Loyalty is an essential aspect of any business. Building and maintaining patient loyalty is just as important as gaining repeat customers in any other business. Loyal patients make your practice money because they are willing to keep coming back for your services. Often they will share their experiences with their friends and family. This can equate to free publicity for you. But you may not be sure how to build patient loyalty. There are several simple things that you can do to build patient loyalty.
Build Patient Loyalty
Customer service is the most important element in earning regular patients. Patients want to feel like you truly care about them, and they want to feel a personal connection. Take the time to treat each and every one how you would like to be treated. This includes doing things like minimizing wait time, communicating directly with patients and making appointments as stress-free as possible.
Be honest with your patients. Be upfront and truthful. This helps make people trust you, and they are more likely to remain loyal to a physician they trust. When recommending medications, treatments, tests or procedures, do not try to sell things that are not necessary. For things that are necessary or highly recommended, take the time to explain why. Remember that patients do not understand medical terminology, and they may be frightened. Explaining things honestly in simple terms can put their minds at ease.
Stay in touch. Take a few minutes to call and check in to see how your patients are doing. Send out reminders to let them know when it’s time to schedule an appointment. Another nice way of staying in touch is sending out cards for major holidays like Christmas or even patient birthdays.
Even When Things Go Wrong, You Can Still Build Patient Loyalty
It’s inevitable that, once in a while, things are going to go wrong. You may get backed up, causing your patients to wait longer than they’d like. An appointment may not go well, and the patient may leave feeling upset or frustrated. To maintain patient loyalty, try to diffuse these situations as much as possible. If you’re running behind, make sure to communicate with your patients to let them know what is going on. If you sense that someone is growing agitated or upset during an appointment, try to soothe them. If they leave upset, place a follow-up phone call once they have had time to calm down. Taking the time to stay in touch and let your patients know you care is the most effective way to build patient loyalty and maintain it.