It’s time to reconsider how you market your private practice and put the emphasis on retaining patients, not just attracting new ones.
What’s more important, bringing in new business or keeping current patients happy?
Of course, the answer is that both are vitally important… but too often, private practice owners focus almost exclusively on attracting new patients. The thing is, if you’re looking for long-term success in private practice, the bulk of your attention should focus on the patients you already have.
After all, the most effective marketing tool out there is word of mouth and patient referrals to friends and family. But those things won’t happen unless you are truly meeting patients’ needs and fully exceeding (not just meeting) their expectations.
Unfortunately, it’s too easy to assume that your current patients are happy with you and simply hope that they refer when they have a chance.
There are two major problems with this approach. First, patients rarely refer unless you give them a gentle and frequent reminder—it’s just not on their minds to talk you up to friends and family unless you are direct about it on a regular basis. Second, most unhappy patients won’t complain to you. They will simply disappear, and only those friends and family will hear their complaints!
To complicate things even more, patient satisfaction is built on so much more than their clinical interaction with you, the provider.
What really makes or breaks the patient experience—and the likelihood that they will speak positively about you to others—is the customer service experience. That’s everything from the first phone call to how the waiting room looks and feels, the length of time that clinical staff spend with them, and follow-up from you and/or office staff about their visit.
The next time you are wearing your marketing cap as a private practice owner, consider this: you are three times as likely to keep the business of a fully satisfied patient than to get an initial visit from a brand-new patient through external marketing.
Doesn’t it make sense, then, to spend three times as much effort on retaining existing patients and asking for referrals?
These kinds of details are hard for private practice owners to navigate on their own. Looking for expert assistance in marketing and other business aspects of private practice? We can help!
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I wish you the best along your journeys!
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Have a great day!
The PPW team