When talking about healthcare marketing, it is essential to understand the two reasons that guide this business. The first one is the patients’ health, if we look at the bigger picture and the healthcare strategic mission, and the second one is, of course, money.
Healthcare business is like any other business, so the marketing principles are the same. Reputation, the client’s experience, trust, they all make a great difference to any healthcare provider. It is important to have a long-term strategy when it comes to creating a healthcare brand and one of the most important things you have to take into account is the patient’s experience.
The consumerism era
We live in an age where everything is guided by their cost. When it comes to the service you provide, patients think of it like this: ‘I paid the x amount of money on this service, that means I should get an equal amount of quality for it.’. If they are looking for a review, for example, they want to get one like the one here, https://caregivingmag.com/top-3-handicap-toilets-reviewed/.
Consumerism transformed the healthcare field into a field of competition, so you now have competitors that offer the same services that people pay for. But what makes you different? What makes your services better than others’ and the patients to want to come back when they have a problem and recommend you to others? The answer is simple: the patient’s experience.
When offering services, not products, paying great attention to the whole experience when people visit you is not an option, it’s a must if you want your business to grow. We’ve gathered some ideas on what you can improve and enhance the quality of your business.
The first thing you have to remember is that people come to you when they have a health problem. That is a serious issue that causes most people to feel anxious and stressed. One of your goals should be to decrease their stress levels and make them feel comfortable.
You can do this by assuring comfortable chairs, good lighting and calming colors on the walls and furniture. Just imagine when you go to your physician not knowing what your health problem is and you have to sit on a stiff chair. Now imagine you have to sit on a soft, puffy armchair. How are your stress levels in both situations? It makes a difference, right?
If we’re gonna tell you that smell is important, you might think that we like mocking you, but people associate sensory cues with different feelings. If they visit you on a regular basis and you make them feel comfortable, when they enter your facility and feel its specific smell, they will feel more relaxed without even interacting with anyone yet.
If you have multiple facilities, it’s a great idea to have all of them smelling the same way. You can ask the advice of a scent specialist who can make suggestions you on the best scent you can impregnate in the air within your building.
Another essential thing you should consider is trust. Patients need to trust their doctors, nurses, the tests, the hygiene and everything about your brand. When it comes to trusting MD’s and nurses, psychologists concluded that people trust white medical robes. So providing your employees with white medical robes has a great impact on patients’ trust.
Also, having a professional software that organizes the appointments and tests is very important. If the fact that a patient has to wait for 10 to 15 minutes before entering a consultation is understandable, everything that is above that is unacceptable.
People will wait because they have to resolve their health issues, but they will remember the wait because that is when their anxious thoughts increase.
After your patient has left your facility, it’s a good thing to keep in touch. Good software will remind you when your patient has to repeat their tests, or when they have the next appointment and it’s a great idea to send them an email or phone them as a reminder.
Another good practice is that, after a few days after they left, a nurse, their physician or someone representing your facility contacts them to see how they feel. But remember, the person who does that should know everything about their condition.
Doing this will assure the patients that you care about them, which is another essential thing when it comes to them trusting you – they have to know that you are genuinely interested in making them feel better.
Improving a patient’s experience is not something hard to do, but it requires consistency and every single one of your employees should be engaged in this process. If you feel you have to improve it, you can train your people to be better at it and provide your patients with the comfort and trust they need to want to come back.