It’s guest post week again and today is all about those medical professionals out there that want to attract new patients online. We’ll hear from the folks over at My Digital Dentistry about how to effectively communicate with your potential patients online, so that you can fill all of your appointment slots and have a great relationship with your patients. Here they are:
In a world where practically everything is on the Internet, it is essential for any entrepreneur—medical practice owners included—to set up shop there. However, establishing an online presence takes more than just creating a website or a Facebook page. You need to engage people. They are, after all, potential patients, and you must make an effort to communicate with them one way or another. The growth of your practice depends on it.
So how can you effectively communicate with your potential patients online? Here are some tips that might come in handy.
Email marketing is a highly effective way of communicating with potential patients. For it to help grow your practice, however, you have to use it well. You can’t just bombard the people on your email list with ad after ad that get ever more generic by the day. As much as possible, personalize your messages. People tend to respond better to emails that refer to them by name. If you can include visual elements like pictures and videos in your message, even better. Most importantly, your message has to have a purpose. Be it an announcement about discounts or news about moving to a new office, your message must have enough value for potential patients to deem it worth their time to click on the link and read up.
If your medical practice has a website, you might as well create a blog for it. Blogs have always been an excellent marketing tool for business. In it, you can post about topics relevant to your practice like oral care or necessary dental procedures, if you’re a dentist. Aside from helping you build credibility, a blog also presents an opportunity for you to communicate with potential patients who might drop a comment or two on your educational blog posts. As always, be accommodating and informative when engaging with commenters so you can build rapport that could translate into a visit to your practice. People tend to be more receptive towards being educated than being bombarded with advertising.
The same rules apply when communicating with potential patients via social media. Readers will always be responsive towards tips on how to properly care for their teeth, why flossing is necessary, or how to choose a dentist. Put up fun events or contests, and people are even more likely to engage.
When responding to comments on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other social media platforms, always remember to be thoughtful and professional, even when some of the comments veer toward the negative. Keep in mind that most of these commenters are prospective patients, and you don’t want to turn them away by being making a snarky response to a snarky comment. Just keep your cool and answer the comments in the most professional manner you can muster. By responding to comments, especially those that focus on your dental services, you are demonstrating that you acknowledge concerns from people and that you are taking that opportunity to improve things at your practice.
Online customer reviews
When you get your dental practice listed on sites like Yelp and Google Reviews, you can expect customer reviews sooner or later. The reviewers could be people who have utilized your services or individuals who have heard from a friend about your practice. As you probably know by now, online customer reviews could go either way. Whether the reviews are positive or not, it’s important to respond to them thoughtfully.
As much as possible, your responses should sound general, particularly when the review is negative. Let’s say that the reviewer is complaining about having to wait for an hour or so before being served. Your response should be along the lines of, “We put a premium value on our patient’s time, and we do our best to stay on schedule. However, we sometimes find ourselves in situations that could put us behind schedule every now and then.”
It’s also imperative that the responses you provide are non-emotional ones. While it’s easy to be slighted by a negative—sometimes overwhelmingly scathing—review, lashing out will not do you any favors. At the very least, your non-emotional response should acknowledge the reviewer’s issues. It’s also best that you use the not-so-favorable feedback as an opportunity to make your services better. Your professionalism will seep through your responses, and that is something that could make potential patients who come across your negative review to reconsider.
Effective communication is always vital to the success of any business. You may be the most highly-skilled medical professional in your field in the world. You could even be master of countless hi-tech procedures. But for your practice to grow and be truly successful, you have to communicate well not only with potential patients but also with existing patients and your staff.
At My Digital Dentistry, we are 100% focused on creating industry-leading website designs for the dentistry profession. We believe a modern website that looks beautiful on desktop and mobile devices alike is the best way to turn visitors into new patients. For us, it’s not just about designing a website. It’s about designing a user experience that connects with your potential patients and fits your business model.