To increase patient volume, one needs to understand the complex challenges and factors that influence footfalls and most importantly the evaluation of brand’s impact on consumers. Here are five impactful suggestions from an industry expert:
In highly competitive healthcare industry, creating a credible image of a specialised healthcare centre is a very exigent task. There are number of super specialised centres available for patients, and identifying the right one is equally challenging for the patients.
Though there are multiple ways to drive footfalls, the key tool is effective marketing that can help a health centre stand out, opines a leading Cosmetic Dermatologist and Beauty Expert Dr. Meghna Gupta, Director at Delhi Skin Centre.
Effective marketing: Effective branding enables customers to identify the centre as the best services, standard treatment modality option. It helps attract more customers. For effective marketing, content and social marketing is the most essential tool to be flawlessly executed, so that people can easily recognise and understand the functioning of the centre. For that, the focus should be on maximising awareness and brand loyalty with customers/patients. Reveal your unique value proposition and develop a competitive advantage in the market on social media platform.
The other key drivers of effective marketing are patient friendly activities, which aid individual’s healthcare decision-making process, visibility improvement and brand recall initiatives. These are directly proportional to frequency of preference by patients and delivering services as promised during marketing campaign, strengthening the marketing plan. Further, it is extremely important to prepare a marketing plan based on strategic goals and objective of the hospital.
Social Media: Using social media to spread awareness is also a valuable tool for organisations to effectively get their message across to the customers, building relationships and brand awareness. Hospitals should consistently communicate what they have to offer to their customers. This is also necessary for brand building.
Trust Building: Building relationship and trust with customers help organisation to grow without gimmicks, which helps in spreading word-of-mouth. Building trust is a time taking process with various methodologies that needs to be inculcated.
The three essential core competencies includes: service, consistency and transparency, which will make a customer satisfied, who will share his experience with others and will recommend them to take the same service.
Enhance reach to consumers: The best way to reach out to customers is by advertising services and milestone achievements of the clinic. As every health centre offers a multitude of services, and the customers must need to know about them, advertising is a good way to keep customers aware of the development. For instance, if a healthcare sector introduces a new department or upgrades its existing department, it will be beneficial to advertise the new entries to the existing customers. It includes following activities:
Mass Communication: Advertising in newspapers, brochures, inserts, multi media etc.
Personalised Communication: Bulk SMS, emails, loyalty program etc.
Public Relation Activities: Community development initiatives, accolades, achievement etc.
International Standard Service at nominal price: Offering International treatments and standards at affordable price helps in increasing the volume of patients. It works as a wow factor for the customers. As, they get the conformity of international standards and advance treatment that boost up customer’s trust. They have trust and assurance that the treatment is safe and impactful.
Tie-up with Physicians: Doctors are the most essential business partners for any clinic/hospital they are associated with. Mostly, patients do not walk into a specialised hospital by themselves, but are referred by their reliable physicians. Thus, it is essential that these general physicians are convinced of a hospital's capability in handling complex cases. Other than that, tie-up or merger with a renowned specialist doctor may help in spreading word of mouth and boosting footfall in the hospital.
This article is written by Dr. Meghna Gupta, Cosmetics Dermatologist & Director, Delhi Skin Centre.