Patient Acquisition and Retention 101
In today’s environment allied health professionals need to work smarter, not harder, to acquire new patients and retain existing customers.
Dentists, physiotherapists, chiropractors, massage therapists and other allied health businesses operate in an extremely competitive environment. Patients have choice, so the most successful practitioners know they need to differentiate their practice.
The rise of smart phones and connectiveness has changed customer behaviour. Postcards in letterboxes used to be a popular marketing method, while they can still work, they now form one piece of a multi-channel approach to Allied Health Marketing
The right technology can attract more customers through your doors, and increase repeat business. This is where geo-targeting, easy payment options, online bookings and loyalty apps are the secrets in growing your allied health business.
Location-based marketing, or geo-targeting, is one of the best ways to convert foot traffic and online traffic into new customers. People who may never have heard of you, or may never have considered using your service, can be persuaded to try your business for the first time.
Geo-fencing allows you to trigger the right message at the right time and place. You may already have implemented a form of geo-targeting by focusing Facebook ads or Google Adwords campaigns to geographical areas within a few kilometres of your practice address.
A lot of marketing spend can be wasted if your ads are targeted to an audience that live too far away from your practice. Click through rates for the ad will suffer and you will likely have a high cost-per-lead. It’s a good idea in your adverts to make it really clear upfront where you are located to avoid people clicking your ads and not converting to a lead.
A ‘newbie’ special to attract new business is often an effective marketing strategy in allied health businesses. Once you have attracted that customer it is your job to turn them into a repeat customer and advances in technology is helping being able to do this.
It costs between 4 and 10 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. Creating loyal customers needs to be an important part of your marketing effort.
Introducing a loyalty program can be a great way to do this. The traditional physical loyalty cards are being replaced with mobile options. Using an automated rewards app to offer discounts, coupons, cash back, gift cards, points or freebies personalised to your customers, will have customers returning to your practice again and again.
Special touches such as holiday or birthday messages can make a client feel important.
Patients also remain loyal to businesses where the business makes it easy for them to get in contact with you.
Online bookings tools make it simple for people to book and know your availability. No-one these days has the time to ring around to find a suitable time to make an appointment.
There are lots of scheduling tools available that can be integrated with your calendar to show real-time availability of appointments on your website. Not only does this make customers lives easier, it allows you to create efficiencies in your bookings flow.
Make payments seamless
People also want the experience after they have had their allied health treatment to be seamless. This is where the right payments system can keep your customers coming back.
Patients may not always notice a great payment experience, but they do notice a bad one. So little touches like having a mobile EFTPOS terminal so you can take payment wherever you are in the practice can make all the difference.
The speed of a transaction is so important in today’s time poor world. Tap & Go/Pay Wave capability is now expected from customers. There is nothing more frustrating for a client than having to separately lodge a claim from their health fund, so the integrated Tyro’s Healthpoint technology streamlines the EFTPOS payment and Health Fund claim process creating an all-round better experience for your customers.
Technology advancements and the use of mobile technology is only going to become even more integral to attracting and retaining allied health customers going forward. Integrations between your Practice Management Software devices and payment device also give you greater insight into creating efficiencies and increasing profits within your practice.
Is your allied health practice future proof?