Always Be Closing: Internal Marketing and Tracking
After patients come in the door of your medical or dental practice, internal marketing can be a powerful tool. From this point forward, it is less about media and more about processes. The bottom line is that internal marketing typically refers to the behaviors of physicians and staff.
To improve patient retention and encourage new patients from within your practice, focus on patient relationships:
- Bedside manner counts, be likable and work on your communication skills — this can be a key factor in getting patients to return;
- Stay in contact, network, both professionally and socially with other physicians, who will refer patients to your practice;
- Make follow-up phone calls to patients;
- Report back to referring physicians in a timely fashion;
- Create informational materials for the office and website that highlight the practice’s areas of expertise and provide health care information; and
- Above all else, ask satisfied patients to refer friends and relatives to you.
Four Tracking Methods
Develop ways to track your marketing efforts. This will help you evaluate return on investment (ROI). Here are four basic tracking methods:
- Ask new patients how they heard about the practice. Your receptionist should ask patients but also track it! Write it down, preferably somewhere in the practice management software.
- Monitor how much income a referring patient brings into the practice. If you review this periodically, trends often appear. Maybe Mary Smith has referred six new patients, adding up to $17,500 worth of work. In that case, you might want to reward her. Check with your health care attorney or other professional before crafting the reward.
- Code your marketing materials. Whether it is a flyer, a newspaper ad or a website, find out how new patients hear about the practice and track it. Then, you can measure the effectiveness of various marketing efforts.
- Develop incentives. An incentive can be as simple as offering the patient a discount if he or she mentions a particular flyer/coupon or brings it into the office by a certain date.
Remember, marketing a medical or dental practice without pinpointing exactly what you are trying to accomplish is like shooting arrows without a target. Do not waste energy and resources— aim well.
For more information, contact Jason Flahive at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call him at 312.670.7444. Visit ORBA.com to learn more about our Health Care Group.