We find ourselves again nearing the end of another financial year (already!)
Here’s some tips on how to make 2018/19 a better year for your medical business
Tip 1: Data capture
This is one of the simplest things we can do as a business – but surprisingly, very few medical businesses are doing it. If you can include this as one of your front desk’s key practices you will find yourself ahead of the game. For all medical practices, clinics, hospitals and service providers should include a field of “How did you hear about us” in your new patient history forms. If you have a medical website, include a downloadable item that requires a data capture field such as name and email address. If you are a medical specialist, clinic or hospital, regularly review your referrer data through your practice management software. Be aware of who your top referrers are, who is increasing and who is dropping off.
Why is data capture important? Analysis of this data will provide you with valuable insights on how your clients found you and allow you to develop marketing strategies based on results. Once you have the data captured, be sure to track it against different criteria, including time periods and geography and correlate it back to different marketing activities, ie Google AdWords, social media posts, newspaper article, education seminar; So you have a consistent easy to read record of new patient acquisition based against activities. This analysis will then help you to determine what activity is delivering results and where to spend your time and marketing money in the future.
Tip 2: Implement Surveys
Surveys can be a powerful tool and results are often very surprising. A well constructed survey can be used to dig deep into what your patient is actually experiencing at the coal face of your business and most importantly; can identify necessary changes. Quantitative research is quite a science and data is easy to skew, so survey questions need to be well considered. Survey questions should be balanced to highlight the negative and positive sections of your business. If the survey just tells you the negative things that can’t be changed it won’t be valuable to you. Carefully work through your survey questions to ensure you are able to use the results found as a basis to identify areas of strength, weaknesses and opportunity and implement any necessary changes.
Tip 3: Conduct online audits
There is so much information online now, but are you sure your online information is accurate? Conduct an online audit on Yellow pages, White pages, True Local and other directory listings to check if your online details are correct. Check your practice details as well as each individual doctor’s details. Look for and check address, phone numbers, spelling errors.
What is being said about you online? Check Google+, Rate MD, Facebook and see if there are comments online. It might be time for you to consider a digital media program.
Tip 4: Review reception area and staff
The very first face to face experience your patient has of you is your reception. Take the time to look at your reception area through their eyes and ask what impression are you creating? There are some really basic things you can do to improve the look and feel of your reception.
De-clutter: Remove old torn magazines, pamphlet “forests”, hand written sticky taped signs. Replace with fresh new magazines, a specified pamphlet zone and make sure signs are professionally produced and hung.
What impression do your staff create? Do they need a name tag or a uniform refresh? Do they greet patients and smile? A smile is one of the most powerful tools in your practice sales force arsenal and can set a positive impression and experience before any clinical interaction. If your patient is treated well at your reception, it will help to ensure you experience a more relaxed consultation; that they will want to come back and will recommend your practice to their friends and family.
Tip 5: Conduct mystery shops
Mystery shops are one of the best ways to uncover the strengths and weaknesses of your practice. Ideally, they should be conducted in person, via phone and online every 6 months to benchmark results and improvements.
Mystery shops should look at uncovering:
- Call answer times in peak periods
- On-hold procedures
- Quality and correctness of information given
- Caller/visitor experience
Tip 6: Value relationships
Remember that strong relationships are the most important part of a service based business. What are you doing to strengthen your relationships with your patients and / or referrers? Implement some basic outreaches such as a practice newsletter to keep in touch and include clinical updates as well as some fun items to break down barriers.
Tip 7: Monthly reviews
Monthly reviews of your practice will ensure you are keeping on track and achieving your goals. Look at your data capture, surveys, mystery shops, reviews and benchmark month to month against a checklist that highlights declines, status quo or improvement. Understanding your business, your referrers and your patients will allow you to see your business improve and grow in 2018/19.
Don’t have the time?
CJU are medical marketing experts and can assist in developing strategies and activities for data capture, surveys, audits and reviews, mystery shops and relationship marketing. We’ll help you get updated and take your business to the next level.
Please contact us – 1300 941 250 or fill in an enquiry form on the Contact page.