When a woman gives birth, it is an agonizing process, but the outcome outweighs all that pain. She holds the newborn in her arms and the past is erased.
When a patient comes to you for treatment, there is often some physical pain involved, but the end result is usually worth all that.
When you start a business or practice from scratch, it often “hurts” in the work of planning and carrying out of the project, as well as pinching financially. Growing from scratch is a little like giving birth due to the pain of lacking funds and living on air, but eventually you have a business that is viable and life gets better or even great.
What is the key to be learned from this?
The key word is RESULTS!
In a recent focus group that I took part in at Telus, we were discussing what organizations Telus should support with donations. Three main concepts kept surfacing: Trust in the organization, really helping people, and most importantly, the RESULTS.
This can definitely relate to marketing of healthcare practices too. Those same 3 concepts could be focused on in any practice. Marketing gurus are now pushing forward the idea that patient or client word of mouth is the best way to attract more new patients to your office. That is achieved through trust, help and results.
Word of Mouth
There are many avenues for word of mouth to travel on. For instance, Google Reviews are very popular. On your website, you can quote patients or clients (though not their names). You can write blogs to help people with questions, post recognitions and wins of your patients on your Facebook page, get your patients and staff to get you voted in as the Readers Choice Award winner for your area and profession, and so on. No shortage of ways to get the word out about your results. Your patients should also be encouraged to talk to their friends, family, neighbours and coworkers.
If you look at the word of mouth path, it starts with a patient or client becoming a believer in your practice with a good dose of trust in you and your services. Then comes their feeling of being helped by you and your team. And then there are the
end results of the service you have given them where they are extremely happy. This leads to good word of mouth.
Therefore, working on building patient or client trust is quite an important step. This is done through good sales skills, truthful information, listening well to the needs of the person, helping them choose ideal care, and so on. The “help” step is what you do every day, but going above and beyond the expected excites people. Delivering a great result is then the final piece de resistance!
Discuss with your team how you could improve the trust, help and results in your practice and implement their good ideas and watch the practice grow through increased patient or client referrals.