~ Lori Werner, Medical Marketing Whiz
Doctors are constantly trying to attract new clients into their practice. However, it is important to understand why patients leave a practice. Why do patients switch physicians or switch dentists and go to a competitor?
After working with hundreds of doctors across the US and talking to them about why their patients leave, Glenn and I have come up with a list of what we believe are the five main reasons that patients leave the practice. Then, I want to give you a couple of tips to help you offset that and slow down the rate of patients leaving the practice.
The first reason that patients leave a practice is really an uncontrollable factor such an insurance change or a move. These are not things that you can necessarily control. However, the next four reasons are things that you can control and you need to be aware of.
The second reason why patients leave a practice is that they think that your office does not offer what they want. Nine times out of ten your office actually does offer what they want it's just that patients don't know it. Many physicians simply think, "We have brochures in the waiting room. They should know that we offer X". But, believe it or not, they don't.
The law of marketing is that you need to tell someone something seven times before they actually take action. Its such a shame if a patient leaves a practice thinking that the office don't do a specific procedure or doesn't offer a certain service, when you actually do.
That leads me to the third reason that patients leave; They don't know the services you provide. This is why medical marketing is so critical. It allows you to let your patients know in multiple ways all the different things that you do. You have it on your website, social media, marketing materials, and in your email newsletter. You talk about it at seminars and events, and out in the community.
The fourth reason that patients leave a practice is a negative online reputation. Your patients ARE looking you up online. They see the reviews and and often judge a practice based on what those reviews say.
When was the last time was that you googled your name or medical practice name? Google review are the most important, so look at Google first. If your reviews average anything less than four stars, you have some work to do. You should have a goal of having at least fifty 5 star Google reviews as quickly as possible. This is part of the what we do for our clients. When you work with Medical Marketing Whiz, we help you get those five star reviews very quickly.
One thing that you'll notice when read the reviews is a lot of negative reviews are often a result of a staff member interaction, and not the physician. Unfortunately, your staff could be ruining your online reputation. You need to make sure that your staff is on board with your online reviews because, unfortunately sometimes a staff member is rude or short with a patient and that patient is going write that review under your name, even though the situation was not related to your patient care.
The last reason that patients leave your practice is because they don't believe that you care. This has to do with your team's attitude....How they answer the phone...How they greet patients...how they communicate. If you're running behind, is your front desk staff proactive and letting patients know why they're running behind? Giving patients that simple courtesy is an easy way to make patients feel like you care about them. Spending time educating patients and connecting with them using social media and your monthly email newsletter is an excellent way to build that relationship and trust.
So,oOut of the five things we just talked about, four of the five of them are controllable factors. Working on your marketing and having a total team approach can really make a world of difference in your patient loyalty and makes it that much easier for you to attract new patients and grow your practice.
Hopefully this information was helpful! If you are looking for any additional marketing tips check out our website www.medicalmarketingwhiz.com. We have a free webinar, ebooks, and social media signs all on there to help you.