What Is the Most Effective Way to Obtain New Patients
The most successful chiropractors are those that don’t simply rely on their current roster of patients. Sometimes people reach the end of their treatment plan and decide they don’t need maintenance care. In other instances, patients might move out of the area or need more comprehensive care. Regardless of the circumstances, patient turnover is a fact of life in the medical industry. Having a strategy to bring new patients is necessary to offset these inevitable losses.
1. Aim for referrals
The medical industry as a whole is extremely competitive — and chiropractors are exceptionally so. These days, chiropractors can no longer simply rely on their reputation. They have to reach out to the community and develop referrals. With each new patient, a chiropractor needs to attempt to generate referrals such as friends and family. Even established patients should be asked about their experience and their comfort level with referring the chiropractor to others.
2. Carefully choose an office contact
A chiropractic office should have an office contact whose job is to promote the doctor and maintain good community relations. While this person doesn’t need to be a full-time employee, it should be a role that is distinct from the front office staff. When performing this job, the office contact should be reaching to establish new relationships within the community via regular visits. Existing relationships can be solidified by connecting to offer updates or information.
3. Make it easy to refer patients
Make obtaining referrals as simple as possible for those patients who are currently receiving chiropractic services. Have cards with contact information — including a direct number to the scheduling staff to allow the individual to bypass the automated phone system — already printed up? Be sure to leave a section where the person who is doing the referring can put his or her name. Offer a percentage of that person’s next visit or make a portion of their services free.
4. Make the office welcoming
The front office personnel should be personable, friendly, energetic and knowledgeable. Besides chiropractic websites, the front desk is often the first impression that a patient has of a new chiropractor. Block out ample scheduling slots, so new patients don’t have to wait any longer than a week or two. Make sure to communicate well with existing and new patients to foster a sense of caring and expertise.
4. Establish a strong online presence
One of the best ways to generate new patients is with medical marketing strategies that focus on making a strong presence online. Even with a referral from someone they know and trust, many patients start their search for a chiropractor by looking online. It is imperative that chiropractors engage in a strong SEO strategy, so their website is found when an individual search for chiropractors in their area. Smart investments in marketing solutions mean exploring options such as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, blogging and the SEO above.
5. Make a good online impression
It is not enough to simply have an online presence. A successful chiropractor who can cultivate new patients is one that has a professional, well-run and engaging website. Of course, the ideal website will feature plenty of information that new patients will need and want to know. The name, address and phone number of the chiropractor should be featured in a highly-visible location where it can be seen at all times — regardless of which page the visitor is looking at. A sleek and professional layout is crucial to generating confidence and trust in medical personnel. Proving a rich source of articles, news and information also help in establishing the chiropractor as one who an authority figure in the industry while also exuding confidence and professionalism.
6. Don’t forget about social media
Having a social media presence is equally as important as having a professionally-created and run the website. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that one is better than or replaces the other. They are both necessary. A word of caution: carefully chose the person, or persons, who are responsible for presenting the chiropractor’s social media presence.
Tackling the job on to the already long list of duties that office staff must complete each day is simply an invitation for trouble. In many cases, the social media outlets aren’t updated regularly, or they are updated in a haphazard fashion that is not professional. Another important consideration is the fact that any working relationship can go bad — and astonishingly quickly. A savvy chiropractor would do well to consider handing the job of maintaining his or her social media presence over to a third party. Doing so removes any potential for revenge postings and ensures that updates are regular, professional and targeted to the established goals of the practice.
7. Make sure to guard your reputation
Expect any potential chiropractic patients to thoroughly search online for any news and reviews of any chiropractors they might be considering. Ensuring that a chiropractor is aware of his or her reputation is the first step to being able to present a professional presence. Knowing about any issues provides the chiropractor with the ability to address them in a way that makes patients feel like their concerns are being heard.
8. Practice consistent branding
When individuals are looking for a chiropractor, you want them to associate your brand and logo with the services offered by one practice — yours. Making a brand bold and memorable is the first step in doing so. The second step is to make sure that this brand is everywhere that the practice is mentioned. It should figure heavily on the website as well as on referral cards and office wear.
Many chiropractors know they need a better online presence and a professional website but aren’t sure where to start. A professional marketing agency has the tools and expertise to deliver a website that drives results such as bringing in new patients as well as reaching out to established patients for referrals.