10 Creative Ways to Reactivate Past Patients

Where do you buy your loaf of bread for dinner? At the same bakery, I guess? You are a daily client of that bakery because you have your own reasons. Clients like you are important for that business. 

Returning clients are crucial for your PT business the same way as for the baker. Always be open-minded and see the potential they have for your business in the big picture. Each of them has the potential to bring more customers, provide excellent reviews, and help you see different issues from another point of view. 

But, since we are talking about a pain healing service, it’s a bit hard to build and maintain relationships after one or more visits. Even if you provide excellent service, it would still be hard to differentiate yourself from your competitors. 

In this article, we’ll discuss a few ways through which you can spark again that old relationship with past patients.  

Grab a cup of coffee and read on, because we’ve put hours of research into these paragraphs! 

1. Start with surveys 

Surveys are a great way to remind your past clients about the service you provided to them, and your availability. Your surveys should be focused in customers’ experience, in making them feel valued and appreciated for their time.

Remember: don’t turn these surveys into promotional campaigns, unless you want your patients to shoo away in the blink of an eye! 

You are the one who needs them this time, not vice-versa. Therefore, prepare to deliver an enormous amount of value. Your past patients who have been inactive for a while can be easily targeted through social media campaigns to see these surveys. 

These surveys should give you a clear idea of what you should improve to make them feel connected and appreciated. Answering questions about your business must remind them of what you offer. The end goal of your surveys should be to add them to your email list(if they're not) where you can send emails regularly to keep them updated and reminded of your presence. Besides this, data gathered from surveys helps you tackle issues that prevent past patients from coming back. 

2. Time to Ask for Testimonials

This is a great way to get in touch with past clients and remind them of your presence. Now, we both know that testimonials are a great marketing tool for winning more the trust of the client who’s giving it and for attracting new ones.

Testimonials give life to your brand. Your clients will feel appreciated that you value their opinion and they’ll see you as a reputable clinic owner. 

You’ll be at the top of their head next time when they need to go to a physical therapist. 

Another way to think of testimonials is this: use them as a reason to get back to past patients and to ask them about the results of your last consult and claim your availability. In such a busy world, people need to be reminded very often. 

3. The Gold Old Referring Method

You know what people love more than discounts? 

More discounts! You can offer your past patients the opportunity to win a discount next time they need to come to your clinic if they only refer a certain number of clients.  

This will increase the potential of you getting more new patients but helping you connect with past patients as well. They’ll have a good reason to keep you in mind. This is extremely effective if you set deadlines since it encourages them to hurry more and do their best. 

4. Sending a postcard? Great idea! 

Before being a therapist, you’re a human, and behaving in a simple human way by sending postcards and notes that show appreciation reinforces the relationship with your past patients. 

Your postcards should show them that you’re proud to have them come to your clinic and express your gratitude. Alternatively, you can include a small PT advice, such as an exercise or training for them to do which is rather funny than a boring routine, within the postcard. 

5. Social Contests

Social contests are another great way to go back to your past patients and show them you are not like the other clinics. Show that you care about giving back.

Giveaways have become popular these days. Utilize your social media presence to get such content up and running. There is a good reason why you see huge Instagram pages and celebrities organizing giveaways: because they work!  

One of the most effective ways to remind your patients of your services, increasing organic reshares and keeping them engaged. Hence, start considering organizing a contest with your Instagram, Twitter, or any other platform where you have a social media presence.

6. Personalized Gifts 

Think about how distinctive it would be if you were able to have your patients be identified with your logo! At first thought it sounds too promotional, but there’s a great way to do this without seeming salesy at all, and this is through a simple step in or not in combination with the 5th point above. You can gift branded shirts and hats for the winners of your contest. 

Take a few pictures and utilize them for your social media posts. Such a simple act will push your clients to recall your presence. Let’s not mention it will be hard for you to get out of their minds easily and go back to being inactive patients again. Wearing or simply having your branded content around will keep them aware of your clinic. 

7. Offer What They Care More About

You need to be where your patients are. Being past patients or potential ones, you should always stay up-to-date with events for which they prepare. Be in the know of the latest happenings that have to do with problems you can solve. 

For example, you might have past patients who are preparing for a running competition, such as a 5K. Right there it’s a pain point for you to focus on. They’re definitely aiming for a good outcome from the contest and what to have maximum preparation for. Creating special discounts for services tailored to problems that might arise for people running for the race makes you a favorable option for them to go to. 

Give answers to all the questions that might arise in their minds. They might be unsure of whether they can handle the physical tension (back pain, muscle soreness) and the mental exhaustion that comes after running for that long. This is just an example, but you can greatly benefit from events like this if seen with the right perspective. Show to them the importance of check-ups before the race and the dangers of not going through one. 

Keep in mind these are excellent occasions to share your business cards and get potential clients to sign up for your newsletter. 

8. Host Events Yourself

You can do more by leveraging inexpensive things such as your gym spaces. Here a ton of things you can do, but let's start with the simplest one: extending the normal hours of your gym to give special access to past patients to train for competitions, or simply use the spaces because they were among the first ones to come at your clinic. 

You can do more than this too. You can host parties and events at these spaces only for past patients to thank and give them the opportunity to benefit from special packages you are offering, check-ups, etc. Offering services such as free childcare would bring more parents, therefore it would be great if you could offer it with your team. 

Your service shouldn’t be confined to certain age groups. Thinking that adults need PT service more than other group ages, such as youngsters it’s a mistake. Young athletes or simply young people who practice sports and get involved in activities need your service too. Keep them in mind. 

9. Show appreciation to your team

We’ve been talking about your patients until now, but let’s have a look a bit more closely because we might find issues that need to be solved here. In order to bring back past patients, you will want to make sure your staff is giving excellent service to them. Making your staff happy should be one of your priorities. 

Unless your staff has all the necessary equipment and skills needed to serve your clients best it wouldn’t be possible to offer quality service for past clients to get them to return to you. Training your team to offer each service to best satisfy your customers ensures you never miss the chance to make them happy. 

Your team is the lifeblood of your business. You cannot expect to receive good feedback for your services unless your team is trained to give excellent service. This comes with teaching them the best practices and giving them the freedom of choice regarding decision-making power. 

10. Time for Bingo! 

You could have never thought of this before, but playing Bingo with your patients helps bring them back again, or at least reinforces a better relationship. Bingo might not be the exact word, but starting a game with your patients helps strengthen this relationship with them. 

Before patients leave on the last day of their appointment, give a number to choose from and put your numbers in a box in your office. Make it a habit to draw one number each week and call the patient who chose it. You can give that person a free screening or a free check-up. Organize it in a way that when there’s a Bingo the patient gets more and more of your special discounts. 

This can easily become exciting if you set a day to do these pick-ups and name it "The Contest Day." Patients who have chosen a number will wait for that day, and this will refrain them from turning into inactive patients. 

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