Medicine is a field that presents a unique host of challenges when it comes to marketing. It is vital to the health and longevity of your practice, whether it be a specialty-driven office or a general practitioner, that you not only retain current clients but also regularly attract new ones. Many individuals within the medical field might be surprised to learn that word of mouth marketing can still make a difference in today's high tech world. Though it may seem somewhat outdated, this form of communication and advertising is still incredibly valuable for doctors looking to grow their client base and boost patient retention. Take a look at a few factors to consider when approaching word of mouth marketing.
Focus on patient satisfaction
One of the most challenging aspects of word of mouth marketing is that there really isn't much you can do, outside of raw performance, to catalyze it among your patients. With this said, the most important focal point to increase your marketing presence in this regard is patient satisfaction. When you perform your services to an optimal level, maintain healthy and well established relationships with your patients and gain their trust over time, the dividends paid back to you will be massive. More often than not, these benefits will come in the form of referrals from word of mouth marketing. A patient who is extremely pleased with your practice is far more likely to recommend it to a friend seeking the same procedure than one who was simply fine with your work. This trend can be reflected on a much larger scale. For example, Medical Scribe Journal reported that hospitals with more satisfied patients are far more likely to have a high overall patient volume than those who do not.
Make low-tech high-tech
While word of mouth marketing may not be the most technologically inclined process out there, it need not exist without a boost from your electronic medical records system. With Nextech's electronic health records system, you'll be able to track referral sources such as patients and how much new business each of these sources has generated.
"With Nextech's EHR, you'll be able to track referral sources."
With this in mind, you could begin to offer additional incentives, such as loyalty programs for multiple referrals, to further bolster your good name. Should you choose not to implement such a program, the EHR can still be extremely useful in determining how much revenue you are earning off of new business and referrals, which is vital knowledge if you are looking to expand.
Word of mouth marketing shouldn't be coming exclusively from your patients. While they undoubtedly have the ability to build a stronger client base for you, it's important to recognize the potential for meaningful marketing among your medical colleagues. If you run a specialty practice, be sure to network with the other doctors and general practitioners that you know. This way, if their patients are looking for a podiatrist, an ophthalmologist or any other specialty doctor, they'll already have you in mind.
In fact, Wheel Healthcare recently tweeted an article listing referral marketing among the seven strategies every practice should implement.