Clinicians spend millions of dollars in content creation each year to market their physical therapy business. A far more effective investment is in satisfied, educated staff that is happy to share information about the physical therapy business practice and physical therapy benefits, effectively becoming recruitment and referral engines.
According to SiriusDecisions vice-president, Marisa Kopec, up to 80 percent of the content made available by marketing agencies isn’t viewed or downloaded. The problem isn’t the content being produced. It’s a lack of understanding about how individuals make decisions when purchasing and details of the patient’s life that led to them to seek physical therapy.
Staff often understands those concepts even better than clinic owners. Staff members who are happy at their workplace and have access to content openly share that information with their social networks both on line and off. Patients talk freely with staff and share information that can be utilized to remove the obstacles that prevented them from making an appointment.
Here are 5 Ways To Transform Your Staff into a Referral Engine
Understand the Journey
Understanding the patient’s journey and arrival at the clinic is an essential factor for marketing physical therapy. One of the biggest misconceptions about physical therapy is that it’s primarily a treatment for people who have been injured in a work or vehicle related accident and need rehabilitation.
People simply don’t understand the full range of services offered by physical therapy, the conditions that can be treated, or how they can personally benefit. Others cite cost or insufficient insurance coverage, along with fear of pain. Staff can help dispel misconceptions and fallacies, educate, and share success stories
It’s also important to understand the problems and limitations patients face every day. Patients may experience problems with mobility, chronic pain or disability. Pain is typically the biggest motivator for patients. They typically wait until their condition has worsened or severely disrupts their life before seeking treatment instead of utilizing services as a preventative measure.
Everyone utilizes their own unique internal emotional value system when choosing how to spend their money and the value to be obtained from that expenditure. Successful physical therapy marketing must address those emotional factors and clinicians can use the information shared by patients with staff to provide more meaningful content to educate individuals.
Sell Benefits and Value, Not Products
Content and other facets of a physical therapy marketing plan should be focused on communicating the benefits and value of physical therapy to patients and how it can alleviate their specific complaints. According to Geoffrey James, contributing editor to Inc., “when selling a benefit, the business owner is still selling a product/service, but it ties the provider in some way to how that product/service benefits the patient.”
When selling value, content begins with the goal the patient wants to achieve and ties it to a specific benefit created by a particular feature. An example would be therapeutic massage. Pain relief is the patient’s goal, the benefit is less pain and easier movement, the “feature” is therapeutic massage. Potential patients must know how a specific service will meet their needs.
Content and Understanding
It’s helpful to meet with staff and ensure they understand the concept when speaking with anyone who represents a potential new patient. Beware of being too technical when providing patient content. It’s one of the biggest problems that professionals encounter.
Patients want information that’s easy to understand that can be quickly assimilated. Clinicians should ensure that all staff members have quick and easy access to the content they’re providing. Staff should have printable take-and-go handouts that can be given to potential patients that have been customized to the practice and patient needs.
Using analytics is essential for understanding strategies that produce results. It’s a tool that provides valuable insight into the impact that content is having, where potential patients are accessing it, and staff members that are generating the most new patient visits. Practitioners can see what content is most often viewed and downloaded, providing a better understanding of the content that resonates best with potential patients.
An EMR system that provides the required metrics and analytics is critical for monitoring and tracking all facets of physical therapy marketing. In Touch EMR™ is a multi-functional, integrated office system that provides sophisticated results and can monitor multiple campaigns at the same time.
Content Alignment for Greater Value
Research from the Aberdeen Group demonstrated that businesses of all types that provide the most user-friendly content experienced an increase in leads by 21 percent and had a 36 percent conversion rate. Clinicians that provide content that addresses specific patient needs and makes that content available to staff are effectively creating a powerful engine for referrals and are better able to understand the patient’s journey and eventual arrival at the clinic.
A free demonstration of the In Touch EMR™ medical software can be easily scheduled by calling (800)-421-8442.