‘Tis the season to engage with your patients. The holidays can be frantic for most families, and the last thing on their mind is keeping their doctor’s appointments or communicating with their healthcare provider. While this season is financially flourishing for most retailers, medical practices can experience a drop in patient retention and an increase in no-shows, which means a loss of revenue. So, we’ve put together five tips on how you can bolster patient loyalty and show your commitment to your patients’ well-being even when their minds are elsewhere.
- Send appointment reminders – Breaking through the holiday clutter is challenging, but here’s where a little technology-enabled nudge can help. Appointment reminders can reduce broken appointments by an average of 25-30%. With an automated phone call, text or email, healthcare providers can ensure their schedule stays full. Patients can reply to text reminders, click on appointment reminder emails and press their phone keypad to confirm their visit or let you know they need to cancel. Best of all, having an automated system can free up staff to focus on in-office patient care.
- Spread some holiday cheer – What are your callers hearing when they are placed on hold? A great way to display your holiday spirit is an efficient on-hold messaging system. Create the perfect holiday playlist for callers to listen to while they are waiting. Take advantage of customizable messages that include new treatment options, holiday specials or why your staff is so amazing.
- Engage with social media – Use your social media platforms to increase engagement during the holidays. Show off your office decorations, share healthy holiday tips, or kick off a holiday-themed photo contest with your patients. This season is also a great time to show support for your local community, so give the gift of giving. Run a holiday giving campaign and get your patients involved in the cause. Share updates with your followers.
- Decorate your website – Just as you would decorate your office, it is an excellent time to add some holiday cheer to your website. One of the most obvious ways is to add some holiday-themed graphics including homepage banners, icons or festive backgrounds. You can find a wide assortment of free and paid graphic resources online.
- Keep the focus on health this holiday – While the holiday season can be filled with joy and anticipation, it can also be a source of overindulgence and anxiety. This is a great time to remind patients to keep their health in check and to schedule their wellness and preventive care appointments. Research shows that 50% of patients are not receiving recommended care for specific conditions. Help them keep health top-of-mind.
The holidays can be hectic for your patients, but it is a great time to boost engagement through festive campaigns that show the personal side of your practice. Use any or all of these tips to inspire a happier and healthier holiday season.