No matter what kind of doctor you are, having a steady stream of new patients in your healthcare practice is always desirable. The concept of how to get more patients might seem overly broad, but there are proven techniques to open the floodgates. This article will give you the scoop.
2 Most Popular Questions on How to Generate More Patients
When it comes to new patients, the two most common questions we encounter are:
- How do you acquire a patient?
- How can I get more patients in one day?
There is some overlap in the healthcare marketing strategies that will help a medical practice accomplish these goals, but we’re going to tackle each question individually and provide actionable steps to help you create a growing practice without sacrificing the patient experience.
How Do You Acquire a Patient?
Before a new patient can schedule an appointment, they first have to know that your medical practice exists. In digital marketing, the AIDA model is often cited as a customer acquisition model. AIDA is an abbreviation for:
Once you’re familiar with the model, it seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised by how many healthcare marketing professionals expect people to take action without first knowing about a solution, being interested enough in it to engage or request more information, and then develop a desire for that solution.
Taking a person from not knowing you exist to becoming a new patient doesn’t have to take a long time, but it does require a systematic process to build awareness of your practice and guide potential patients into your waiting room.
We’ve included several tips below that facilitate this process, and it works whether you’re a dentist, podiatrist, physical therapy provider or any other type of physician.
Improve staff communication through a professional chat platform
Creating a system that acquires new patients at scale requires having your internal operations running like a well-oiled machine. To encourage streamlined and efficient communication, we recommend having a chat platform that you can use internally to keep everyone in the loop in real-time.
Instead of exchanging countless emails back and forth and having time-sensitive tasks and patient information fall through the cracks, you can utilize a chat platform to ensure that each team member is on the same page.
There are plenty of third-party platforms that accomplish this, but make sure that you use something that is HIPAA-compliant. You can also utilize Weave’s team chat functionality to achieve this goal.
Connect with patients through social media
Social media isn’t just for sharing food pictures or catching up with friends and family. The average person spends 145 minutes per day on social media, scrolling through content and gathering information.
You might be surprised to see how many new patients will gravitate toward your office if you share timely updates and valuable information! Being active on social media can also increase engagement with your current patients.
Gather and monitor online reviews
93% of people check online reviews before making a buying decision, including choosing a primary care doctor, dentist, or healthcare provider.
You can (and should) make an effort to collect positive online reviews that reflect the quality of health care you provide. Ask your staff to request reviews from satisfied existing patients after an appointment, include an option to review your practice on your website, and send email newsletters that include testimonials to encourage current patients to leave their own patient reviews.
9 out of 10 people check online reviews before choosing a business
Weave helps you easily collect and monitor reviews on Google and Facebook. These reviews can be some of the best marketing for your business.
Make a good first impression with a great website & service
You already know you need a website that looks professional, loads quickly, and functions well on a mobile device. But have you also considered how your phone system affects the quality of your service?
You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to update your phone system. Weave Phones has powerful features that integrate with your practice management software to identify callers, pull up existing patients’ medical records, and track internal and external activities for powerful insights.
Make it possible for patients to self-book 24/7
Okay, so a prospective patient has decided that they want to make an appointment. They call your office and get voicemail, so they decide to dial the next number on the list of potential offices, and you’ve lost the option to acquire this new patient forever.
By giving prospective patients self-service options to book their own appointments, you can capture revenue that would have previously been lost. Weave scheduling software also includes automated reminders to help reduce no-shows and save your staff time.
How Can I Get More Patients in One Day?
Once you’ve gotten a system in place to acquire more new patients, the next step is to optimize your schedule so that you can be more efficient and serve as many people as possible in a given week without sacrificing patient satisfaction.
The following marketing solutions can help.
Find a scheduling tool that fills cancellations and gaps quickly
Cluster booking can help a doctor be more efficient and prevent staff members from sitting idly, but it’s not always easy to ensure a schedule has no gaps, especially if you’re trying to do everything manually.
Even more challenging is dealing with last-minute cancellations. If a patient cancels their appointment without a lot of notice, you run the risk of missing out on valuable revenue. However, if you can fill that appointment time, you can prevent taking a financial hit and potentially delight a patient who was hoping to be seen sooner.
For example, with Weave Scheduling, you can set up your system to automatically send a personalized message to a patient (or group of patients) when there’s a last-minute opening.
Impress your patients so that they voluntarily refer your practice
Referrals can be an incredible source of new patients, but encouraging your existing patients to refer new people to your practice can take some effort. Fortunately, Weave has built a system that can prompt satisfied patients to leave a review with automated (and personalized) text messages. You set the schedule and write the marketing copy; Weave does the rest.
Ask happy patients for referrals before they leave appointments
You don’t have to rely solely on marketing technology to get reviews. Instead, we recommend combining technology with good old-fashioned “service with a smile” to see your review count climb into the double and triple digits.
As a patient is leaving their appointment, a simple request to leave a review on their preferred platform can go a long way. Most people are happy to write testimonials if they’ve received excellent service, but they might not think to do it without a friendly reminder.
Even if you implement only one of the marketing tips provided in this article, you’re bound to see an uptick in patients. However, if you take a more balanced approach and add each of these tactics to your patient acquisition strategy, you can expect to see your growth skyrocket.
Weave gives you all the tools you need to grow your practice sustainably with best practices designed to delight your patients and make life easier for your team. Contact us to schedule a demo.