Chances are, you’ve noticed how the Internet is transforming the way in which companies communicate with their customers. Everywhere it seems, the web address has superceded the toll-free number in prominence.
Companies are plastering their web address on everything possible, including billboards, trucks, buildings, TV commercials, and even directly on product packaging.
Why is the marketing of a company’s web address so important? Because this single, easily remembered location is the doorway to a wealth of information. From this point, customers should be able to learn almost anything they need to about the company. This strategy applies to your practice as well.
Besides being a valuable tool to attract new patients, your website also serves as a touchpoint to connect you with your existing patients on a regular basis. It gives you an opportunity to enhance your relationship, enhance your patients’ perception of you and your treatments, and make them happier with your services. As a result, they are more inclined to stay with you longer and refer others to your practice.
Starting Off Right
When a new patient makes his or her initial appointment, this is your chance to make a positive first impression. Invite the new patient to visit your website to learn more about your practice. Your site should talk about who you and your staff are, what kind of professional experience you have, even your personal interests.
Once new patients are at ease with you, your next goal is to make them more comfortable with your procedures. Your website offers a convenient way for patients to learn about your treatments in the comfort and privacy of their homes. Testimonials from other patients can provide a reassuring layperson’s perspective and can help people understand what to expect.
Taking Care of Business
After establishing an initial rapport with new patients, the inevitable administrative issues will become a growing component of the relationship. Your website again serves as a wonderful medium to answer patients’ most frequently asked questions, while using your limited resources most productively.
Think about how many calls you receive for basic information: What is your fax number? Are you open Tuesday? What insurance plans do you support? What are your payment policies? All these questions can be answered easily and conveniently on your site.
Getting the Word Out
Your website will not be of much help if no one knows about it. Guiding as many people, as often as possible, to your site is the ideal way to promote it and better serve your patients.
So how do you make your site known? Your first step is to put your website address on everything you can think of. Yes, everything. A good rule of thumb: Wherever your practice name appears, your web address should as well.
Before you reprint all your stationery, you can make due with existing supplies by updating them with your web address on a small label. Don’t forget to display your web address on a prominent sign in your reception area, asking, “Have you visited our new website?” If you set up a computer in the reception area, you can help educate patients – and any friends and family who are with them – while they wait. Make sure you also include website promos on your answering machine and on-hold messages.
Be creative and take advantage of the technology. The more you communicate with your patients, the more value you can bring to your relationship. Beyond your skills and caring, it is the most important way to differentiate yourself from others.