Think there’s no room for persuasion in your patient communication? Think again. Since I serve in a marketing role here at TeleVox, I often come across articles full of tips and ideas on how I should be talking to you, the Blog reader. But here’s one that I think is also very relevant in how YOU communicate with YOUR patients.
Check out Gregory Ciotti’s recent article on The 5 Most Persuasive Words in the English Language.
As you can see, it’s primarily written for marketing copywriters trying to sell products or services to buyers. But for many of your appointment types and much of your patient outreach, isn’t it kinda the same thing?? I think so. Look at how Ciotti’s five words are a fit for your patient communication:
- You – Strong patient relationships are all about personalization, and using the word “you” (within reason) helps patients internalize the importance of what they’re being told. Ciotti notes that we should try to “trigger that personal aspect with customers”. Or in this case, patients.
- Free – Many patients can’t help but think of co-pays and other costs for healthcare visits of all types. That’s where the phrase “free” can have power for your practice. Or if you think “free” may cheapen your message, the word “complimentary” may be a better substitute. Communicating up front about a patient’s self-pay responsibility can be a good hook to generate response.
- Because – If you want a patient to book an appointment, make a payment or take any other desired action, be sure to tell them WHY. While the reason may be obvious to you, it may not be so crystal clear from your patient’s point of view. And make sure that reason is about the patient. The old phrase “what’s in it for me?” certainly rings true in patient outreach.
- Instantly – Of the five words in Ciotti’s list, this one seems to be the most overtly “salesy”. But it can still be useful for you. You might mention how quickly a patient can get an appointment scheduled or the immediacy with which they can speak to the staff.
- New – This is a great one. If you’re offering a new procedure, you’ve opened a new location or you simply have a new website, anything that you communicate as “new” will catch a patient’s attention. Be sure to regularly highlight what’s new in your practice.