Medical Practice Marketing Communications
Marketing materials and communications you send to your patients and potential patients must be polished, informative, and useful. If it is poorly written, recycles old information, and doesn’t help someone stay healthy, it will be discarded and forgotten.
The communications from your medical practice is not a one size fits all proposition. The various marketing materials, email blasts, social media posts, and anything else that advertises your business should be individualized to your target audience. This customization of your communications goes a long way to make your efforts more effective and hopefully boosts the conversation rates of your marketing campaigns. Communication also goes beyond just marketing efforts. Your staff will frequently communicate with patients when they call for information or send them information.
Below are some suggestions when approaching communication in your medical practice.
1. Phone Calls To The Front Desk
When the phone rings, it could be anyone on the other end of that line. You could be speaking with a:
• Current Patient
• Potential Patient
• Referring Doctor
• Press Outlet
Whenever your staff answers the phone, they should have a regular scripted greeting identifying who the person is talking to and that your employee is ready to help them. Stress that your employee needs to answer with warmth and kindness. An abrupt, grumpy, “Hello?” or “What?” is going to be startling and immediately start the conversation on the wrong foot. Is it possible for someone to be cheery every day? That is is a lot to ask! Tell your employees that if they are not up to answering the phones today, someone else should handle phone calls for that shift.
Whoever is answering the phones, should try to engage the phone caller to see what they need. If they are asking what the hours of operation are, then give them the information and ask them what services they are looking to get. By engaging the phone caller, you may be able to convert a potential patient into a regular patient by giving them more information. If you hear interest on the other end of the phone, offer them an appointment. For referrals from other doctors, there should be a protocol in place for you to get the information you need from the other medical practice. They are just as busy as you are, so the faster you can get that information written down or confirm the information has been digitally and securely sending, the better.
2. If a member of the press calls, be sure to get as many details as possible regarding:
• the subject of the story
• when the story is running
• when the reporter would like to speak with someone
• who would they want to talk with
• where would they like to talk with that person
News organizations generally have a quick turnaround time, so the quicker you can give them the answers they need, the more likely you can get some press for your medical practice. These sorts of decisions are generally above the pay grade of whoever is answering the phone, so be sure to let the staff know that they must get in touch with the decision-makers immediately.
3. Patient Communication
Marketing materials and communications you send to your patients and potential patients must be polished, informative, and useful. If it is poorly written, recycles old information, and doesn’t help someone stay healthy, it will be discarded and forgotten. Take time two write high-quality content, use hi-res photos, and ensure that what you are sending them is something they can use or act on to stay healthy. This applies to any content that appears on things you use to promote your medical practice, including:
• Social media posts
• Email marketing blasts
• Online Ads
• Print Ads
• Text message marketing
• Brochures, postcards, and flyers
If possible, you should also customize your content for your target audience. In some cases, your patient base may be a single target audience, which is more common for specialty medical practices. However, your medical practice may provide several services that have several target audiences; they may not overlap. In these cases, it is to your benefit to customize the marketing materials to target those audiences. Some things must be written in a way to target multiple audiences at once, like your website. But your online ads, print ads, postcards, flyers, and brochures can be designed to target specific audiences. Customizing these communications for these audiences is a very effective way to boost your conversion rates. While it does take a little time to implement and you need to be careful about which communication you sent out to which target audience, it is worth the effort!
4. Communicating With Other Healthcare Professionals
The way you communicate with others in the healthcare industry should be different than how you talk to your patients. First, they will be more experienced with medical jargon, so their comprehension of medical terms is going to be more likely than your general patients. With that said, you should also customize your communication with these professionals for your target audience. You can have different messages depending on if you are looking to:
• Hire new providers and staff
• Create a referral relationship between your business
• Network with others in your field in the community
• Work together on a regional health project
All communications to your colleagues in the healthcare industry must be as high quality as the communications you make with your patients. They must be polished, professionally written, informative, and useful. Unless you have a close and informal relationship with a doctor or medical practice owner, make sure your communications are professionally written, and free from mistakes. It would be best if you also were mindful of any non-business-related things you may send to other colleagues. Do not send any “jokes” or unverified stories that may reflect poorly on you and your medical practice.
As a doctor or medical practice owner, you need to police your private communications and social media posts. If you say something that is considered to be controversial, it could explode on social media with a severe impact on your business. Many times, a comment in the past, on a recent news story, or the sharing/retweeting of a news story has quickly turned negative for a medical practice. Email, phones, and social media channels are flooded with negative comments. Review sites are flooded with one-star reviews. You should be mindful of what you post on social media and establish a policy for your employees to let them know your expectations.
Communication is essential for your medical practice! It needs to be managed as carefully as other aspects of your business. Making sure you, your staff, and your marketing agency are all on the same page is critical to creating concise and effective communication. Contact PatientGain.com today and let our experts help you with the communication at your medical practice!