Your patients stand at the heart of everything you do as an audiologist. The following 9 tips can help you build and strengthen patient relationships so they keep coming back—and bring their friends and family along as well.
1. Smart Marketing
You can’t keep patients you don’t have, so allot part of your budget to consistent marketing efforts. Create a brand that patients can rely on. Dedicate some resources to a professionally-done, SEO-savvy, customer-focused website that provides useful resources for your patients and prospective patients and make it shareable across social media. Email marketing, direct mail, blogs, video tutorials and all printed materials should all be patient focused and brand consistent.
2. Shock and Awe Your Patients with Fabulous Customer Service
Everyone in the office should go above and beyond during each phase of the patient encounter. Patients should feel your warmth, eagerness to help, openness and genuine concern during all phases of their visit. Staying current with the latest technology and developments and sharing them passionately and compassionately with your patients with the goal of making their lives better will endear you to them—and their friends and family too.
3. Love Your Job
Nobody wants to visit a medical office where anyone on the team seems unhappy to be there. Constantly strive to stay on top of the latest developments in your field and stay excited about what you do. Keep the morale of all your staff high so that they are always ready to share that excitement with your patients.
4. Make Every Interaction Count
Every moment of contact you have with your patients matters. Everything from the response they get when they fill out an online form to their experience calling for an appointment can be a moment where you make a great impression. From the moment they walk through the front door to the moment they are discussing their bill with the staff, patients should feel like they are your top priority whenever you are interacting with them. Every interaction should be warm, personal, and genuine. Asking them how they’re doing and then listening goes a long way! After all, isn’t helping patients connect with people a major part of your job?
5. Be a Community Resource
Get outside the office and participate in local events and reach out to local news outlets with information about preventing hearing loss, letting people know about the latest developments in hearing aid technology and more. Bring free trinkets to give away to spread your brand message. Let your current patients know where you will be when you’re attending these events and invite them to participate.
6. Have a Loyalty Program
Always let your current patients know you appreciate them by providing them with special “members only” benefits like discounts on cleanings or batteries, vouchers, refer-a-friend discounts, and other special freebies. This solidifies patient loyalty.
7. Use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Program
A CRM can more effectively help you and your staff keep track of all the interactions you have with your patients including things like:
- Their birthday (so you can send cards)
- Their last responses to any marketing efforts
- How well their condition is being managed
And much more! A system like this can help you better customize future engagement efforts so that each patient feels more rewarded and special during each interaction with you and your team.
Who doesn’t love freebies? Before a patient leaves your office, send them along with an inexpensive, but useful gift like extra batteries, mold cleaning tablets, spare tubes and tips, refill drying tablets—even a cookie and a cup of coffee. These little gestures, given with a smile and genuine caring go a long, long way toward helping your patients feel valued.
9. Make them Part of the Family
When you send birthday and holiday cards, and invite them to a monthly coffee or a community event, patients really feel that you truly care about and count on them. This sense of belonging is critical to patient retention. Even ask them to “buddy-up” with new patients as resources for learning about how to live with hearing aids, protecting their hearing and commiserating on overcoming hearing loss as someone who’s been there. This inclusion is priceless for patients and for your practice.
Patients who feel special and well cared for are loyal patients. So put these patient retention tips in action at your practice and call us for individually-tailored ideas today!
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