More than a year into the COVID pandemic, many consumers still see a need to avoid clinics. In addition, safety protocols and public perception have led some to fear gathering in spaces dedicated to treating illness. As a physical therapist, you need to work hard to overcome consumer fears and mental barriers to patient care.
To keep your business healthy, you should prioritize three things:
- Holding on to your current clients
- Getting new clients
- Developing convenient virtual physical therapy services
Stay Dedicated to Meeting Your Current Clients’ Needs
Everything you do to engage the public constitutes a marketing opportunity that can enhance or tarnish your brand. Many of the qualities that initially attracted patients to your clinic will continue to make them feel like your business goes above and beyond to serve them. You can boost your clinic`s image and express continued loyalty to your clients in three key ways.
- Keep Demonstrating Professionalism
From friendly and helpful reception to thorough examinations and tailored treatment plans with consistent follow-up, a conscientious approach to patient care is what clients expect from you. Continue to communicate regularly with them, offering convenient solutions-based information.
Include photos or short videos on your website and social media profiles that show your staff masked up, washing hands, taking temperatures, and encouraging social distancing. This will reinforce the idea that all professionals on your team are united in adhering to a high standard of treatment.
- Attract Clients with Deals and Promotions
Once your clients know they can still count on your clinic to deliver top-notch service, provide additional incentives for in-person visits by offering deals and promotions. For example, offer a percentage off the next visit or a free virtual wellness seminar with a refresher in helpful exercises for patients you haven’t seen in a while. They will appreciate your continued assistance and sensitivity to their needs in these difficult times.
- Make Communication Convenient and Fast
With so many practitioners and support staff working remotely, communication has become a source of great frustration for many consumers. In addition, increased wait times and lack of automated callback systems may cause some consumers to delay treatment further.
If you maintain convenient modes of communication and help your staff learn to use them, you will be well-equipped to assist consumers seeking your help now, despite significant challenges. You will also be better prepared to receive the potential influx of new and returning patients expected to flood clinics once the world resumes normal activities.
Loyal Clients Will Spread the Word
You can motivate clients to bring you referrals by encouraging them to invite a family member or friend to see you for a consultation.
- Remind patients that their loved ones will benefit from the same standard of care that has improved their health and quality of life.
- Combine your efforts in referral marketing with a discount on products or services for patients whenever a new referral makes an appointment following their suggestion.
- Be sure to have a WebPT Telehealth platform in place for when potential clients begin calling, so you can promptly make appointments.
With a rapid response initiative that allows customers to progress from inquiry to appointment-setting and treatment quickly, you will become firmly established as a virtual physical therapy provider. Such a system can streamline your business for years to come.
Be a Leader in Virtual Physical Therapy
With SimpleVisit, you can hold HIPAA-compliant web health PT sessions using readily available apps like Skype, FaceTime, or Google Hangouts. These programs are already familiar to many in the general public who have used them for home-based work, school, and appointments with other healthcare providers.
You might also opt to use your own digital assets. For example, if you already have an app that allows clients to view medical records and prescriptions, you can have appointment-setting, live chat, or video capabilities integrated into it.
Whatever option you choose, the long-term advantages of online physical therapy are clear:
- Loyal clients can continue receiving treatment from your clinic, even if they move away from your city or state or temporarily leave the country.
- You can offer some information through group sessions and seminars to keep costs low for patients and make individual sessions available at premium prices.
- Medicare Part B now covers telehealth appointments, according to guidance issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This includes retroactive coverage for services rendered after March 1, 2020, and continuing for the duration of the pandemic.
Treatment that Suits the Times
The fact that COVID brought the world to a standstill does not mean your business has to follow suit. On the contrary, if you stay abreast of new technologies in your niche and stay focused on client well-being, consumers will notice, and your business will thrive.