Patient satisfaction is a performance indicator that shows how much your patients like your services or organization, and it’s one of the most important metrics for your company’s success. It’s no secret that high patient satisfaction leads to more loyal customers, more loyal customers who are much more likely to share their positive experience with others, inevitably creating a positive brand image for your healthcare business by word of mouth. Finding a quality healthcare provider takes time and effort, and the more satisfied your patients are with your care, the less likely they are to switch to a competitor.
How Can I Use Marketing To Increase My Patient Satisfaction?
Relax, increasing patient satisfaction doesn’t have to cost you a fortune, even though it might if you don’t pay proper attention to it in a timely manner. To start off, you can take a note of some free or low-cost marketing techniques that won’t break the bank but will boost the satisfaction of your patients. Here are 5 magic (not really) low-cost marketing techniques you can implement to increase your patient satisfaction:
1. Make Responding To All Patient Feedback A Top Priority, Especially The Negative
The unsatisfied patient can be loud, but the satisfied one should always be louder. Have you ever heard that it takes approximately 12 satisfied customers to make up for one negative experience? Unfortunately, it’s true. Negative reviews will always frighten patients, no one wants to be that one person out of twelve that has an awful experience. However, that doesn’t mean you need to delete or hide negative comments/opinions. In fact, responding to negative reviews should be a top priority for your marketing team! Be sure to devote these unsatisfied patients extra time and attention in order to understand what they really want, make sure that they’re heard, and use the feedback to determine what could have been done differently to help them to leave your practice happy. Always address their complaints with a great respect and a genuine desire to help.
As for the satisfied patients, make sure that you collect them all: video, audio, text testimonials, online reviews, reposts, shares, etc. Real patient testimonials are powerful because they show potential patients the value of your practice – not the way that you perceive it, but the way it’s perceived by actual patients. Be sure to highlight your best testimonials on all your various channels (website, social media, etc.), but always remember- the reviews and comments should be genuine and simple since even a slightly altered testimonial can feel fake.
2. It’s All About Personalization: Make Your Patients Feel Like They’re The Only One You Care About
Whether you communicate to the patient via email, website, social media, or offline, make the effort to start cultivating a personal relationship with them. Simply knowing their name isn’t enough, you need to be able to evoke strong positive emotions and feelings associated with your individual approach. It may be some kind of question regarding something they’ve mentioned to you before, or simply mentioning their specific history with your practice to show that you remember them and care about that very person. Those personal relationships go a long way towards creating long-term repeat customers, so it’s important to work towards establishing them. Just remember to stay professional and appropriate while doing so!
3. Analyze Your Patient Satisfaction Survey, Does It Actually Help?
It doesn’t matter how many patients have responded if the survey is very brief and employs scales or standard answers. In order to identify your practice’s real barriers to patient satisfaction and determine how to improve them, you should make your patients think about what your practice means to them. For example, instead of simply asking them how would they rate your healthcare service on a scale from 1 to 10, ask them to choose specific words that describe their feelings after they stepped out of the doctor’s office, or how they would describe the front desk service, for example.
Be sure to include questions that evaluate various aspects of your business like price, wait time, reliability, ease of check-in, etc. This will help you determine your organization’s strengths and pinpoint the areas that need improvement, and will also give you better insight to what’s most important to the patient. For instance, if a patient highlights the adjectives like fast, innovative, & tech-savvy, but doesn’t mention anything about the price, most likely the price is not a huge factor in their satisfaction level.
4. Engage With Your Patients On Social Media
Simply posting on social media is not enough. In addition to posting, try to talk to your current and potential patients online. A great example would me mentioning your patients in an MCM (man crush Monday) or WCW (woman crush Wednesday) social media post. Remember to be sensitive – don’t mention specific patients by name in a public post unless they’ve given their full permission to do so.
In addition to mentioning and tagging, try to talk to people who complain about their health issues online and provide some value. Don’t be insistent saying they need to make an appointment now, just show your compassion and attach the link for an article or a blog from your website with some helpful info. For example, for our pulmonary client, we always identify people who complain about different pulmonary issues and we comment something like: “Oh no! Bronchitis is the worst! Take a look at these tips on how to improve your lung functioning, we hope it'll help: https://floridachest.com/pulmonary-blog/4-ways-to-improve-your-lung-functioning”
5. Be Consistent Within All Your Marketing Channels
Oftentimes, customer satisfaction may drop because your clients obtain inconsistent information related to your business. For example, your Twitter advertises one promotion, while your Instagram has another promotion regarding the same service. This doesn’t just go for promotions, it’s about tone and language as well! Your brand should feel consistent across all of your channels, otherwise, patients end up feeling confused about exactly who you are.
Implementing The Marketing Techniques To Increase Patient Satisfaction
Okay, so you know what tricks can be used to make your patients feel like all-stars, but how can you actually implement all or at least some of them? You can devote a little (or actually a lot) more time to your marketing operations, e.g. gather patients' testimonials, implant them into your marketing channels, constantly personalize, engage with your audience online, analyze the satisfaction surveys, etc. Or, if you don't want to spend additional 10-40 hours per week, you can invest in a marketing specialist! Our healthcare marketing agency focuses on increasing your patients' satisfaction on all accessible levels of your healthcare business, in addition to a handful of other marketing services like branding, design, strategy & planning and much more!