Power of Patient Loyalty

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Marketing To Your Future Business

Did you know that according to a study from Harvard Business Review, it is between 5 and 25 times more expensive to find new customers as opposed to retaining existing ones? As a result, creating a loyal patient has never been more important.

How can a healthcare provider remain profitable while working in an inadequate property, or lacking capital, or in need of employees? Loyal patients will overlook everything. Nothing is more important than our health. So when people find that healthcare provider who performs exemplary services and whose advice is always spot on, patient loyalty is formed.

When a patient is loyal to a healthcare provider, they will recommend them to anyone in need of that particular specialist. Thus, the benefits of patient loyalty are exponential. Read this article to find out why patient loyalty is so important as well as how healthcare providers can easily

It is vital for doctors to create loyal patients, however it has never been more of a challenge to keep patients for a number of reasons.

The Internet – love it, hate it or love to hate it?
Life before the internet is a bygone era, similar to the Ice Age. Back then, as soon as the patient walked into a doctor’s office, they were a patient for life. Now, with the help of the internet, consumers can find out everything, from how many bad reviews a doctor has incurred to how many divorces they’ve had. Telemedicine even allows patients to see their doctors online, entirely eliminating office visits.

As competition increases, so does the marketing
Besides the glut of new healthcare professionals starting new practices and offering rock bottom prices, today’s physicians are also being sucker punched by Big Pharma’s pervasive direct-to-consumer marketing. When a patient sees a doctor, they have already been inundated with countless pharmaceutical ads. If a doctor’s advice conflicts with the messages relayed by Big Pharma, the patient may seek out a doctor who is in compliance.

Over the Counter Product Consumption
A few decades ago, the most common reasons to visit a doctor, such as a slight fever, the common cold or a minor injury, could now be treated just as effectively with over the counter medicines. If a bottle of ibuprofen costs a fraction of the price of a doctor’s visit, why choose the latter? Patient loyalty is the only reason that a patient may incur the extra costs, so that they can hear what their doctor has to say about their ailment.

How Can a Healthcare Provider Easily Generate Patient Loyalty

Essentially, when a patient feels that their provider cares about them, they will return. A better patient experience turns out beneficial for both the patient and the doctor. However, creating an exemplary patient experience is easier said than done. Every doctor wants to provide satisfaction to each patient, but sometimes, they are unable to. What if the patient woke up on the wrong side of the bed, and there is no way that their visit to the doctor will result favorably. Sometimes, a doctor needs to relay bad news. The patient will either take the news and follow the doctor’s advice, or they will get treated by another doctor.

Patient loyalty programs are one way to ensure that patients will return to a doctor. Hospitals can employ patient loyalty programs by offering discounts on parking, or coupons to use in the cafeteria. Unless smaller private practitioners have crowded parking lots or their own cafeteria, they need to think outside of the box.

To understand what reward will persuade their patients, an examination of the typical patient’s demographic group should be utilized. For example, older patients may be inclined to return to a doctor as many times as it takes to earn tickets to that Geri-Fit or Tai-Chi workshop. Younger patients may be persuaded with tickets to sporting events. Meanwhile, there are some rewards that everyone will clamor for, such as a Visa gift card or a gift card to a local restaurant.

Once you have the patient loyalty program in effect, be sure to remind the patient of their rewards, or how close they are to attaining their rewards. Such reminders could come through phone messages or emails. Also, you should have reminders around your office, maybe in the form of pamphlets in the waiting room, or have your staff remind each patient they speak with.

Conclusion

The public has never had more of a selection of doctors than it has today. In the same breath, competition for medical practitioners has never been more of a thorn in the side. As a result, patient loyalty is essential. When that new patient walks in the door, any healthcare provider should do everything to ensure their loyalty. A patient loyalty program is an easy and effective method to hold on to those patients.

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