As a private practice owner, you have a website to attract new patients, showcase your clinic’s offerings and specialties and establish your brand amongst your competitors. These goals are essentially “first impression” oriented, in that they invite people to know you and decide whether they want to visit your premises.
However, all businesses – physiotherapy clinics included – thrive by retaining customers (patients). It’s well understood that finding new patients is a painstaking task; therefore practice owners should do everything possible to encourage people to keep them in mind for follow-up treatment and future physiotherapy needs. With respect to websites, this means placing a greater emphasis on value-added communication and special membership concepts.
Memberships are often a core feature of a dynamic, interactive physiotherapy website. Offered to existing and potential patients as well as the general public for free, they allow clinic owners to provide specialised information about services, various medical issues and physiotherapy itself. Members can be given special access to particular areas of your website, receive special offers and regular newsletters.
Membership sites encourage subscribers to contribute ideas, content suggestions and opinions about how you can do better. Just think about it, advice for free from paying customers! This type of online interaction will separate you from less proactive practices. Patients and others will appreciate your out-of-clinic interest in their recuperation and encourage ‘word of mouth’ referrals.
Of course, website communication is not limited to memberships. As mentioned earlier, newsletters can be used to personalise your relationship with subscribers. Use them to supplement your in-clinic treatment with follow-up advice and appointment reminders. Other communications options include:
- E-mail broadcasting: Communicate information of common interest to all patients (e.g. offers, thank-you notes, new staff appointments, weekend and holiday schedules, etc.)
- Blogging: Simple way for using writing skills to gain followers and encourage business. Needs disciplined planning and commitment.
- On-page comments: visitors can voice their opinions about any content page that they feel strongly about. Other visitors (or you, as the website owner can contribute replies to develop a valuable online channel)
- Direct enquiries: Patients e-mail questions, treatment updates and concerns.
Private practices need all the advantages they can get to grow their patient base and stay viable in a business climate chock full of medical options for citizens. By exploiting website communications to the maximum, your clinic can securely maintain a presence in patients’ lives.