You have marketed your business, you have your first customers but what is going to keep them coming back? Client retention is something you should think about and there can be a few different reasons your customers choose not to return.
Making the efforts to retain an existing patients is definitely worth the time and effort. Existing clients already know who you are and what you do, having an already established relationship. You should make the most out of their good experience of your services and retain them as a long-term client. Existing customers also bring new customers to you too. Whether that is through word of mouth or perhaps your own referral program. This means if you offer excellent service to your clients, you’ll get a bigger reward with minimal marketing effort.
So, you see it is really important to retain your existing customers and not to get complacent with your business. Having a strategy to keep your clients as well as gaining new ones is just as crucial. But how do you go about it? Here are some thoughtful ways to make sure those Physical therapy clients keep coming back to your clinic.
1. Give a great first impression
First impressions do stick, so you need to make that impression count. When people enter your clinic, you need it to be the type of place your customers want to return to. Visually, your clinic should be professional but also comfortable. You want your clients to be able to relax and feel happy in your setting but also feel that they are going to get exceptional service. Look smart professional and approachable yourself too. You want customers to trust you from the very beginning and appearance can do wonders for that.
Be friendly and positive when you meet your clients. Most customers when they enter your clinic will be suffering from pain and may be a little apprehensive. They will be coming to see you with mixed emotions and you want them to give them a good feeling when they arrive. Breaking that initial barrier is essential to a long-lasting patient relationship. If they don’t feel comfortable they wont return.
Don’t just think about the first impressions when walking into your clinic. There’s also the correspondence and appointment booking too. Whether that is by telephone or by email you need to give a good impression of your business.
Make sure your correspondence and communication are professional, giving quality information and offering a positive representation of your brand. Clients will then be confident in knowing what to expect when visiting you for the first time.
2. Encourage patient education
Let your customers know the range of services you offer and what you can do for them. The more they know the happier they will be with their treatments. Go through all of the different treatments that may benefit them talking about both long and short-term treatments and benefits.
There are different times you can give information to your patients. During your appointment you can have face to face conversations, and handover print outs of more detailed educational material. Being prepared and having this material to hand is a great idea as you make your customer feel valued even after their appointment.
You can also regularly contact your customers (according to their contact wishes of course) with relevant information and material. Sending a newsletter or update can be an excellent way to keep in touch with your clients, remind them of your services and offer expert advice.
Don’t forget the small stuff. Before your appointments make sure your clients are educated before they visit. This includes what to expect from their first appointment, what to wear and how they may feel afterwards. Preparing them for their first visit will make your customers feel valued and at ease.
3. Offer unique services
One of the main things your customers will come back for is a treatment and service they cannot find anywhere else. That way if they like what you offer they will keep coming back for your personalised specialist service.
Make yourself stand out by offering up to date techniques such as adding aquatic therapy for underwater training or mindfulness practice for pain therapy. Offering additional services and giving your customer options to diversify their treatment plans will prevent them from getting bored.
Of course, you don’t want to spread yourself too thinly and compromise on the quality of your services. Make sure you are fully qualified and practiced in each new technique before you offer it out to your customers. Alternative therapies should not contravene the initial treatment either so only offer new services to customers if they will definitely benefit from the treatment.
So, use all of your skills. From exercise techniques, hands on massage, acupuncture and breathing techniques. A range of services will keep your customers coming back and draw attention of new clients too. Quality service and different treatments will give your customers plenty of reasons to keep coming back.
4. Always give quality care
Of course, you will always want to give the best care you can. However, managing your clients’ expectations from the beginning is also a must. Making a therapy plan, explaining what you are doing, and a time scale are very important. That way you can concentrate on giving your expert treatment and your core services.
Making sure you spend quality time with your clients is essential too. Your appointments should be on time, give yourself breathing space between appointments in case one runs over. This is so it doesn’t impact on your next customer. People don’t like to wait especially if they have an appointment time and a schedule.
Giving them the sole attention for the duration of the appointment is also key. Give them 100% and they will keep coming back. Personal service, excellent physical therapy and quality aftercare are all important factors when considering what you offer to your customers.
At the end of the day, if you get bad service or don’t get the results you expect then you wouldn’t return. So, remember this when dealing with everyone who comes into contact with you and your clinic. Be professional and offer a service you would be proud of, never give second best.
5. Send out customer satisfaction surveys
The best way to learn about your services is directly from your customers. Sending out surveys will give you an idea about what you are doing well and what you need to improve on. Getting genuine feedback can help you make changes that will benefit both your clients and your business.
Think about the questions you want to ask. Are they general questions or do you have something specific in mind? If there is a certain therapy that you want feedback on, then include this question to those clients who have had or are currently undergoing this treatment.
Next you need to think about how you are going to give this survey to your clients. Will you send it out by email or hand it directly to your customer following their treatment? Perhaps if you have a short survey you could ask them to fill it out once they arrive for their appointment.
Always leave a space for other comments too, as you might be surprised what feedback you are given, perhaps things you hadn’t thought of. Once you have your results you can make any changes you see fit to benefit your business.
What mistakes should you avoid?
Following this advice should help to keep your clients coming back but what things should you not do? A few mistakes you should avoid include:
- Sending out too many marketing emails. If you want your customers to think highly of your brand, then only send emails when you need to. Appointment reminders and special offers are great. If your customers receive too many emails they will unsubscribe, and you may lose valuable custom.
- Being unprofessional. Just one experience of unprofessionalism will lose your customers. Be professional at all times in clinic and out and give your brand the reputation it deserves.
- Being too close to your competition. Offering identical services to your competition will mean your clinic will not stand out.
Offering a great professional and modern service will make sure your customers are loyal to your clinic. Knowing how to keep customers coming back and what mistakes to avoid means you are sure to retain your current clients and gain new customers too.
How do you keep your Physical Therapy Clients coming back?
Do any of these examples ring true to you? You may already have a well-established clinic, but you still need to work hard to retain your clients. These five ways to keep your physical therapy clients coming back are great examples of things to do to retain your patients.
Have you considered using online marketing tools to help you keep your customers updated? At Patientsites.com we offer some great tools to improve your Physical Therapy website and marketing to connect with both new and existing customers. Whether that’s helping with patient education or creating and sending out your newsletters we have a plan to suit your needs.
Now you have the know how will you be using these five great ways to keep your physical therapy clients coming back?