For our blog readers who are football fans, we’ve come to one of the greatest times of the year – the push toward the playoffs. Or if you’re a college football fan, the push toward the bowl season.
Either way, there’s a lot at stake for the teams in championship contention over the next several weeks.
In our last Pigskin and Your Patients post, we talked about the importance of knowing your competition. Not necessarily competing practices, but all the obstacles that compete for your patients’ attention on a daily basis. Their schedules, their smartphones, etc. Well, what if you know your competition but are struggling make progress with your patients? What if you know what you’re up against but can’t seem to prevail?
The answer may be your ability to make adjustments.
Great coaches know when to switch things up to lead to their team’s success. It may be a strategic adjustment with a bunch of X’s and O’s. It may be yelling and screaming to light a fire under the players’ you-know-whats. We don’t recommend the latter, but do have some ideas for areas you might adjust to more effectively communicate with your patients.
Expand your communication channels. If you’re sticking with phone calls to patients for appointment reminders, billing notifications or whatever, look at adding in email and text options as well. Contact patients through their preferred methods and you’ll see increased engagement.
Reach out to patients after business hours. Data shows that patients are more likely to answer phone calls from the practice and respond to those messages if they’re placed after 5:00 p.m. Can’t manage an after hours task like that with the way you’re staffed today? Work with a vendor who can help you there. (Shameless TeleVox plug, we know.)
Connect year-round to build top-of-mind awareness. Many practices tend to reach out to patients only when there’s an urgent need – an appointment reminder, a past due bill, etc. Try connecting with patients throughout the year with seasonal wellness messages, healthy living tips and more to keep your practice top-of-mind when patients are in need of visits for additional care.
What adjustments can you make to your communication strategy to better engage with your patients? Be creative. Be experimental. Who knows, it might pay off.