You’ve most likely heard the old sales cornerstone that it’s cheaper to keep a customer than it is to acquire a new one. That’s just the way it is, and the same holds true for patients. One of the easiest ways to grow your medical practice without increasing marketing costs tremendously is to market to your existing, loyal patients. These are the folks that will bring you a stack of positive referrals, repeat business and, thus, long-term success.
That’s why I continually harp on marketing to patients who’re already in love with your and everything you do for them. It’s cheap, easy and effective. What more could you ask for from your marketing efforts? To begin, read on to find out a few simple tips that can help you take your business to the next level with your current patient database.
I know, I know. You’ve heard this before, but the truth is, in this ever-changing, ever-crowded marketplace being personable and, dare I say, remembering something about a majority of patients goes a long way. But it’s more than just getting to know them, you have to let them get to know you too, and your entire practice for that matter.
Letting patients get to know your practice is the easy part. If they come in for a bunion treatment, there should be signage that you also treat all types of foot/ankle sports injuries and can offer them custom orthotics, too. A simple poster or pamphlet can do the trick – and suddenly the patient is aware of six other services you offer they never even considered you for before reading that sign. This will help them spread the good word with people they know and keep you top of mind in case they need to come back for a new treatment to a new problem.
The harder part is letting them get to know you. I always suggest having bio cards readily available as well as videos in your lobby or on your website that allow patients to get to know who you are away from the office. It’s comforting to know that you’re a human being too with a family and not just another stereotypical white coat.
Data is Your Best Friend
When you want to market to your existing customer base, you are only as good as the data you keep. Make sure to get as much detailed information as possible from patients and keep good track of it. Demographics, what they came in for, what they may be interested in, what their family may be interested in – it’s all valuable when you need to market a particular segment of your practice. The best mailing list you can have to market a promotion you’re doing is one of current patients who may be interested in the service.
If you have a good way to pull segmented patient lists in an organized, easily attainable way, start doing that now. Like this instant.
You’ve run into patients who are amazed at the results you helped them achieve. The surgery or treatment or advice you gave has changed their life and they’re fans of yours forever. Take this opportunity to grab some written or recorded testimonials from them for use in your advertising materials, on your website and around the office.
This idea goes back to the old saying of perception being reality. If all these people think you’re great, well then you must be great.
Here’s an example of a testimonial we received for one of our clients (NOTE: The patient says,”I wish I had a video like this when I was looking for my doctor”:
Thank You Letters
Think of it like this: your car is making a knocking sound so you take it to the mechanic. When you go to pick it up, you have a brief but pleasant talk with the gentleman who fixed your car, the knock is gone and you’re happy to tell your friends it’s all better. Then, a few days later you get a personalized Thank You letter from the mechanic saying how much he appreciated your business. How much more likely are you to recommend him now? Not only did he do a great job fixing your car, but he went out of his way to show his appreciation for you too.
Not only are you going to tell more people about him, but you’re probably going to be sure to take your car there every time something goes wrong. See where I’m going here? If you go the extra mile for patients, they will return the favor and your entire practice will be better off for it.
What Are You Waiting For?
Now that you know a few of the tricks to maintaining your patient base while increasing revenue, it’s up to you and your staff to get out there and make the most of every patient that walks through your doors. Oh and remember to smile. That always helps. A lot.