If your healthcare organization struggles to acquire new patients, it could be a sign that your practice isn’t connecting with potential patients effectively. You may need to rethink your healthcare marketing strategies to reach the right audience at the right time. If you’re looking to drive success for your healthcare facility, patient engagement, retention, and acquisition are key.
For healthcare providers, the challenge lies in finding the right balance between attracting new patients and retaining existing ones. To help you achieve this balance, we’ve put together a guide on how to drive success through patient acquisition and retention.
Patient Acquisition vs. Patient Retention
Patient acquisition is the process of attracting new patients to your practice, while patient retention aims to keep existing patients happy and coming back. It’s important to note that the cost of attracting new patients is significantly higher than retaining current patients.
In fact, it costs five times as much to gain a new patient than to retain an existing one. Moreover, the probability of selling to an existing patient is much higher than to a new prospect, with existing patients being 50% more likely to try new products and spending 31% more compared to new patients.
Patient acquisition is crucial to meeting yearly revenue goals, expanding existing services, addressing community health concerns, and building a loyal consumer base. Your health system must have a well-crafted outreach strategy that puts your brand in front of high-value prospects who need to see a healthcare professional. The goal is to make your healthcare practice memorable enough that consumers keep your name top of mind when they make their next healthcare decision. This puts patient engagement at the forefront of patient acquisition.
8 Strategies to Increase Patient Engagement, Acquisition and Retention
As a healthcare provider, patient acquisition and retention should be top of mind. While patient retention will provide the most return on investment, patient acquisition is essential for building a strong patient base and growing your practice. Here are eight strategies you can use:
1. Prioritize Your Online Presence and Digital Access Points
Having plenty of digital access points is essential for patient acquisition. Building a robust online presence can help you reach prospective patients on the platforms they use most. Ensure that your healthcare facility has a solid digital presence across various digital platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, and other online directories.
You can also utilize a mobile app that allows patients to schedule appointments, get reminders, and access their health records on the go. The more access points you have, the more chances you will have to convert prospective patients into loyal ones.
2. Offer Online and Self-service Scheduling Options
Offering online and self-service scheduling options is vital to a successful healthcare marketing campaign. Patients today want convenience, and being able to book appointments online or through self-service pages provides them with a level of flexibility and control they appreciate.
Not only does offering online and self-service scheduling improve the patient experience, but it may also benefit your healthcare facility. By automating the scheduling process, staff time can be freed up to focus on other tasks, ultimately resulting in cost savings. Additionally, online scheduling may reduce the number of missed appointments, which is a common issue for healthcare providers.
3. Maintain an Easy Onboarding Process
In healthcare, first impressions matter. Patients who feel overwhelmed or confused during their first interaction with your practice may be hesitant to return. That’s why it’s important to prioritize an easy onboarding process.
A seamless onboarding process can set the tone for a positive patient experience. From initial contact to the first appointment, the process should be straightforward. Here are some tips for maintaining a smooth onboarding process:
Streamline paperwork: Paperwork may be a significant source of frustration for patients. Consider offering online forms that patients can fill out before their first appointment to save time and reduce stress.
Provide clear instructions: Make sure patients know what to expect during their first appointment. Provide clear instructions on what to bring, where to park, and how to find your office.
Be available to answer questions: Patients may have questions or concerns about their first appointment. Make sure you or a member of your staff are available to answer these questions and put patients at ease.
Follow-up after the first appointment: A follow-up call or email can go a long way in making patients feel valued and appreciated. Use this opportunity to thank patients for choosing your practice and ask if they have any feedback about their experience.
4. Respond to Reviews and Encourage Positive Feedback
According to a survey, 76% of people read online reviews before visiting a business. By not responding to reviews, you risk losing potential patients who are looking for feedback about your services. Additionally, professionally responding to negative reviews can help mitigate their impact on your practice’s reputation.
