Why Healthcare Providers Should Think of Their Patients as Brand Advocates
No matter the industry, it’s easier and more lucrative to retain customers than it is to keep looking for new ones. In fact, we’ve talked about that topic before on our blog. Healthcare providers who are having trouble with patient acquisition may want to turn their focus on brand advocacy.
Think of Patients as Potential Brand Advocates
Your current patients are probably more likely than you’d think to invest in additional services from you. Not only have they already formed a relationship with you, but they would likely also consider the convenience of coming to you for care rather than going elsewhere.
However, simply returning to your existing patients over and over will only work for so long. The next step is to turn your patients into brand advocates. This is one of the best ways to attract new customers. Chances are that your highly satisfied patients are already recommending you to their family and friends. By focusing on their happiness and encouraging them to refer your practice, you can create strong brand champions.
It might sound harsh to refer to your patients as brand advocates, but it’s important to realize that the healthcare market is changing. Patients are shopping around to find the best healthcare provider for them. This is why it’s so important to help your current patients become advocates. They will be more likely to share your name not only with their connections but also online.
At the end of the day, your current patients are your most valued customers, so it’s important to establish strong relationships and communicate in ways that will resonate with them. Just because they’re currently using your services doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t decide to switch.
Psychographic Segmentation Can Help
Psychographic segmentation is a proven and proprietary model that classifies healthcare consumers into one of five groups based on their motivations, behaviors and preferences. These insights can help you more effectively communicate with patients, so you can empower them to not only take control of their well-being but also become brand advocates.
Not everyone communicates in the same way, and not everyone feels the same way about their healthcare. Self Achievers, for example, tend to be proactive about their healthcare, scheduling their check-ups early in advance and ready to complete your care plan. Priority Jugglers, on the other hand, have a lot going on, and their healthcare doesn’t usually make the top of their to-do list. They’ll schedule their family members’ appointments but will probably only visit for themselves when they really need something.
Using a Digital Engagement Platform
It can be hard to keep all of these differences straight, especially if your practice sees patients from all five segments. Because their lifestyles and motivations vary so greatly, messaging that resonates with Self Achievers is not likely to motivate a Priority Juggler to take action. By adding “communicate differently to different segments” to your to-do list, you might feel like you can’t handle it all.
Once you determine which segment your patient belongs to, digital engagement platforms like PatientBond can help. You can preload messages for each of the segments that can then be quickly edited to fit a particular patient and their situation.
PatientBond is unique in that our platform was built on the psychographic segmentation model, and it knows how to send the right messages to the right segments using the right methods. As patients interact with and respond to (or ignore) the messages you send through the platform, it will start to learn each individual’s preferences, even more specifically than the segment classification can tell you. This will help you send even more relevant messages to your patients, increasing their chance of receiving and engaging with them.
Using a digital engagement platform can be a great way to provide your patients with tailored messaging without using all of your time to do it. Happier patients are more likely to become brand advocates, encouraging others to join your practice and increasing your market share. After all, the core of any healthcare practice is patient acquisition, which helps you continue to expand your business.
For more on psychographic segmentation and how it can bolster your patient acquisition efforts, download our case study.