Now that we’ve shared a basic formula for driving traffic to your urgent care in our 7 Marketing Success Tips For Urgent Care Centers blog, what are the next steps to keep them coming back?
Many potential urgent care patients need your assistance immediately. How many do you think will be looking for you on their mobile devices? According to the CTIA Wireless Association, over 80% of the population carries a mobile phone. A mobile website is not only perfect for today’s tech-savvy audience, but it also offers your customers an additional touch point for your products and services.
According to Google research, close to half of searches for urgent care clinics are conducted on mobile devices. And when you consider 70% of all mobile searches result in action within one hour (according to Mobile Marketer), you could be missing a great opportunity to grow your business.
In addition to establishing and maintaining your organic search engine optimization, it’s key to make sure you are leveraging the business-related social media sites like Google Business, Yahoo Business, Yelp! and even Angie’s List. For example, Google returns searches that show your urgent care on a map so patients can GPS your clinic with a touch of their Smartphone. You can also add a picture of your location on Google Maps to make it easy to identify when they drive up.
Which brings us to signage. Great signage is critical. Don’t get overly creative. The key words are “urgent care” not necessarily your brand or logo. Put a sign above your door and also on the street. If your landlord and the municipality have no restrictions, temporary signage or “bandit signs” are excellent to display near the street during your open hours.
Long waits are just one reason patients avoid the emergency room. Who wants to sit in that environment? They feel invisible until someone comes and calls their name. You have an opportunity to do the opposite. Create positive feelings with your environment from the minute the patient walks through the door. Greet them in a friendly manner. Have relaxing music playing or a television set to a neutral channel. Have a waiting room that feels more like a physician’s office than an emergency room.
Your strongest marketing tactic is word of mouth. A good online review or a referral results in new patients. Make your experience memorable. Not by doing extraordinary things, but by doing the ordinary things in a different way. See our blog on Patient Experience. The purpose (understood by every employee in our urgent care clinics) is that every one leaves feeling a little bit better. Because we showed we cared. We communicated clearly. We made them feel important, even if they were not the patient.
Give patients something to remember you by. Our clinics give patients a gift card for every patient they refer. But that’s not the only gift you should consider. Provide patients with a branded magnet, a first aid kit for their car or even more direct coupons for discounts on flu shots or school physicals.
If patients had a good experience, they will most likely come back. Encouraging them to tell others is a different animal entirely. Fortunately, the Internet provides a venue for them to tell dozens of other people. Ask them to leave a review. You can add an area to your website for reviews, but it’s better to get them to post reviews online on sites like Google, Yelp! and Yahoo. More mentions online all improve your organic search rankings.
According to Search Engine Land, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. That means only physicians and family/friends are more trusted than online reviews from people the patient has never met.
On the flip side, there is no reliable way to remove bad reviews. You can only overwhelm the bad reviews with good reviews. Patients expect to see the occasional issue. So encourage more positive reviews. We provide visitors to our clinic a card when their visit has concluded. If they had a good experience, it shows them how to leave an online review. If they had a bad experience, it provides the personal cell phone numbers of our partners. We believe this encourage unhappy customers to discuss their issue instead of airing their dirty laundry online. Check out our blog on online reputation management.
There is no more powerful tool than a happy patient. It’s worth the investment.