Creating WOW Moments!
Welcome to the Practice Treatment Plan’s Weekly New Patient Marketing Tips! As a new patient marketing company, we are very focused on what happens outside of the practice to get new patients through your doors. But, we also understand that creating a great patient experience is critical to get those new patients to refer even more new patients. We call it the referral multiplier, and we believe that every patient has at least one person they can refer to you. For the remainder of this year we will be discussing “WOW Moments” and ways that you can attract and keep quality, new patients (and get those patients to refer MORE NEW PATIENTS)!
You walk through the door into a dingy room that hasn’t been updated since the Reagan administration. You approach the fogged, sliding glass window and give it a light tap. It opens to reveal the top of the head of a receptionist as she slides a clipboard toward you and tells you to fill out the attached forms, with barely a glance up from her own paperwork. You retreat to the seating area and choose the chair that has the least amount of stuffing popping out of the worn upholstery. After you fill out your forms, you return the clipboard to the countertop in front of the closed window. As you retake your seat the window quickly slides open and you see a hand snatch your paperwork like a velociraptor capturing prey before the window snaps shut again. As you watch the minutes tick by past your appointment time (5…10…15) you entertain yourself with a 1991 Reader’s Digest (at least the joke section never gets old). Then, the door opens up and your last name is called. Before you can even stand up, the person who has summoned you is half way down the hall leaving you to break into a light jog in order to catch up. Does this sound like a patient experience in your practice? I sure hope not.
The experience described above may been acceptable a decade ago but times have changed. I cannot stress this enough: the competition for new and better patients that you face is FIERCE and you had better be able to play by the new rules. For better or worse, we live in a culture of instant gratification, a high level of expectation in customer service and the ability to quickly, easily and publicly shame those that we feel fall below our expectations (see last month’s blog posts about patient review sites). We are marketing to a new, young generation of savvy consumers who understand the power they wield. It is no longer acceptable for you to “just” provide the excellent level of health care to your patients for which you have spent years in training. Now you must provide an exceptional EXPERIENCE.
WOW Moment: Throw a Patient Appreciation Party!
With Thanksgiving only a week away we are reminded to think about what we are grateful for. Showing gratitude and appreciation for what you already have is the only way to attract more of what you want in life. Show your current patients that you are thankful for them by holding a free yearly event in their honor that includes great food, fun and fellowship. Most importantly, encourage them to invite their friends and family who are not yet patients of yours. You can hold the event in your practice to showcase your modern design and cutting-edge equipment or you can hold the event off-site at a local restaurant like a pizza place. If your practice treats children exclusively then renting a movie theater for an afternoon would be quite a fun experience for your current and potential new patients!
Give Out Prizes. Get your patients excited and engaged in your event by raffling off cool prizes. Offer one raffle ticket for every non-patient that they bring with them to your event to increase their chance of winning. Let the potential new patients enter the raffle once they give you their contact information for follow-up. You can cut your costs by asking other local businesses if they would like to contribute items to the raffle so they to can promote their business at your event as well. We have seen this work out really well with local massage businesses. Often they like to participate in your event not just by donating a gift card but also by setting up a massage chair to give out free 5-minute back massages. This is a win-win for everybody!
Don’t Forget to Promote the Event Before & After. Don’t be shy about promoting your event (and give yourself about a month to do so). You want people to show up! At the event, take a lots of photos. Make sure to plaster those photos all over your website and social media after the event so that all new patients will se what a fun practice you have!
Appreciation events are a fun way to engage with your current and future patients and work toward building lasting relationships with them. Check back with us in the coming weeks as we discuss other “WOW Moments” that you can create in the way you communicate with your patients!
New Patient Marketing Strategist
Practice Treatment Plan, Inc.