Last updated Jan. 20, 2021
The development of digital marketing over the last couple of decades, has revolutionized the commercial industry and changed the way brands use technology to sell their products and services.
Companies and organizations are continuously moving from the more expensive traditional advertising (TV, radio, and print media) to the use of less expensive, higher return on investment (ROI), and scalable digital tools to create awareness for their products and services.
Digital marketing campaigns include search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, data-driven marketing, and influencer marketing, among others.
As already mentioned, these have revolutionized the way in which businesses use technology to sell their products. One way this has helped is in the growth and encouragement of Repeat and Referral Businesses.
The repeat and referral system is a key to winning patients over in medical practice. Gastroenterology specialists face a unique marketing and advertising hurdle, because their needs and objectives are unique.
Maximizing repeat and referral in gastroenterology will involve proper examination of all the factors affecting the practice and developing a plan.
It will involve engaging patients by through tracking results, being ethical in approach of practice, attracting more referrals and strengthening of existing relations, advertising directly to target audience, and ultimately enhancing patients’ loyalty.
To maximize repeat and referral business in gastroenterology practice, the physician/doctor must organize a robust relationship database.
Each customer must have a detailed profile that includes contact, mail, social media handles and other essential personal information.
This can be sorted by using a physician relationship management software.
The physicians should always ask the returning patients what is most important to them regarding how they take care of them. This can be done every point of clinic visit or online during consult.
Are you in need of specific strategies to maximize repeat and referral business in gastro marketing? Here are some of the most effective ones:
The aim of follow-up marketing is to constantly have your name in the minds of existing customers and clients. This will include information collection for email lists and others.
Follow-up marketing must be data-driven. In subscribing for a service, adequate customer information should be collected. While some customers may not feel the need to share certain information, as much as possible, physicians should make attempts, at least, to collect information such as birthdays, number of children, etc.
This will enable the brand to send personalized messages such as birthday wishes and information on kids' products. Email lists enable broadcasting of newsletters such as general product information and service details.
A data-driven approach to follow-up marketing would enable the business identify products and services that interest the customer. This makes it easy to place patients in mailing lists that can satisfy their interests.
Follow-up marketing should also be done as often as possible without spamming. A systematized follow-up plan keeps the practice in the minds of the clients and builds goodwill that leads to repeat and referral business.
This approach helps in keeping your name in the lips of your patients. The practice can share information and special deals with customers and prospects to shows that you care about them.
You can give online tutorials and relevant ideas on how to manage basic gastrointestinal infection at home, how to maintain a good hygiene to avoid certain GI infection like salmonella and clostridium.
You can also share a diet plan that helps recovery for some illnesses, as well as foods to eat to maintain the gastrointestinal flora. For example, sending your clients mail on how to manage gastric reflux or indigestion helps in reassuring them that your priority is their well-being.
Sending birthday or anniversary message to your patients can also enhance referral. A systematized follow up plan builds your business in their mind and builds good will that leads to repeat and referral business.
Asking your patient to fill a testimonial form when you are done consulting whether online or physical can also be helpful. Include questions that cover service satisfaction, ethics, and availability of physician. Discuss with them on posting their testimonials on your website.
This helps build confidence for first time patients and those that are yet to become loyal patients.
The physician should always go through the form to see if there's any room for improvement.
An independent body that won't compromise can come in once a while to carry out data check on customer satisfaction. Also attach questions that suggest if the patient won't mind getting you a referral.
Reach out to your customers at least once a month to check up on their well-being. This is very similar to the first point discussed here, but there is a need to stress it further.
Customers enjoy being treated like royalty and doing so can encounter them to seek your consult, either by visiting your clinic or having an online session with you.
Even if they don’t, they will be very grateful with your concern and regard. This can make them to tell their families, friends, and colleagues about their good GI doctor.
Incentives can come as free 10mins online consult session with the doctor, a discount for a procedure, or, simply, a free gift.
Working with a software that awards loyalty points to repeat customers and let them know when to use their points as part of payment for the service that has been rendered to them can help motivates patients.
Who doesn't appreciate a gift; a happy customer can give you a shout-out to one of the social platforms he or she is active on, and this can go a long way in promoting your business.
This can be great in turning regular patients to loyal ones. If there is any new plan you want to roll out, always let your customers know about it through text, emails, newsletter or social media posts in active, relevant platforms.
Exceeding the expectations of your patients can also help to a large extent. Show them that their well-being is your priority and not how much you make from them.
If they have other medical challenge outside your field, do refer them to a trusted medical practitioner where they will get the best of service. For patients that have problems not in your field, do not shut them down.
Rather, do a follow up on them to see if they were satisfied with services they got from where you referred them to. This increases the trust the patient has in you, thereby enhancing word of mouth recommendations.
Business-to-Customer relationships are important for all kinds of businesses, including those in the medial field. You can extend that to Customer-to-Customer relationships, which helps to establish a group of super-engaged loyal patients.
Social media platforms can come very handy in this regard. Use your relevant platforms for community building rather than advertising.
Providing a platform where customers can connect with other customers and build connections will help them share their positive stories wildly.
Such engagements boosts customer loyalty which will grow your practice.
Customer loyalty does not materialize overnight. This means reaping from repeat and referral business will take a lot of works and patience in the medical field. It is achievable, however, and we know this piece can help you in many ways.