In this episode, Barbara discusses:
-What is the Patient Loyalty Program?
-What are the benefits of the program?
-What are the impacts of the Patient Loyalty Program on both the doctor and patient?
” Be the doctor and the practice that cares!” – Barbara Hales
Connect with Barbara Hales:
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Power to the Patient: The Medical Strategist
Dr. Barbara Hales: Welcome to another episode of marketing tips for doctors.
I’m your host, Dr. Barbara Hales. And today, we are going to explain why we’ve been on hiatus. Down here in southeast Florida, we have experienced tornadoes, hurricanes, changes in weather, holidays, illness; you name it. And so we’ve taken a break to let everybody catch up, get a break and recoup.
Because of that, there is an important issue that comes to mind. And that is, your patients and clients have also experienced tornadoes, hurricanes, or illness. Or even if they haven’t, they’ve been watching it on the news and getting stressed out from that.
So the question I have for you today is, what did you do to address it? Did you call your patients and ask them if they’re okay? Did you ask them if they need your help? There is something important in doing that. Because you engage with your patients, you’re showing that you care. And that’s all part of creating a loyalty program.
Patient Loyalty Program
Dr. Barbara Hales: Many doctors are considered cold because they have such a short time with their patients face-to-face. And because there is so much competition for getting patients into your office as opposed to your competitors down the road, a unique proposition or way you could present yourself is “we care”.
Many doctors’ offices utilize loyalty programs, which in the past were only used by retail businesses. We’re going to discuss and cover what is the patient loyalty program and what its benefits are. So let’s get started, shall we?
In terms of what a patient liability patient loyalty program is, it’s a marketing strategy that rewards patients for their commitment and ongoing engagement with your medical practice. Now, it takes more money, time, and effort to attract new patients than to retain your current patients. Plus, you’ll also get a lifetime of referrals from them. So trying to retain the patients you have in your office is even more important than attracting new ones, although they are both important.
Even though the main goal is to increase patient retention by providing your existing patients with rewards, it also helps attract new patients to your medical practice. When implemented correctly, a patient loyalty program gives you important information about your patients and services, such as what appeals most to a specific group of people. So the patient loyalty program allows you to provide personalized rewards and offers to your customers.
Dr. Barbara Hales: Now, in the past, there have been many things that doctors’ offices have tried, and health insurance, by having people go to the gym or lose weight. They would get a certain number of points which leaned towards a discount on the insurance premium and have different gifts that people would be interested in having. But in terms of the benefits of these programs, I think you can figure out that if people are getting something they want, it will improve the retention of current patients in your office. It shows your patients that you value them, just like I mentioned a moment ago when I asked, are you calling them to find out if they’re okay? That goes a long way, making them more likely to return to your medical practice because they feel like you care and that they’re not just a number in your office. This increases your revenue and helps you maintain a stable patient base.
In terms of engagement, this goes a long way toward boosting patient engagement. It makes your patients feel more connected and involved with you and your medical practice. It improves patient satisfaction and treatment outcomes. Obviously, suppose a patient is satisfied and trusts what you do and recommend. In that case, that patient is more apt to follow the treatment plan you lay out or take the medications you prescribe instead of finding them later in the day in the office garbage bin. It increases patient satisfaction. It encourages referrals.
Brand Awareness and Revenue Growth
Dr. Barbara Hales: It not only then helps retain your current patients but also allows you to acquire new ones. It increases revenue by expanding your patient base and growing your practice. This program helps you add additional service sales by providing your patient with customized offers, deals, and side hustles. Are there additional services or products in sync with your current services that you can also add to improve your financial bottom line? The program can help you sell additional services and obtain new patients bringing more profitability to your medical practice.
It builds a good reputation besides increasing your patient’s satisfaction and getting more referrals. A loyalty program shows that your medical practice focuses on providing your patients with an excellent patient care experience. It helps you build and improve your reputation. As I said before, “the doctor and practice that cares.” Patients want to have that as opposed to a cold office where they feel like the office doesn’t really care about them. It increases brand awareness by spreading the word about your medical practice, raising your brand awareness, and allowing more potential patients to know about your healthcare services.
Dr. Barbara Hales: A loyalty program I have found successful with patients is that they can get VIP benefits to reward the patients who use your healthcare services most frequently. One of them is a free subscription to your monthly newsletter or information service. We go into greater depth about current medical conditions and news-breaking techniques that are new to the market, medications that are new to the market, or even non-traditional options that they can use.
You may also offer these tickets to Exclusive Events that they might not be able to get the tickets for on their own. You can co-brand patient loyalty programs. It refers to collaborating with local businesses to reward your patients with special deals, discounts, and offers for their loyalty to other businesses around the office itself. It allows you to increase patient retention and satisfaction and raise the local community’s awareness about your office and services.
You can give them invitations to events. This is a unique way to reward your patients. You can organize and invite your patients to various events, such as webinars, summits, competitions, and seminars. By inviting your patients to participate in them, you create a sense of community, just like the health fairs that you could volunteer for and participate in, in your community. It helps patients to adopt a healthier lifestyle and improves their lifestyle choices.
You can provide your patients with a discount based on the total amount they have spent on your healthcare services over time, or regardless of the money, you can also reward them for the ones that have gotten results by consistently following your advice, whether that’s weight loss, whether that an exercise, where they do what you are recommending over time. Gets them the results that both you and the patients would like to see.
With a point-based loyalty program, you’re rewarding your patients with points for performing these specific actions or achieving goals. Later, you patients can exchange the points for discounts on treatments, free procedures, and, you know, your side hustle products and services that you are offering in addition to your regular services.
Dr. Barbara Hales: So those are the highlights of the most effective patient loyalty programs and their benefits. Let’s quickly summarize the key points.
Medical practices can use patient loyalty programs to reward and increase patient commitment.
Patient loyalty programs can increase patient engagement, brand awareness, satisfaction, and revenue growth. It can include the VIP co-branded, cumulative, and play-based patient loyalty programs and offers a ton of flexibility.
So, in addition to recognizing patients for their birthday and giving out a birthday card they get in the mail from you, it means, “Hey, I recognize your important day, and you matter.” Try calling them when an event happens in your surroundings, like weather conditions such as tornadoes and hurricanes that we’ve recently experienced. Are your patients all right? Not only your patients but are your patients’ families, all right? Maybe they would just like to talk to you. Maybe they’re depressed or anxious, and you can help them out along those veins.
Be the doctor and the practice that cares; you will see, not only patient retention, but your practice grows by leaps and bounds.