier a patient is with the bedside manner they receive, or the personal care you offer, the more likely that they will want to stay a patient for life, and tell everyone else about your genuine attitude.
Give the best care
Customer service is a great way of showing patients you care, but ultimately, what will make them keep coming back is giving them the best care you possibly can. Some healthcare providers can begin to operate with money on the mind, which is something that many patients can sense if they are not being made the priority. From dawn until dusk, a friendly face and giving as many options as you can to patients is often the best way to show them that you truly care about their wellbeing.
In the current healthcare climate, there have been issues raised around transparency between doctor and patient. While this is not every practice, it still serves to teach a valuable lesson in marketing. At the end of the day, if a patient doesn’t trust you, they won’t be returning to your care. Letting them know the real story, and offering them multiple options to follow if they need them means you are placing honesty and transparency at the heart of what you do, which can tie flawlessly into your core ethos.