Encouraging positive feedback from satisfied patients is equally important. Happy patients are more likely to leave positive reviews, which may attract new patients. You can promote positive feedback by providing a seamless patient experience, offering exceptional customer service, and soliciting feedback through surveys or follow-up calls. Remember, word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool, and happy patients are more likely to refer their friends and family to your practice.
5. Create Engaging Healthcare Content
It’s not enough to solely advertise your healthcare services. You need to provide your audience with informative, educational, and engaging content that will keep them interested and coming back for more. There are many types of healthcare content that you can create, including blog posts, infographics, videos, and social media posts. The key is to find the right balance between educational and promotional content.
One effective way to create engaging healthcare content is to focus on trending topics and current events. Another effective approach is to personalize your content to your target audience. For example, if you specialize in pediatrics, you could create content specifically tailored to parents and children. Finally, remember to use visual elements to make your content more engaging. This could include infographics, videos, or even eye-catching images.
Creating engaging healthcare content may position your healthcare practice as an authoritative and trustworthy source of information. This may build brand awareness, establish trust with potential patients, and ultimately lead to increased patient engagement and acquisition.
6. Make an Impact Through Volunteering and Community Engagement
When healthcare facilities participate in community events and support local organizations, they create a positive image and increase visibility. Patients often choose healthcare providers based on recommendations from friends and family. The more your community knows about your practice, the more likely they are to recommend your services to others.
Community engagement and volunteering can be used as a platform for healthcare facilities to showcase their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Consumers are increasingly seeking socially responsible brands, and healthcare providers are no exception. Communicating the impact of your community engagement and volunteer efforts may build a reputation as a socially responsible organization and attract like-minded clientele who value this kind of patient engagement.
7. Have a Healthy Balance of Paid and Organic Advertising
To effectively improve patient engagement, it’s imperative to have a balance between paid and organic advertising. While both approaches have advantages and disadvantages, finding the right balance for your healthcare practice is essential. Paid advertising can offer quick and targeted results but can also be expensive. On the other hand, organic advertising takes longer to gain traction but can be more cost-effective in the long run. When deciding on the right mix of paid and organic advertising, consider your budget and goals.
Paid advertising includes tactics such as:
Organic advertising includes tactics such as:
- Organic social media posts
- Content marketing
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Online reputation management
- Email marketing
8. Carefully Track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) is crucial in healthcare marketing to assess the success of marketing campaigns and identify areas for improvement. In addition, KPIs help healthcare organizations monitor their performance and measure the success of their patient acquisition and retention strategies.
Some of the key performance indicators healthcare facilities should track include:
- Website traffic: Tracking website traffic can help healthcare organizations understand the effectiveness of their website and content marketing strategies.
- Conversion rate: Conversion rate measures the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action, such as booking an appointment or signing up for a newsletter.
- Cost per acquisition (CPA): CPA measures the cost of acquiring a new patient.
- Customer lifetime value (CLV): CLV estimates the total value a patient will bring to the healthcare organization throughout their lifetime.
- Social media engagement: Measuring social media engagement, such as likes, shares, comments, and followers, can help healthcare organizations assess the effectiveness of their social media marketing strategies.
- Return on investment (ROI): ROI measures the revenue generated from a marketing campaign relative to the cost of the campaign.
By carefully tracking these KPIs, healthcare organizations can make data-driven decisions and optimize their marketing campaigns for maximum impact. Tracking KPIs also helps healthcare organizations to identify patient engagement strategies that are working and those that need improvement. Therefore, healthcare organizations need to track KPIs in order to effectively improve patient engagement.
Enhance Your Practice’s Patient Engagement Strategy with Levo Health
Are you ready to take your healthcare marketing to the next level and improve your practice’s patient base? Contact Levo Health today to learn more about our proven strategies and how we can help you reach your goals. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to build a loyal patient base and outpace the competition. Let’s work together to advance your practice and patient engagement to new heights.