I’m writing you from my hotel room in Colorado Springs.. hours before my talk on “Online Marketing Strategies For Physical Therapists” with my colleague and friend Tannus Quatre from Vantage Clinical Solutions.
Hundreds of private practice owners have accumulated here to learn the latest physical therapy business tactics to SWAY their business in a new direction.
I can sense the energy here, and we all share one thing in common.
Like you, we all go above and beyond for patients, delivering optimum quality of care to every patient.
Having said that, most patients enter the land of the forgotten post discharge. For private practice owners, this is an important business loophole that must be plugged immediately.
I’d go a bit further and say this: If you don’t maintain contact with the patients post discharge, the profitability of your clinic will suffer..
Individual contact does not begin and end with the patient visit. It continues after the patient visit, with e-mail, regular mail and phone contact and should be fostered as a lifelong relationship. We apply similar principles with referral sources, and should do the same with patients.
Think of every patient walking around with a sign on their head that says ” I need to be appreciated”.
What are you doing to appreciate them?
When you acknowledge the patient’s efforts during the patient visit and following the patient visit, it creates a sense of trust and connection, that is difficult to match even with the most elaborate marketing campaigns. This is the single most powerful physical therapy business tactic.
The need to be appreciated is at the backbone of every referral relationship. If you ever had a referral relationship go sour, chances are that it had something to do with the level (lack?) of appreciation, an acknowledgement showered on the referral source.
Something as simple as a thank you card, e-mail phone call is more than enough for individuals to continue referring to your practice.
Acknowledge your patients by printing their name on a plaque, featuring them in your newsletter, having the patient’s cheer for them or simply throwing a little get-together for them. Patients, not only love the sound of their own name, but the appreciation that comes from recognition and encouragement from other patients.
If you ever wondered what the fastest way to lose a referral source is, then here it is: neglect
Even when you send an e-mail or a letter in the mail to a patient, make sure that you mentioned their name at least twice in each communication. The mere mention of a person’s name and is a dimension of personalisation to the message that the traditional marketing message can never convey.
Personalisation of messages creates a ‘ second level connection’ with patients. Most patients will think of a physical therapy service provider as just another physical therapist. This is called the first level connection, which is a default mental association.
However, if the patient can clearly remember something about your practice, like the name of the therapist, his/her favorite movie, sports team or hobby, the patient and the therapist are now like friends. This is called the ‘ second level connection’ with patients.