If you are a healthcare professional who runs your own practice, you may have thought about creating a website in the past. Maybe things haven't worked out in that area, and you're disappointed or unsure how a website can help. A great website will engage your customers, community, and field. Providing value and deeper service via your website is an honest way to gain customer trust and positive associations with your practice. Growing your business on the internet is possible in a variety of ways, and a well-planned website is the essential seed component. All of your efforts can be combined to create a website that reflects what you do best to those in need of your services.
As part of our ongoing series of tips, here are some things to think about if you're considering a new website or wondering if it's time to redesign an outdated one.
Improved Customer Service
Businesses in the broader economy have begun to abandon the concept of "customer service," or services rendered to the client at the point of consumption. Instead, they now prefer to discuss "customer experience," which refers to the journey a customer takes throughout their relationship with the company. It may appear to be a minor distinction, but it is not. As a practice, all of your patient contact points, whether online or in person, are critical. Customers will judge you just as harshly if you have a bad website as they will if you have a rude receptionist.
Be Present to Begin the Conversation
Being completely offline is no longer an option for a business. Your customers are most likely learning everything they can about you by searching the internet before coming through your door. Even if they did find you through word of mouth, the majority of today's conversation takes place on the internet. Google and Facebook will index and, in many cases, auto-generate pages for users who search for you, extending an open invitation to rate and comment on your practice. What people can find out about you on the internet is directly related to your reputation in the real world. A website can help you make the best first impression possible on prospective customers. A well-designed website will introduce new clients to your services in a way that establishes trust right away.
Being a part of this discussion with your community can already do you a world of good if you're active on your company's social media feeds. And if you have more work than you can handle, that may be enough. You may not need a website if you are not looking to expand your business or control your brand. It's a requirement for everyone else. Having a fantastic website allows you to better meet the needs of your customers. You can use a variety of tools to help your site provide a higher quality service and attract more visitors.
Chat in real time. Many of your patients will want to ask you questions. Should they come in for a check-up because they discovered a lump? Can your practice provide a specific treatment? What is the cost of a specific procedure? Patients want answers to their questions as soon as possible. Great websites can be used to respond to questions immediately to meet patient needs.
Material for education. One of the most common concerns patients have about procedures is whether or not they will hurt. Second, what are the negative consequences? An excellent website can be used to educate patients about various procedures, hopefully alleviating their fears. Chiropractors and dentists, as well as cosmetic surgeons, may find this particularly useful. On your website, you can also provide general educational content.
Do More Than Show Off Yourself
It's not uncommon for a health care professional to be conflicted about marketing their practice. Obviously, if you're a business, you need customers; however, when you're in the business of caring for others, you tend to avoid self-promotion. A great website can provide you with valuable information and even better service to your customers.
Posting short biographical profiles and headshots of yourself and your employees, for example, show customers the human side of your business and help you earn their trust. A website is an excellent way to inform the public about your mission, what you do, and why you do it.
Connecting with people on the level of your passion strengthens relationships, and your clients will feel more confident in selecting your practice.
In addition, a website is a natural and effective extension of your medical reception services. A website can function similarly to having a reception desk staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week—without the associated costs. Before they come in, your customers can get information about your services, check available appointment times, and even print and fill out intake forms. There are numerous ways to streamline the administrative process in order to provide better service without compromising your clients' experience or overburdening your staff.
More Lead Generation
If practices are to remain open, they must attract patients. However, without a website, this can be challenging. It's not so much that the internet is a novel tool that practices must employ in order to expand their market. Rather, it's because the majority of patients now prefer to communicate via the internet.
As a result, practice websites are now on the front lines of lead generation. They make their first contact with customers here, rather than over the phone. Practices frequently place a high value on training receptionists to take calls in the most courteous manner possible in order to maximize conversions, but they rarely design their websites with the same care.
A beautiful, intuitive, educational, and simple-to-navigate website is your best online marketing tool. Yes, internet marketing is much more than just web design. However, practices with excellent websites are much more likely to convert prospective patients into paying customers.
Sales funnels are crucial in this process. Great websites attract patients through PPC or content marketing and then provide clear calls to action to convert them. The funnel is a meticulously calibrated process that begins with specific keywords and then offers content and information to match before pitching with a solution.
Patients Have 24-Hour Access
In the past (perhaps 20 years ago), patients had to call during business hours to schedule an appointment. That is no longer the case, thanks to the power of digital tools. Patients can use a practice's website to schedule an appointment, learn about treatment options, and even email questions. It's a dramatic shift in the way the industry operates. As a result, a good website facilitates patient access. It enables patients to ask questions and solve problems at their leisure. There will be no more waiting for opening hours.
Improved Brand Recognition
What exactly is branding? Essentially, it is about establishing trust and reputation with customers so that they will come to you rather than looking elsewhere. Healthcare practices spend years cultivating personal relationships, often with great success. They can, however, take their personal brand to a whole new level with a great website. Although word-of-mouth marketing is still important for medical practices, it is no longer enough to guarantee conversions. When a patient is told about the benefits of a particular practitioner, they invariably visit their website to do some additional research. Usually, this snooping isn't done to find out if they have bad reviews or what they look like. Instead, it is about determining whether or not a particular practice is a professional outfit.When patients visit a healthcare practitioner's website, they are looking for the same quality cues that they would look for on any other business website. As a result, a good website can serve as a virtual extension of a practitioner's office, creating a positive brand impression. For a brand to be truly effective and stay in the minds of patients, it must include photos of your staff and be consistent with your physical practice.
Calculate Your Marketing ROI
It is not impossible, but it is difficult to measure returns through non-digital channels. A billboard campaign may result in a significant increase in the volume of calls to your front desk, but it will be difficult to track which calls came from which marketing channels. Tracking ROI on websites, on the other hand, is much simpler. Advanced digital tools allow healthcare professionals to see exactly how much money they're spending on site improvements and whether it's making a difference in their bottom lines. Keeping track of what makes a difference and what doesn't is surprisingly simple with practices like A/B testing and external and internal analytics.
Making your practice more efficient, engaging, and profitable allows you to serve more people. Nowadays, internet marketing is the most effective way to raise awareness of your worth and provide your services to those in need. Online marketing is the most cost-effective, and the best strategies make use of a professional website as their focal point. Marketing yourself online is critical for growing your practice and reaching out to more people.