Medical clinics, dentists, and orthodontists all provide essential services that cannot be ignored – or so you may think. Whenever it comes to private practices, you need to do so much more to market your clinic and get your name out there, and also increase retention using tried and tested strategies.
You can build up a lifelong relationship between your patients and your clinic. In fact, that relationship can even extend beyond a single home. Patients who absolutely love the experience they have with their orthodontist or dentist are very willing to travel a little bit further to continue having that dentist a part of their overall health care strategy.
The initial onboarding or capture process is where the real difficulty lies. From there, great customer service, excellent bedside manner, and a few value-adding services are all that you need to keep patients for years, even decades.
People, of course, are also very strict with who cares for them. Convincing new patients to choose your clinic over their old one or to come to your clinic at all is where the real difficulty rests. You need to be friendly, informative, and engaging. You also need to use the strategies outlined in this guide to help get you there:
1. Rely on a Specialist Marketing Agency
Clinics don’t need an entire marketing department, but they do need marketing. The best solution is to outsource your needs to an agency, but not any old agency will do. There are many specialist agencies out there specifically designed for the medical community. They know exactly how to advertise your clinic and know how to encourage more locals to visit and register with you.
Hip Agency, for example, specializes in orthodontist marketing. As opposed to regular dentists, orthodontists need to do more to convince patients to start caring for and improving their teeth. Your marketing methods need to rely on more than just the promise of a beautiful smile. You need buyer personas created; you need customized marketing channels that work to capture the attention of patients from various backgrounds. You also need better marketing tools and metrics to help you understand how your investment is paying off.
Specialist agencies combine marketing strategies with very in-depth knowledge of your specific industry and your patients or clientele. They use both sources of information to capture the attention of potential clients and can help strategize ways with you to keep those clients for the long-term. More about Hip Agency can be found here and how they use their specialist approach to market and grow orthodontist clinics.
2. Improve Customer Satisfaction Services
Patients may need your services, but that doesn’t mean you can forgo customer service. Your customers should feel like they are in charge of their health. While some clinics may find that there is a lot of red tape in what you use, others won’t be as strict. It depends on what area of medicine that you use.
Generally, however, giving your patients an easy online portal is a great move for all clinics. This way, you can send automated reminders when it’s time for a dental cleaning, for example, or when a cervix exam is necessary. Similarly, you can have an online booking service or the ability to send requests, for example, if your retainer broke and you need a replacement.
These don’t mean that everything is handled online, just that a lot of admin can be handled online and automatically scheduled. The best part, for example, is that once an appointment is confirmed online, you can send an appointment request to your patient’s calendar app. You can also send out an automated text the day before, reminding them of their appointment.
To offer this sort of service, you are going to need a solution on your end. There are many data management programs that will do this for you, but you will need to stick to one that is designed for your type of clinic for the best results. Ensure that the choice you have in mind is compliant with your state’s laws and that you do everything in your power (including outsourcing IT security if necessary) to ensure that patient information is kept confidential and secure.
3. Cater to the Whole Family
The best way to grow your patient list is to have every family member sign up to your clinic. They don’t necessarily need to go, but so long as you know that your clinic is the one they go to when they need your services, you keep your options open.
An easy way to do this is to have each client sign up for their family at the point of registration. There are many incentives to doing so that you can advertise to your patient. For example with medical clinics, there may be a limited number of spaces that are open, and by signing up children now, they can be included as a patient when they are older.
4. Outreach Services
In many cases, people don’t get help from clinics like yours because they either don’t know why it is necessary or alternatively don’t believe that it is worthwhile to them. This is particularly true in regards to private clinics or with orthodontists.
Offering payment support plans can help make your services more accessible if your services are not traditionally offered as part of their healthcare insurance plan, but that still doesn’t solve the initial issue.
You can do this by offering outreach services instead. Get in touch with schools to host a talk that outlines the importance of oral health and how to do better at home, for example. Another option is to partner with businesses. For example, a business can offer their employees dental coverage as a benefit, so long as they go to you for coverage.
There are many ways that you can actually help the community as a whole while simultaneously improving your business. Awareness is critical. Educate those in your community, have them help themselves, and be the clinic they turn to when they need a professional.