Retaining and attracting clients is a challenge that all businesses are faced with. It’s no different in the physical therapy industry. Patient volumes can fluctuate for a variety of reasons, but there are ways for you to take control of your clinic growth and create opportunities through proven business development and marketing practices
Here are five strategies to help you increase patient volume at your clinic:
1. Figure Out What Works for You
The best way to move forward is to know what has been working for you in the past. If SEO and email marketing generate the most leads, then find ways to leverage those channels further. Or if you recognize that word of mouth is helping generate patients at a high rate, consider implementing a referral program that encourages your patients to recommend family and friends to your clinic.
Your best foot forward might be a step you already took. Lean into the tactics that originally brought you patients and rethink strategies that didn’t work out as well for you.
2. Build Strong Relationships with Other Physicians
Even if your state offers direct access to physical therapy, you’re likely to still receive a high volume of patients through other physicians' referrals. Physicians refer their patients to those they trust, and that stamp of approval can go a long way towards creating an ongoing pipeline for referred patients.
The best way to get referrals from physicians is to keep a strong relationship with them. You can connect with them through industry events or stay connected online.
Thanks to the increased use of social media, there are now many online communities for PT providers. You can join groups, host community talks, exchange business cards, and build healthy relationships which encourage referrals among yourselves. A good social network to start with is called Doximity, an online networking service for medical professionals.
3. Build a Strong Marketing Strategy
A Marketing strategy can help create awareness with the intention of increasing patient volume at your clinic. In the physical health sector, there’s options to apply both traditional and online marketing methods. The main traditional marketing methods to use include word of mouth referral marketing, posters, banners or paid media, like television or newspaper.
On the other hand, you may find online marketing methods more effective and affordable. Below are some of the main online marketing methods that you can implement for your PT practice:
- Social media marketing
- Video marketing
- Email marketing
- Digital ads marketing
- Inbound marketing
Note: the success of marketing highly depends on targeting. For the best results, focus on your ideal market audience and develop strategies that speak to them where they are (based on the services you offer).
4. Refresh Your Website
It's important to have a website focused on generating appointments for your PT practice. If you already have a website, that's great! Analyze how your current website is helping you drive patients to your clinic, make adjustments where needed to your messaging and the overall user experience on the site, and track to see how those changes affect the number of leads your site is creating.
The easier it is for your patients to schedule appointments and access information on your site, the more opportunities you’ll create. Make sure that your forms are user-friendly and are easy for potential patients to schedule visits and make appointments. This improved user-experience on your site could be the difference in a patient choosing your clinic over another.
5. Keep Your Old Patients Engaged
As important as it is to increase the number of new patients coming to your clinic, it’s also important to keep your current patients happy and encouraged to stay. Patient retention earns loyalty and increases the number of referrals. Here are a few strategies that you can use to keep your existing and former patients engaged:
- Keep in touch with them through emails and social media platforms
- Show interest in their personal affairs such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, etc.
- Schedule appointment reminders
- Offer them interactive programs that they can do at home
- Consider a 1-Year card acknowledging the graduation from their plan of care, and invite them back for a whole-body assessment, like BodyQ
Offer your patients a post-appointment survey that allows them to provide you and your team with feedback. Measuring the satisfaction of your existing and former patients can help improve the operations of your practice, but it also creates an opportunity to turn your happy customers into patient referrals.
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From all across the nation—in large cities, rural communities, and small towns—business owners with large, multi-clinic practices, solo practitioners and startup clinics, are achieving amazing results using FYZICAL’s business model. Contact us for more information.