As a marketing agency for medical firms Turbo constantly stresses the importance of social media, search engine optimization, having a well-structured website and a good marketing strategy. However, some of the best marketing that you can do is within your practice, literally. Some people call this type of marketing internal marketing. I think this is too vague because internal marketing refers to everything you do as a practice to improve employee patient-experience, retain patients and brand the practice. In many ways internal marketing is the general process of improving employee behavior and systems in order to build the brand and expand message of the practice.
The type of internal marketing I’m referring to involves simply making patients aware of your accessibility online through Facebook and Twitter within the practice. It means having a system in place within the office to get reviews. It means having a process for asking patients for video testimonials, and then editing the videos, optimizing them and posting them to YouTube. This element of your internal marketing focuses on increasing the patients’ knowledge of your presence online.
In business having a repeat customer is more cost effective that bringing in a new client. This couldn’t be any more true than in the medical industry, specifically aesthetics. Bringing in a new patient requires the doctor to spend a significant amount of his time with the potential patient reviewing records, asking questions and performing tests. Repeat patients do not require as much time and energy. The easiest way to increase the number of repeat patients to your practice is to constantly communicate with them and make them aware of the many different ways that you can be contacted. Accessibility is huge.
Keep in mind that marketing within your practice doesn’t just help generate repeat patients. Most doctors convert one-third to one-half of the consultation that they have into paying patients (if your conversion rate is higher, congratulations; you’re doing an amazing job). While the quality of the consultation and the synergy between the doctor and patient matters a lot, marketing within your practice goes a long way with potential patients.
In order to get repeat business you need to have several key elements of your internal marketing in place, including:
- Great customer service: This goes without saying, but I believe it comes down to having a good process in place so that phone calls (or Facebook, Twitter or Blog comments) don’t go unanswered; patients aren’t missing appointments; your waiting room isn’t backed up and the staff is friendly and courteous. Without this piece, none of the other elements matter and your practice will likely fail.
- Promote Facebook & Twitter: You should consider offering incentive or rewards for those who become a Fan or Follower, or even those who “check in” to the practice using Facebook or Foursquare. In order for your Facebook & Twitter presence to grow you need to be actively promoting it, online and offline. Market these networks within your practice by having signs up with your Facebook and Twitter addresses.
- Ask for reviews: You need to ask both your new and repeat patients if it’s ok if you video tape them giving a review of the practice. You’ll want to edit these videos, optimize them, and add the to YouTube and other video marketing channels. It would also be wise to have some of them playing in the waiting room for your prospective patients to see before their consultation. Additionally, make sure that you have a computer station set up for patients to leave a quick review before they leave. Not many practices have this in place, but those that do quickly grow the total number of reviews.
Many practices have marketing materials about Botox or the new cosmetic laser they just purchased. This is usually free material that the manufacturer or distributor gave the practice to help brand their products. While this material is nice to have, it shouldn’t take the place of the your marketing material. You need to actively promote your Facebook, Twitter and YouTube networks at the practice. You need to ask for reviews and testimonials, as well as have them playing in your waiting room. Most of all, you need to have a great staff that understands the importance of both customer service and marketing. Everyone on your team can do a little to help market within the practice.
If you would like to speak to Turbo about how you can better market within your practice please fill out this form, or call us at 877-673-7096 x2.