You love the work you do, don’t you?
You love the challenge of a new patients. Your patients can tell you love helping them, and they are continually impressed with your passion.
From the cute coughing four year old, to the cancer patient, you show up to work ready to make a difference in someone’s life.
But is your passion and knowledge enough to bring in new patients? Is it enough to keep them coming back?
After all, you’re not the only medical practice around here. There are plenty practices with knowledgeable and enthusiastic doctors and specialists.
Why do patients pick one office over the other? What does it take to bring in new patients, and keep them?
Imagine you owned two cars.
Sitting in your garage in a sleek, cherry red Corvette. It’s floating about an inch off the floor, on drool worthy chrome wheels.
Across from the corvette, is a fairly new minivan. It’s kept more or less clean, but runs well enough to get you around.
It’s time for your weekly family outing. Your slip your shoes on, and are ready to step into the garage, when you pause for a second.
Which car do I take?
On one hook are dangling the Corvette keys. You already hear the purr of the engine, see the gleaming carbon fiber dash, and feel the rumbling of the engine.
But your hands grab the Minivan keys, and within minutes, your family is buckling in and pulling out of the drive way.
Why did you pick the minivan over the Corvette? You LOVE the Corvette! Better Engine, better experience roaring down the road!Why choose the van?
Well, it’s an easy answer.
The minivan was convenient, while the Corvette wasn’t.
Imagine stuffing a car seat in the back seat, or shoving a set of golf clubs between your son and daughter. They elbow each other as they get in and out. Your spouse’s knees hurt from bending so low.
A Corvette isnt convenient for a family.
Convenience made you choose one option (even if you didnt’ really prefer it) over another one.
- A Corvette means an uncomfortable family.
- A Corvette means extra trips.
- A Corvette means less protection for my children and more worry for me
- A Corvette means you are worrying about whether it will get a new scratch
You are the Corvette.
You are a sleek fountain of medical knowledge, but if you are not the most conventient option, patients will flock to other shepherds.
So the question is: How can I make my practice more convenient to potential patients? How can I interact with my patients in a more convenient manner?
The question that changes everything
To make your patient experience more convenient, ask “How can I make this easier?”
A new patient must spend 10 minutes filling out paperwork.
How can I make this easier for them?
Your patient fills out the form before the visit.
How can I make this easier for them?
Your patient fills out the form on their smartphone while laying on their couch.
The “Easier” trick keeps your focus on the patient, resulting in higher customer satisfaction, longer patient loyalty, and an enthusiastic innovative environment.
If you combine this with the following suggestion, you will be ahead of most practices.
Go digital for the most patient convenience.
Here are a few ways that digital is convenient for patients:
- Skyping a physician instead of scheduling a physical appointment. (Imagine the sigh of relief those stay at home moms hauling multiples children and strollers feel. Imagine how relieved your elderly patients who have to arrange for transporting would feel.)
- Reading about office updates on social media/email instead of being surprised when they come in.
- Receiving a text or email from the patient finance department about an insurance issue (instead of opening a surprise bill because you missed a call from the doctor’s office)
It’s convenient for you too. Imagine…
- Recording a Video to introduce yourself online, and you’ll have new patients who have already mentally begun a relationship with you.
- Posting an update online, and save money on the postage and paper that would have been required to individually mail out postcards to each patient.
- Sending an electronic notice that a patient must update their information, instead of hiring an extra person just to do that.
How to attract new patients
You biggest selling point is convenience.
So become an investigator.
Learn what is difficult for your patient. Understand how you can add a little comfort to their uncomfortable situation. And how you can help them avoid an unnecessary road bump on their path to recovery.
When you make the patient experience easy and convenient, the patient becomes enchanted with your practice. It becomes a place where they will bring their children. A place they will recommend to friends. Your practice will take off. You will keep your patients. And live the magic you envisioned in med school.