You’ve heard us say that to connect with your patients, you need to send the right message at the right time. Maintaining communication between visits is an important aspect of keeping patients engaged with your practice and building their loyalty. But you’re busy. There is a lot that has to happen to keep your practice running, and it can be hard to make time to create new content to send to your patients. These three simple tips will help you find more time to create effective communication that will keep your patients returning to your practice.
Automate As Much as You Can
One of the best ways to free up some time in your practice is to automate as much of your patient communication as you can. Tasks like appointment reminders and recall messages can take up hours of your staff’s time if they all have to be done manually. Patient relationship management (PRM) software can automate these tasks so patients receive the message, but you don’t have to have a staff member constantly tied to the phone.
Depending on the settings you choose, when a patient has an appointment scheduled, they will receive an automated text, email, or phone call reminding them of the appointment two weeks, one day, and two hours before their scheduled time. Because these reminders are automated, it ensures every patient is reminded of every appointment, improving the likelihood they will show up. Recall messages are sent in a similar way. Your practice decides how often a patient should receive a recall message, and the software takes care of the rest. PRM software can help your practice create and send all kinds of patient communication, but these are two tasks the software can handle that take up a large amount of your staff’s time.
Establish Your Tone and Brand
Appointment reminders and recall messages are important to help keep your schedule full, but with patient communication software, these tasks won’t take very much time. As long as the schedule is kept up-to-date, the messages will continue to be sent. With those tasks crossed off your to-do list, you have a little more free time to create and send other messages, like educational newsletters, emails with practice news, or invitations to complete a survey or review your practice. This type of communication takes a little more planning, but patient communication software can help you easily create and distribute these messages.
In order to establish credibility and build a trusting relationship with your patients, all of the messages you send should have the same look and tone. This creates a cohesive feel for your patients, but can also make the process of creating new messages move more quickly. Instead of creating a new template in addition to writing content, the look of the message has already been decided. And the writing process is easier if you already know how you want your message to come across to your patients. This also means that any member of your staff can write and send messages. If the guidelines are followed, each message will reflect your brand voice and build credibility for your practice.
Schedule in Advance
Once you have automated your communication and determined your brand voice, the next step is actually creating the content. The easiest way to do this is to set aside a certain length of time dedicated to creating newsletters and emails on a consistent basis. For example, you could decide to spend one hour creating and scheduling all of the communication that you will send out for the month. Your PRM software may offer a library of prewritten content that you can take advantage of. These templates usually contain educational information, and can be interspersed with the messages you write to keep patients updated with practice news. You can also create a delivery schedule, and set the date that each piece of content will be delivered. That way you aren’t trying to remember which messages you want to send each week and find the time to create them. You only have to think about it once, and you stay connected with your patients and build relationships throughout the whole month.
Communicating with your patients between visits is an important part in building connections and increasing your patients’ loyalty toward your practice. The benefits of making this task a priority and making time to create and send messages are well worth it to grow your practice.
To learn more about communicating effectively with your patients, download our guide, ‘4 Tips for Staying Connected with Patients between Visits.'