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Five Ways Healthcare Companies Can Increase Patient Loyalty

posted by Michael Epps Utley Michael Epps Utley
Five Ways Healthcare Companies Can Increase Patient Loyalty

Healthcare marketing and communications can often seem like a one-size-fits-all endeavor. How do you differentiate your organization and build patient loyalty?

This article reveals five tried-and-true marketing, communication, and patient care tactics that will help you connect with your patients.

1. Provide Patient Information Using Clear Language

Many people today actively seek out healthcare information. They want to know how to protect themselves and their loved ones against common illnesses, what to do if they get sick, and how to become healthier. The internet is saturated with content about medicine, yet much of the information is conflicting, half-baked, and hard to understand.

The easiest way to genuinely connect with patients is to provide clear, accurate, and current information. If it demonstrates experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (referred to as E-E-A-T), not only will patients engage with it, Google will be more likely to recommend your content to those seeking it.

Put It Into Action

Make it a priority to publish and promote authoritative and understandable content in a timely manner. Distribute it via email and social media. Go above and beyond by not just considering what you say about a subject but also how you say it. Would a Q&A serve patients better than a blog post? Maybe they’d prefer something interactive like a symptom checker or infographic. For added clarity, always think about the medium and not just the message.

2. Recognize Exceptional Performance

During the pandemic, it was common to recognize healthcare workers who went above and beyond.

This is a practice that should continue. Consider:

  • Has a doctor developed a new procedure that saves lives?

  • Perhaps a nurse takes time to visit senior patients at home.

  • Maybe your practice has a unique way to make kids feel comfortable during appointments.

Share the news! It will make patients feel confident your practice stays current and delivers excellent service.

Put It Into Action

Consider adding a special section to your blog focused on exceptional customer service. Make it a part of your content marketing calendar. Promote the content in social media and include it in email newsletters. It will remind patients — and convince prospective ones — that your organization is the one to turn to and stick with.

3. Be Transparent

According to a Label Insight survey, 94 percent of respondents said they were more likely to remain loyal to a brand they believed was transparent. Transparency is viewed as honesty and honesty results in trust.

Whenever you or anyone on your team communicates with people, whether in person or virtually, make it a policy to always be open and up front. Never sugarcoat or exaggerate. Honesty is a healthcare provider’s best policy.

Put It Into Action

Make transparency an integral part of your healthcare brand. Brainstorm with the people on your team all the ways you can do it through patient interactions, content development, social media, and more. Update your brand with the ideas and revisit the issue at least once a year to ensure it stays top of mind.

4. Make Patients Smile

It’s challenging being ill. Your patients are exposed to ongoing doses of bad news. Taking a light tone, when appropriate, or sharing an amusing anecdote can make appointments and other interactions more enjoyable. If you’re not sure whether a story is appropriate, test it out with a colleague.

Put It Into Action

Every message you share doesn’t have to be super serious. Think about it — are patients more likely to engage with five paragraphs explaining why they need to get immunized OR a choreographed rap number reminding them to get their shots? There’s a time and place for both!

5. Be Empathetic

Healthcare providers are scientists — they’re also caregivers. Showing your human side matters, whether communicating with patients in person or virtually. Make it a point to understand a prospective patient’s feelings. It’s a sure way to build connections that last a lifetime.

Put It Into Action

Empathy may not come naturally to all medical professionals. Consider offering ongoing training and workshops on emotional intelligence (EQ, for short). This will help keep everyone on your team focused on their people skills.

Gain and Retain More Patients

Follow the tips in this article to differentiate your healthcare practice and build better connections with patients.

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