Having worked in both the healthcare and retail industries I see huge opportunities for clinical practices to learn from retailers. Key marketing tactics and tools used in retail businesses make sense for clinical practices, too. Let’s look take a closer look to see why.
•Branding-The biggest clinical practices and healthcare institutions DO have a strong brand. It is clear what their strengths and values are and they communicate that brand at every opportunity. Retailers live and die by their brand; it’s how they differentiate themselves in a very crowded market. The best clinical practices do the same.
•Capturing Data & Customer Relationship Management (CRM)-Every patient completes extensive paperwork to become a patient. Why not ask for email and while you’re at it, ask where they heard about you? Ask them if they’d like to hear from you throughout the year on topics like wellness and also let them know if you have a Facebook page or YouTube account. Have you considered using email in your practice to communicate to clients?
•Customer Service & “Clientelling”- The minute a clinical practice assumes they have a patient for life is the moment they make an erroneous assumption. Unhappy patients like unhappy retail customers can and do go elsewhere. Patients and customers want personal attention- a staff who greats them by name, a waiting room time that is reasonable, a text reminder, a follow-up call from the treating physician. Customers and patients will “clientelle” other potential customers and patients about the way you make them feel.