Are you frustrated that your patient base is not growing, or worse, shrinking? If you're looking to grow your medical practice you need to look beyond what entices someone to sign up as a new patient. Maybe more importantly, you should consider why some people have decided to move onto another doctor.
Some things that are out of your control, such as if a current patient moves out of town or changes to an insurance plan you don’t accept. However, there are plenty of reasons people change doctors that can be avoided.
They Don’t Understand Your Services
Sometimes a patient is unaware of all the services you provide. Part of an effective medical marketing strategy is to inform your patients about the services you offer on a repeat basis. This point may not apply to general practitioners, but cosmetic practices will need to market their services more.
If your competition is marketing a medical specialty, your patient may assume you don’t provide it. The best place to plug your services is when your patient is sitting in the chair. Strike up conversation and go from there.
They Think You Don't Care
Most likely this is not true, but sometimes perception becomes reality. While the health services of your medical practice are the most important part of what you do, creating a caring relationship with your patients is the difference between an average practice and one that flourishes.
Most people aren’t that crazy about going to see a doctor, which is why a little empathy will go a long way. Just be communicative and have a friendly demeanor. As a patient, there’s nothing colder than feeling like you’re just being pushed through the system as fast as possible.
The sense of caring needs to also extend to your office staff and how they interact with patients. You’re usually so busy being a doctor that you may not always realize how your staff handles your patients. They may be perfect when it comes to the rest of their job, but if they don’t have social skills they may be doing you more harm than good. Try to keep tabs on how they interact with patients. Do they look patients in the eye and interact with them in a friendly and personal way? If they don’t make a heartfelt effort to connect with patients, it’s time to have a staff meeting.
You and your staff have worked hard to build your medical practice. Don’t let all that hard work be wasted by not paying close attention to the important details like customer service. A little extra effort can go a long way towards retaining your patients and taking your practice to the next level.