In part three of this four-part article series, we will focus on how marketing can help your medical practice become a successful business. Since independently operated medical practices are seeing rapid growth in urban areas, and are seen as a commodity, it is important to set yourself apart from your competitors. The best way to do this is to ensure that you have a comprehensive and strategic marketing plan. This includes through on-line media channels, television, print, and exceptional customer service.
First and foremost, it would be beneficial to consider hiring a marketing firm to help you achieve your marketing goals. A marketing firm will help you address your strategy goals for your business and will get you set up in the various marketing channels that will help to advertise your business.
Once you have done so, you should examine your approach to your marketing channels.
- Internet Marketing:Ensure that you have a comprehensive and user-friendly website. It needs to be easy to operate and navigate, and you should consider employing a Search Engine Optimization method so that patients will find it when they search on-line. Ensure the website is informative, clear and concise. List all options and treatments that are available through your practice. Further, consider making it interactive, with options such as on-line appointment booking and record tracking for patients.
- Consider creating a Facebook page, a Twitter account or vehicles such as LinkedIn for your business to connect with the powers of people using social media channels.
- Create a blog and/or newsletter for prospective clients to subscribe to so that they can be in the loop keep up with current events in your practice
- Don’t be shy to ask your customers if they would like to share their experience at your Medical Practice with a testimonial that you can post on your website. Potential customers rely on customer testimonials in their decision of booking a consultation with your practice. Customers can also be encouraged to leave a testimonial on Local Listings pages such as Yellow Pages, Yelp, and so on.
- Television and Print – In this day of cyber-dominated marketing, don’t underestimate the power of print and television advertising. If you’re just starting out and can’t afford to produce a commercial for your business, consider a public access cable station to show a short demonstration of your business. Further, create flyers and newsletters, advertise in your local papers, and post bulletins around the neighborhood. You could also create a banner or small billboard, or rent a mobile sign unit to advertise your practice.
Customer Service: How word of mouth is still and always your best marketing strategy
In a medical practice, as in any service oriented business, how you treat your customers will ultimately dictate your success. It won’t matter how great your TV commercial is, how in-depth your website works, or how many flyers you print: if you don’t have good customer relations, you won’t see the success you’re hoping for.
On the other hand, if a client has an exceptional experience, their personal review of your business to their friends and family will be the best marketing that you could hope for. This is especially true in the medical aesthetic business. You are being trusted to perform personal and often intimate procedures on people, and your abilities and ethics will be under examination by your patients.
- Go above and beyond for your clients: Learn their names, their families, and their interests. Show them that you are listening and that you care. Go that extra mile by doing thing such as sending them a card on their birthday.
- Know what services they are having done, and show a high degree of empathy and sensitivity to their concerns. Don’t be judgemental; rather, show concern for their wellbeing and put their minds at ease.
- Address their concerns in a timely manner
- Don’t be a victim to “poor bedside manner”-in other words, as stated above, be kind and respectable to your clients.
Marketing is a key component to the success of your medical practice. Up next: the human resource side of your practice.