Trust is the number one reason people decide to buy. If there is a need, a consumer will go to the place they trust the most. This is true for urgent care as well. Do patients trust your urgent care? Do they know the services you offer and when? Can they differentiate you from your competition?
To market your urgent care, you must start with what matters the most—providing an excellent patient experience. Only with a strong reputation in your local community can you grow your clinic. Reputation, especially in retail medicine, means more than a brand or group association. Does your staff deliver on what you promise? If you do, you will naturally build a reputation of quality care.
How to Build Your Urgent Care’s Reputation
In episodic care, patients must make a quick choice. They often go on word of mouth or online reviews. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can build your reputation, using patient feedback.
Patient Surveys and Satisfaction Ratings
Begin with finding out how patients feel. Implement either print or online-based surveys with pertinent questions regarding the patient visit, staff interaction, treatment success, and so forth. Include in your survey a rating of overall satisfaction, so you can gauge patient happiness levels. Add the survey to workflow steps so staff remembers to include it for every visit.
Email a survey after the visit (if you gather email addresses up front), or send a print card home with the patient to mail back in. Improve responses and repeat business by offering an incentive for feedback. Or offer anonymous surveys, and hire a third-party survey company to do the work for you. An additional option for happy survey takers is to ask them to post an online patient review or give a testimonial.
Online Patient Reviews and Testimonials
Similar to restaurant reviews, online reviews open the door to evaluation and risk assessment—before they actually visit. The more stars, the better, right? Online reviews are often the first impression your patient sees of your clinic, so you should review these often. This includes watching what people say about you on social media and creating online alerts for mentions of your clinic as well.
Honest reviews are a wealth of information, and a gift for your clinic. Encourage happy patients to post testimonials on Yelp, Google Reviews, Angie’s List, Facebook, RateMDs, Healthgrades, and so on. With Google Reviews and a Google My Business page, you can improve your urgent care’s visibility in local search results.
Excellent reviews can also be used in a multitude of places in your marketing efforts, such as your website, brochures, and other promotional material. If you use a patient’s name, remember to get permission first before using their information publically.
Managing Your Urgent Care’s Reputation
Try to catch unhappy patients before they air their grievances online. But if you don’t, act quickly to address patient’s concerns. Ask how you can do better next time. Go for giving a five-star experience every visit, rather than just avoiding a one-star review. Don’t ignore valuable patient feedback, simply because it’s negative. It may be hard to hear, but if not addressed, it could end up being the majority of what you hear.
Most patients will appreciate your effort to improve if you care about why they are unhappy—and perhaps may return, to give you another try. Loyal customers often come from mistakes that were well handled and genuinely addressed. If you’re looking for ways to improve your clinic, check out a free white paper with tips for designing a patient-friendly urgent care.
Do you use patient reviews to market and improve your urgent care? Why or why not?