1. Take Baby Steps
The truth is.. everything won’t instantly go back to the way it was before. It is important to have realistic expectations and remember to take baby steps. A good way to approach reopening your practice after COVID-19, is to treat it as if you were launching again for the first time.
Yes, you heard that right.
It's time to knock the dust off your old business plan and enhance your strategies for your practice's reopening date. Revisit your competitive analysis and take a look at what your competitors are doing during this time.
Consider some of the pitfalls that prevented you from doing business effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic and enhance your practice's business plan to include possible setbacks and innovative solutions to work around them going forward.
Enhance your marketing plan for reopening campaigns, patient loyalty specials and discounts that you can give to your patients to encourage them to come into your medical practice.
2. Plan a Strategy for Reopening
In order to plan an effective strategy for reopening your practice after COVID19, you'll need to do some research first. You'll need to determine what your patient needs and identify strategies for addressing them.
Polls are a great solution for directly asking your patients what they want. Try sending a poll to your audience on social media to find out what they need from you NOW, in order to recognize their pain points so that you can start addressing them before and after your launch.
Consider everything from physical decor at your practice to enhancing your online presence for message clarity and consistency.
3. Ramp up your marketing
As patients gradually become more confident about leaving their homes, use this opportunity to share credibility content online to remind them why they chose you in the first place. ‘Credibility Content’ can be anything from videos to images that show people why they should do business with you.
Share engaging content that informs patients about your services, but try to focus on the solution that each medical procedure provides instead of just the sale. Patients can see right through 'sales-y' content and prefer to engage with practice's that add value rather than oversell their services.
Now let's talk about promoted marketing campaigns.
I know it's difficult deciding to invest in advertising right after a pandemic like COVID-19, but in order to reach more people and retarget your current patients... you pretty much have to.
More people are spending time on their cellphones and that includes patients that could be walking through your practice doors.
Promote your best content on social media and run campaigns for your services in high demand.
Now is the time to ramp up your marketing efforts whether it's through an experienced marketing agency or internally but you need to be using this time to effectively connect with online users, engage them with great content and convert them into patients.
4. Maintain Communication
I know you're tired of talking about sanitary safety because of COVID-19, and i'm sorry that I have to be the bearer of bad news - but your patients still need to be reassured of sanitary safety at your practice.
Please no more photos about washing your hands... there, I said it. I think everyone gets the idea. Try to be creative to avoid sounding monotonous. Put yourself in your patient's shoes.
What are some of the things that would make your patients feel safe about coming into your practice after the COVID-19 pandemic?
Go on, write them down. You'll need this list later.
Show your patients how you are sanitizing your tools and keeping your practice clean as an extra effort to keep your patients safe. Again, people need time to adjust to a post-pandemic world and need to feel confident enough to leave their homes - more specifically, to book appointments and physically come in to your practice.
Keep communicating with your patients online to show them why it's safe to come to your practice and use specials or marketing incentives to encourage them to book appointments online. Video content marketing is another great way to sell your patients on products and procedures to help them understand the value of physically coming in to your practice.
5. Sell More Gift Cards
Gift cards make giving and receiving more fun. They give you an opportunity to increase brand awareness at your medical practice and gives your patients an incentive to spend money at your practice.
I'd call that a win-win scenario.
They also provide a variety of benefits for your practice, ranging from increased revenue to greater patient loyalty. Make sure to promote your gift cards throughout your re-opening launch in order to encourage your patients to schedule appointments.
Gift Cards are like mini billboards.
Let your gift cards do the advertising for you. At a low cost to you, the card itself is a great way of establishing your medical brand.
Gift cards can also be used to attract new patients to your practice, and increase patient retention with your loyal customer base. A patient who might not have otherwise known about your medical practice will now be aware of your brand; in fact, the average recipient of a gift card is likely to spend more than the value of the card.
Your patients may want to share their experience at your practice with family or friends and gift cards are an easy way to do that.
People who would normally have overlooked your practice will soon become patients. You can even incentivize your patients to return by running promotions, such as offering a $50 gift card with the purchase of $100 or more from your practice. These promotions are a great way to encourage patient loyalty at your practice.
It's Go Time.
COVID-19 won't last forever, and we need to use this quarantined time to start planning an effective relaunch strategy for reopening your practice. Get with your team to discuss and revisit your business module in order to adapt your practice's strategies based on the setbacks that you experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the meanwhile continue to stay connected with your patients online and keep them engaged with your practice so that once you're ready to reopen your practice, you will be more successful with getting patients through your front doors.
If social media marketing and content creation seems like too much to handle right now, feel free to checkout our medical marketing agency, Visual Vybz Studios where we'll happily do everything for you and virtually keep you updated.