The Secret to Improving Patient Retention
Patient retention is a pain point for many healthcare providers. Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve seen some of your long-term patients. Or, maybe your team has been struggling to book a second appointment for new patients. Whatever the issue, you’re not alone!
But what if we told you that the secret to improving patient retention is more simple than you might think?
One of the most important, but often overlooked, factors to increasing patient retention is… drumroll please… an integrated patient relationship management strategy!
Patient relationship management refers to a system that is implemented to ensure that patients are receiving the highest quality care at each stage of their healthcare journey. From their first phone call to their tenth appointment with you, your PRM strategy should inform how your patients are treated and cared for at your office.
In addition to boosting patient retention, an effective patient relationship management system can also reduce no-shows, increase patient recall, streamline your office efficiencies, and create a positive reputation for your practice.
Wondering how you can get started? Follow these 3 easy steps to developing a patient relationship management strategy for your practice.
1. Provide Excellent Customer Service
While this one may seem obvious, exceptional customer service is a cornerstone of any great PRM strategy, even in the healthcare industry. In fact, 53% of patients list customer service as an important value in a healthcare provider.
Failure to deliver good customer service could be catastrophic for patient retention. Companies will lose about 71% of consumers due to poor customer service. Don’t worry, though. Your practice won’t become a part of that statistic if you take measures to provide consistent quality customer service.
How to make a great first impression
The first place to start with great customer service is at a patient’s first interaction with you. Research suggests that you and your practice have about 7 seconds to make a good first impression on a potential client. We know this sounds a little intimidating, but there are steps you can take to make sure you are putting your best foot forward.
1. Create a professional website.
A well-designed professional website signals to both current and potential patients that your practice is a credible. Make sure your website is mobile-responsive, user-friendly, and easy to navigate so that your patients can learn everything they need to know about your practice and services. Bonus points if they can contact you or request appointments directly through your site!
2. Wow patients on the first phone call.
Have you ever called a business only to reach an unenthusiastic, unhelpful service representative? This can instantly impact your judgement about the business, maybe even causing you to hang up and call another company.
Train your staff members on how you would like them to talk with your patients, both on and off the phone. If there are certain greetings you prefer or language you would like them to use, let them know. You may also want to create print outs for new employees that are learning the ropes.
Don’t forget, cheerfulness and politeness go a long way!
2. Manage Your Online Reputation
Business directory listing sites often have a feature that allows consumers to leave ratings and reviews about businesses on the platform.
When current patients go online to find your phone number or address, they may stumble across these business directory listings. Do you know what kind of feedback is your practice receiving online? Considering 90% of people are influenced by online reviews, you want to make sure it’s positive!
To learn more about generating reviews for your practice, click here.
3. Maintain Patient Communication
Communication is a fundamental aspect of any successful patient relationship management strategy. It allows you to truly create positive relationships between your patients and your practice, which in turn can increase your patient retention rate.
Between emails, social media, and traditional phone calls, there are countless ways you can maintain communication with your patients. It’s important that you distinguish which kinds of information should be translated in which medium. For example, educational resources and monthly offers should probably be sent through email or posted to your Facebook page. However, appointment reminders may have better visibility when sent through text message.
Text has surpassed email and phone calls as patients’ most preferred method of communication, with 79% of people agreeing that they like text messages from their provider. To find out which medium is best for your patients, just ask! You can do this by either including this question on an intake form or your staff can simply take note of their preferences.
Short on time? You may want to consider an automated patient relationship management system that will save your staff valuable time on administrative tasks.
Implement a PRM Strategy at Your Practice
The three simple methods we covered in this article will help you create an effective patient relationship management strategy designed to inspire patient retention at your practice.
Want to take things a step further? We can help you with goals like increasing your website’s ranking on Google, building your social media following, and targeting local patients with paid advertising. Contact us to learn how we can help you reach your business goals.
For more information on how to foster healthy patient relationships, check out these resources
How to Encourage Clients to Leave Feedback
Top 6 Ways to Engage With Your Patients
7 Tips to Build Patient Loyalty