Every business deals with the complexities of retaining customers. Maintaining customer loyalty is one of the best ways to ensure a business keeps a steady flow of revenue coming through its doors. Losing customers hurts businesses’ short-term profits and long-term plans.

Customer retention is even more difficult for physical therapists. The process of bringing a new patient into your practice, providing rehabilitation, and eventually getting the patient back to full health inevitably leads to some patients becoming inactive. However, many patients stop seeing their PT well before completing their course of care.

Inactivity is often the result of a failure to engage with patients. Effective communication with physical therapy patients can help break the cycle of losing patients prior to full recovery. In today’s world, being able to communicate with patients while you’re away from your brick-and-mortar location is a key to good patient retention.

How can a mobile app help with patient retention in physical therapy practice? The goal of this blog post is to show the benefits of adopting a mobile app that’s tied to the rest of your office’s communication network. Providing your team with a mobile app optimizes remote work and connection to your patients.

Call forwarding

In the past, landline phones limited how effectively physical therapists and their teams could work away from the office. Now, thanks to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phones, practice phone systems rely on the internet to connect in-office and mobile phones in one integrated network. If you haven’t already, strongly consider switching a VoIP phone system.

With VoIP phones and the right software, your front desk team can forward calls to employees that are out of the office. This way, patients are able to get the consultation they need and answers to questions sooner than later. An effective mobile app makes call forwarding to people working remotely quick and easy.

Changing office hours and voicemail override

The last year has been full of unexpected adjustments to your office hours and even temporary closures. In the event of emergency situations, holidays, and adjusted schedules, it can be a hassle going into the office to record a new voicemail and update office hours. A mobile app simplifies the process of changing your voicemail messaging and office hours.

Using a mobile app, flexibly adjust your hours without having to sort through a clumsy voicemail menu. Record voicemail overrides in advance to prepare for unforeseen closures or even early dismissals. You and your staff will appreciate the convenience of these features, and your patients will be better informed and engaged in the day-to-day happenings at your practice.

Two-way texting

Phones aren’t the only communication tool physical therapists should be employing to break the cycle of losing patients. Many consumers, especially younger ones, now prefer texts to phone calls. Starting a two-way text outreach with your patients is a powerful method for keeping them active throughout their course of care.

A mobile app ideally includes a way for you to text with your patients. If the app is aligned with your communication system, patients will receive texts not from your personal number, but from your business’s office number. Missed call auto texts let physical therapy patients know your office will return their call as soon as possible while offering the opportunity to chat with you or your staff via SMS.

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Automated scheduling

Perhaps one of the biggest problems facing physical therapists is ensuring their patients adhere to the schedule they’ve set up for rehabilitation. Previously, the only option for PT’s and their staff to notify customers of their appointments were manual calls, texts, emails, and mailers. Automation now allows you to send out automated appointment reminders and confirmations from your smartphone.

Even if you’re traveling or working from home, use a mobile app to view your upcoming appointments and make certain patients know about their scheduled visits. Automation is capable of registering confirmed appointments on your calendar and notifying your team of reschedules and cancellations. Physical therapists can use a scheduling tool to fill their calendar from the palm of their hand.

Quick Fill lists

Automated texting has other facets that allow you to improve your patient retention. For instance, from a mobile app, you and your team can create lists of patients that need to come in for a visit or pay an outstanding balance. Being able to quickly identify these patients prevents them from going inactive and losing contact with your clinic.

Quick Fill lists let you distribute text blasts to ten customers at a time, notifying them of openings in your schedule. So, even if you get no-shows from some patients, you’re able to reach out to others and keep them active. The more patients you convince to complete their full course of care, the healthier your practice will be.

Customer Insights

Some physical therapy practices lose patients due to generic communication. Keeping a personal touch with patients throughout their course of care is essential to boosting retention rates. A mobile app that’s connected to patient profiles ensures that your communication with customers is personalized even when you’re away from the office.

The types of insights available through a mobile app include patient birthdays, upcoming appointments, outstanding balances, family members, and notes from past visits. Whether you’re talking, texting, or emailing a customer, these insights let you handle a range of tasks and give patients options for staying engaged with their rehabilitation. When physical therapists demonstrate a familiarity with patients, they’re more likely to retain patient loyalty.

Team chat

Communication breakdowns don’t just occur between employees and patients; they happen within office teams as well. However, this miscommunication can still end up harming your patients. A mobile app that offers a team chat feature gives your practice an established place to communicate, even while working remotely.

A team chat that’s connected to your VoIP phones lets you communicate without taking up time on your phones. Employees can respond as soon as they have a free moment, resolving issues and answering questions that increase the likelihood of keeping a patient. Physical therapy practices that work together as a team have a better shot at guiding patients through the entirety of their rehab process.

Online reviews

Some patients might be tempted to switch physical therapists, not because your quality of service is low, but just to try a new approach to physical therapy. Using online reviews to prove your practice’s value improves patient retention and builds your reputation in your community. Online reviews have become more essential than traditional forms of advertising like newspaper ads, radio spots, billboards, and even personal recommendations.

The vast majority of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. A mobile app should give you and your team the ability to gather and monitor online reviews from a smartphone. This feature lets your practice continue to develop an online marketing strategy while you’re away from the office.

Mobile analytics

The past few decades have ushered in new standards for collecting data in order to understand how businesses are performing. Although large corporations are perhaps best known for their data-driven approach, modern software makes analytical tools available to small- and medium-sized businesses as well. Physical therapists should look to analytical tools to better gage the health of their practice.

After attempting to optimize all you can to prevent patient attrition, you may still be running into a wall. Analytics allow you to dig into statistics and grasp what exactly is stifling your patient retention. From a mobile app, check up on your call volume, unscheduled patients, inactive patients, and payments.

Faxing

Some may think that fax machines have entirely disappeared, but they still have their place in the business world. If you’re working remotely, tracking down a fax machine can be a major inconvenience. Physical therapists and their employees often have to go all the way back to the office just to send or receive a fax.

The right mobile app lets you send and receive faxes from your smartphone. You won’t be able to create a physical copy without a printer, but sometimes simply getting a document to your patient is a gesture that preserves their loyalty. Having as many office tools as possible available through your iPhone or Android lets you take action and improve retention no matter your location.

Break the cycle of losing patients with Weave’s mobile app

Weave’s mobile app is designed to connect physical therapists to their office and their patients while they’re traveling, working remotely, or simply out of the office. Our communication tools let you call and text your patients like you would from your office number. Your team can use the mobile app to schedule appointments, pull up patient information, collect reviews, check analytics, and handle faxes.

To learn more about how Weave’s mobile app can improve your patient retention, watch a demo.