Create a Marketing Strategy Focused on Patient Experience

Patient experience

As medical marketers, it is easy for us to focus so much on the strategy for attracting, engaging, and acquiring new patients, that we forget to think about the patient’s experience. Thinking about your marketing strategy from the perspective of what your patient is feeling can help you identify areas of focus and discover new ways to appeal to your ideal audience.

So as we talk about the different stages of the buyer’s journey, instead of focusing only on what you should be doing in that particular phase, we will talk about what your patients may be feeling or thinking. After all, to serve your patients well, you must understand their needs, desires, and experiences!

Raise Awareness: Build Trust with Potential Patients

During the awareness phase, your patients are likely doing a wide search for medical, dermatology, or plastic surgery practices. They are scouring the internet to find a practice that aligns with their values, needs, and concerns. They are probably talking to friends and seeking out recommendations.

 

76% of buyers prefer to work with a dr. recommended by someone they know

How you should appeal to patients during this phase:

The key for your practice is to simply show up online. Make sure your social media pages are relevant and engaging, your website is welcoming, and your blog is updated. Use social media advertising to spread the word about your practice. Think about what your potential patients will see when they stumble across your practice.

Here are a few questions for you to consider:

  • Is it easy for someone to find information about your practice and services?
  • Do they get a positive feeling about your practice, your practitioners, and your facility?
  • Do you offer helpful tips and ideas?
  • Is your content focused on your patients?
  • Is it easy for them to contact you?

Think about how easily you are delivering the information your potential patients are looking for. They may have never heard of your practice before, so it is important to answer questions, showcase value, and appeal to them enough so they ask for more information. They probably feel unsure about taking the next step and are searching for a practice that makes them feel calm and confident in their choice. Do your best to be approachable, patient, and professional.

Keep in mind, this might be the beginning of a long courting process. They may just be looking for more information and not interested in making a final decision. Give potential patients a taste of what it would be like to work with you and leave them wanting more. Don’t be pushy! Just be memorable.
Be Considered: Continue to Communicate and Offer Value

Once you have offered helpful and cursory information about your practice, and a potential patient is still interested, they enter the consideration stage. This is where they dig in and do additional research to see if you’re really the best practice for them. Potential patients are probably weighing pros and cons, looking for details, and hoping to get a better feel for the people behind your practice.

How you should appeal to patients during this phase:

As we hinted to earlier, building trust with a potential patient can take time, but it is important. Your potential patients are likely considering several practices and are looking to see which practice best serves them. One way to boost your chances of success during this phase is to think about what will help them with their decision-making process.

Here are a few things you can do:

  • Send a series of emails that tastefully answer potential patients’ most frequently asked questions. Give them quick and simple tips that add real value to their lives. Segment these emails based on the specific interests of each potential patient. Your audience is busy though, so keep these short and sweet.
  • Create an array of promotions that entice people to take some form of action. Keep in mind that your audience still isn’t 100% convinced that you’re the practice for them, so don’t be too pushy. Offer promotions that are easy and fun to take action on. Like get a free skin serum sample, or join your exclusive VIP club to get monthly discounts.
  • Write and showcase of blog posts that dig deep into providing tips, ideas, and solutions. Keep the focus on the problem or topic patients are interested in and less about you. Your patients will only read these posts if they are relevant to their needs and grab their attention. Or, simply host a Facebook Live event where you discuss the top 5 questions on a particular service.

During this phase, your potential patients are more familiar with you who are and what you offer. One way to improve your chances of gaining them as a patient is to be mindful of the concerns they have. Does your practice have high-quality customer service? Are your prices fair? Are your services professional? As you pursue various marketing strategies in this stage, make sure you address these concerns.

 

Decision Time: Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse

After the awareness and consideration stages, it’s time for your patients to make a decision! The hope is that they have plenty of information and are eager to check the final few boxes before taking the leap. At this point, they probably know a lot about your practice, understand your approach, and have a good feeling about your team’s personalities. They are looking to meet your team in person and are ready to take advantage of some quality offers.

How you should appeal to patients in this phase:

People who are in the decision phase know they are nearing the time to make a decision. Don’t be scared of asking them if they are ready to schedule a consultation! They probably are expecting it. While patients may feel a bit of apprehension, they are much more equipped to make a final decision than when they first heard about your practice.

One way to move things forward is to tap into the “fear of missing out” approach. If you have a potential patient in your office, give them a one-time only discount that they won’t want to miss out on. The goal is to simply get them to take the first step! After they have worked with you once, and you’ve treated them like royalty,  they will be a patient for life!

Here are a few things you can do:

  • Offer free events to get people in the door. If you’re a plastic surgery practice, you could offer a free CoolSculpting event where people can come to learn more, meet the doctors, and ask questions. Remember, people are much more likely to take action if they are in person and have a limited availability offer in front of them. Not to mention, if they see other people taking action, they may be inspired to as well!
  • Host an open house and facility tours. Much like a free event, an open house gets people in your door and in front of you! They can do a facility tour, enjoy hors d’oeuvres, and get to know other potential patients. A great idea is to have a prize giveaway! Give away a service or something related to your practice to encourage potential patients to book additional services. This will take away the fear of booking an appointment somewhere they’ve never been.

Patients in the decision phase are at the point where they will either reward you with their business or walk away. Make it as easy as possible for them to make a decision by being straightforward, upfront with your offers, and transparent about your processes. If they do choose your practice, make sure you still treat them like royalty after! The last thing you want them to experience is buyer’s remorse.

As you review your online marketing strategy for the remainder of the year, don’t overlook your patients’ experience. Think about the buyer’s stage they are in, the questions they have, and their concerns. Customize your approach to address those issues and make them feel comfortable! The more you focus on creating a positive, informative, and helpful experience, the more likely you will have loyal patients!

Ready to streamline your marketing strategy? Schedule your consultation with Juniper Consulting Group today.

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