Once you have built a relationship with your clients, it might be easy to keep them coming back for their appointments. You set a schedule and have goals for your progress, usually following a specific programme. But what about after treatment? How do you keep these clients using your services once their physical therapy is over? You may think that is the end of the relationship, however there are a few benefits for them to keep visiting your clinic.
It begins with patient education
Before thinking of ways to keep your clients coming back, you must start with patient education. Build your treatment and brand into a lifestyle choice that goes beyond just fixing the initial problem. By educating your patients and offering information about different types of treatments, you are showing how knowledgeable you are, experts in your field.
You need to make sure they know about the full range of services you provide. Also, the benefits of building a healthy lifestyle which includes regular physical therapy. But once you have educated your patients during the treatment phase, what will make them come back afterwards. Here are three ways to keep your clients coming back once PT is over.
1. Provide unique follow up services
The physical therapy treatment may be over, but what follow up services can you offer your clients. Of course, it depends on your individual clinic and your unique take on treatment services. Bringing wellness services into your clinic as well as specific physical therapy treatments will keep your patients returning even when their actual treatment is over.
Examples of wellness services can include exercise classes such as Yoga or Pilates. These are great ways to build strength after treatment and you can even offer private sessions for those clients who don’t want to be part of a larger group. Fitness training and nutrition advice are also services that can be offered during and after recovery. These sessions could be over a longer time period but will still keep your clients in touch with your clinic and returning to your PT services when needed.
Other services you could offer outside of specific Physical Therapy include general massage. Which could be sports massage or therapeutic massage. Techniques such as acupuncture or cupping which are designed to help those involved in sport. Any of the services that your clients want to continue with after their therapy can be discussed within their treatment and a further plan can be put in place.
Make sure you invite your customers back for follow up appointments. This can be a great way to discuss how they are getting on and any additional needs they may have. You can also review how well their initial treatment has gone. It can be great to get feedback and offer complimentary treatments to keep them in good health and fitness.
2. Keep a big media presence
Another way to keep your clients coming back once they have finished their treatment is to make sure they know what is going on in your clinic. But how do you ensure that they have access to all the information about new treatments and special offers taking place? Having a big media and marketing presence is essential to share information to not only your patients but previous clients and new customers too.
Social media is one of the first places you need to think about keeping a good presence for yourself as a physical therapist. Encourage your clients to follow your social media pages and interact with the posts you share. Share your new treatments, good news stories, offers and discounts. Show that you care about what people think by replying to comments and posts. Encourage comments and engagement which will get people talking about your business.
You can also encourage clients to come back by sending out directed marketing emails. Let your customers know that you are thinking about them and how they are getting on after their treatment. Here you can again send out information and offers as well as advising any services you think might be suitable for their individual needs. Making it personal will build trust with your business.
Create and share blog posts about services following treatment. By sharing good news stories, you will show how it can be of benefit to your clients to come back even after their physical therapy treatment has finished. Within your marketing strategy, include how you will use media to encourage clients to return again and again.
3. Offer a loyalty programme
If patients move from one physical therapist to another, their treatment and follow up care will be disjointed and less likely to be the most beneficial to their recovery. Loyalty programmes can ensure your clients keep coming back and don’t move on to other clinics. So not only will they receive rewards or perks but their treatment and care will be consistent and with a better chance of success.
Rewards can be as simple as free parking, discounts applied after attending a certain amount of appointments and access to specialised information or seminars about their condition. Any way that encourages loyalty but does not put into doubt the integrity of the services that you are offering. You cannot offer rewards on medical care but you can reward loyalty especially when it comes to additional treatments.
The best way to retain customers who have completed their specific treatment is to include terms in the loyalty programme which include returning for regular check-ups. You should also only offer rewards to customers who are taking their treatment seriously, attending all appointments on time and completing any home exercise they are tasked with.
You can also consider offering your clinic to be involved in other loyalty schemes such as corporate or public sector schemes. That way your customers will keep coming back to you as opposed to any other clinics as you are recommended and subsidised by their employer. Think about what is the best option for your own business depending on your patients needs and demographic.
What are the benefits of patient retention?
Having a loyal set of customers is the backbone of your business and will keep you ticking over with regular appointments. Keeping customers coming back is much easier than trying to attract new clients, it is also cheaper to do so too. You need to do less work to retain your patients, so do everything you can to ensure clients stay with you to the end of their treatment and beyond.
Existing customers also bring with them new customers who they have recommended due to your service. Having happy regular clients with encourage both written and word of mouth reviews and recommendations. Your patients will know other people in the same situation as them. Whether that is a person recovering from surgery or athletes requiring assistance. They will recommend your services to people within the demographic that you are targeting meaning less marketing needed from you.
They will come back to you in their next time of need. Perhaps for a different type of treatment, maybe the same. But keeping your patients on your books will ensure they remain with your clinic rather than finding an alternative place for their care.
So, what builds loyalty?
From your initial contact with a client you must make a good impression. First impressions make a big difference so make it count. Next, you’ve got to offer excellent care. If your treatments and care are not to a high standard, your customers will look elsewhere. Listen to your patients’ needs and concerns and offer top notch information and education. Taking the time to explain conditions and treatments to your clients will build trust and loyalty making a good patient therapist relationship.
You should also understand what keeps your clients coming back and the top reasons they decide to leave. Perhaps you can conduct an exit interview, or send out some questions as to why they decided to stop their treatment or move to another alternative clinic. That way you can assess the reasons and make changes if necessary.
Brand recognition is also a reason for loyalty as trust can already be established by that sense of already knowing the business. Then after experiencing good service, customers are more likely to stick with your brand than moving on and trying something new.
How will you keep your clients coming back even after their treatment is over?
You may think the relationship is over when your client has finished their prescribed treatment but you can retain your customers after this event. If you think about offering follow up services, improving your social media presence or perhaps offer a loyalty programme, then you can improve the chances of retaining your clients and keep them interacting and coming back. Whatever you choose there are many ways to enjoy returning customers if you do things right.