7 Tips to Attract Patients to Your Bariatric Medical Practice
Many medical practices are feeling the pinch of lower reimbursements, restrictive insurers and more competition, especially as the world of marketing has changed beyond all recognition in recent years. It can be very difficult for these practices to attract and retain patients under these conditions, so it stands to reason that increasingly innovative techniques are being employed. Here we have outlined seven tips that may help you to attract more of the patients you want to your bariatric medical practice. It’s important to note that you don’t need to take on the entirety of your marketing strategy alone; there are specialist medical marketing professionals who can guide you to the best solutions.
- Build strong referral relationships
By strengthening your referring relationships with other medical practices, you can build trust in the community and establish your reputation as a quality care provider. Get out there and start building relationships with other physicians or reviving old relationships.
- Improve practice efficiency
If your practice is disorganized, slow to respond to patients or referrers, or makes patients wait too long for an appointment, you will struggle to maintain a steady influx of patients. Make sure all of your communications are clear and any referral forms or appointment booking systems are user-friendly and intuitive.
- Employ a physician liaison
A physician liaison is responsible for building and maintaining relationships in the community to promote your practice and treatments. They may be someone with experience of pharmaceutical or medical sales, but primarily they should have excellent communication skills and the ability to build relationships quickly.
- Invest in appropriate marketing channels
If you are not using digital marketing, you should be. Patients use the internet to research and choose medical care just as they would any other purchase, and if you’re not online, you are missing out on patients. You need a website that is optimized for search engines like Google and Bing and should consider Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, and creating informative and engaging blog posts for topics and keywords related to bariatric medical care. There are specialist companies that can advise you on the best bariatric marketing strategy for your practice.
- Monitor your competition
Your competitors are facing the same issues as you in terms of trying to stand out in a crowded marketplace, and this often means they are less willing to make referrals than they would have in previous years. Monitor their marketing activities by following them on social media and signing up for their email marketing list to keep up to date with the services they are offering as it may inform your own strategy.
- Protect your reputation
There are now several online review platforms that give patients the opportunity to air their positive and negative experiences with medical practices. While this can be of benefit to a practice if the majority of patients are happy with their care, unfortunately the most vocal patients are those who feel they have been poorly treated. Encourage patients to provide reviews and monitor what is being said about your practice on these websites and on social media. You can’t stop people from making negative comments, but you can respond to try to resolve their complaints and show that you are committed to providing the best possible care.
- Maintain brand consistency
If you are using several different platforms and channels to market your practice, you may struggle to keep your branding consistent across all of them. Maintain your tone of voice and professional branding at all times to establish your brand in the community and ensure you are recognized and trusted by other medical practices (to maximize referrals) and patients.