The doctor-patient relationship is changing. That’s leading some of the top healthcare trends that you need to pay attention to so your practice continues to grow and attract clients.
There are about a gazillion different strategies to choose from to deliver your services in today’s rapidly changing marketplace. It literally can make your head spin!
And let’s be honest, you’re a doctor first.
Not a marketer, manager, or sales rep.
Your passion is taking care of patients.
But you can’t do what you love without solid systems in place. Systems that set you apart from the pack and make you the no-brainer choice.
In my blog post about how digitalization is about to disrupt healthcare as we know it, I talk about Steven Kotler’s 6Ds of Exponential Technology. That’s what happens when an industry gets disrupted by digitalization–which is what’s happening to healthcare right now.
This is a huge shift you need to prepare for to remain relevant to prospective clients.
But rather than looking at this from a pure marketing and sales perspective, which can get quite boring, let’s talk about how this shift in healthcare is changing the behavior and mindset of your clients.
And what you can do right now to make you and your practice irresistible to the people you can help the most.
Because the Empowered Health Revolution is radically altering the doctor-patient relationship.
Many insurance companies, big health organizations, and top news outlets are researching and reporting how the doctor-patient relationship is changing and they’re coming up with some pretty exciting data.
Understanding current healthcare trends and how your potential clients make purchasing decisions is important so you can make smart and relevant business decisions. Especially when it comes to developing a solid client attraction strategy for your practice.
Here are the 7 Top Healthcare Trends
Healthcare Trend #1: The Importance of Having an Online Presence
Eighty-one percent of shoppers are now researching online before buying.
Ninety-one percent of consumers actively read online reviews.
Close to 40% of consumers consider your business irrelevant unless you utilize social media to share your message and educate potential patients.
But it’s not just about posting regularly on your social media accounts. That might have worked a decade ago when few businesses had a social media presence.
Today, everyone is competing for the attention of the same audience. So, if you want to stand out, you need to share valuable, relevant and authentic content.
Content that speaks directly to the people you can help the most. Content that makes them feel heard, understood, and supported.
Healthcare Trend #2: Make Sure to Deliver Patient-Centered Care
There is a big shift in healthcare toward patient-centered care. Gone are the days when people revered the advice of their medical doctor. Today’s patients are demanding to be educated, not just told what to do.
If you’re anything like the holistic-minded doctors and healers I work with, I bet you already do an amazing job educating, listening, and tuning into your clients’ needs. You instinctively know the importance of gaining your patients’ trust and earning the position as their trusted health advisor.
This healthcare trend is why more patients than ever are choosing holistic doctors, healers, and practitioners instead of conventional medical providers. Now that’s a trend I can get behind!
Patients really are leading the way toward a new healthcare system. A system where health is front and center, not just an afterthought. Where managing disease takes a back seat to prevention.
All you need to do is to meet that demand and deliver a wow! experience to your clients.
Healthcare Trend #3: Be Efficient
Patients want healthcare providers that are efficient, speedy, and convenient. This healthcare trend is one of the many reasons why companies like Chipotle are so loved. There are no delays waiting for table service, but you still can get healthy and delicious food. Convenience is a top priority for today’s consumers. Patients want to be able to get in and get out while receiving good quality service.
This is especially true for the millennial patient. Convenience for millennials means high tech. They manage their lives from their phones, drive their cars with a GPS, and consider their online relationships as important as their real-life connections.
This is why I recommended that my clients, Dr. Sharon and Dr. Allen, automate their new patient appointment scheduling and link it up with their website and social media accounts. Initially, they were skeptical. “Who would schedule an appointment without meeting them or talking to them first?” they wondered, but went along. Within a few days, new client appointments were getting booked while they were busy doing other things.
We used Acuity Scheduling to generate the direct website link and social media ‘book now’ buttons.
Whatever your opinion may be about millennials, they’re replacing baby boomers as the largest consumer group, so prepare your practice accordingly.
Healthcare Trend #4: Build Your Know, Like, & Trust Factor Before Sending Prospective Clients Your Online Ads
If you have relied on paid online advertising, like Facebook ads or Google AdWords, to bring clients to your events or book appointments, you may have noticed how the cost per lead keeps going up while the quality of leads is rapidly declining.
Throwing more money into your advertising budget is not the answer and won’t solve your lead generation problem. Because the marketplace has changed.
Audiences are maxed out. Sure, there are millions of people on Facebook and searching Google. But once you’ve narrowed it down to your target audience, you’re competing with tons of other advertisers to get eyeballs on your ads and get people interested in your offer.
Audiences are getting tired. Think about all the ads you have to navigate when you jump on social media or search online. Sometimes the onslaught of ads can make it hard to even get to the information you jumped online to gather in the first place. The world wide web is a busy, noisy place these days.
Paid advertising can still be a great way for you to make sales, but it needs to be strategically positioned for you to get a decent return on investment. Your best bet is to build an audience that knows and likes you through organic marketing. Then close the deal by putting your call to action paid ad in front of them.
I’ve dibbled and dabbled in Facebook ads over the years but what have repeatedly made sales happen for me are my organic, relationship building marketing efforts. You can read about my experience in my blog post “What I’ve Learned from Facebook Ads and Why I Prefer Organic Marketing.”
Today’s consumers trust friends way more than they trust a marketing message or an online ad. As a matter of fact, 73 percent of consumers are simply annoyed by the ads that are disrupting their online browsing and they quickly dismiss pop-up ads rather than listen or read them.
Healthcare Trend #5: Make Sure Your Online Reviews Rock
A staggering 84 percent of patients trust online reviews as much as a referral from a friend. They spend a considerable amount of time researching brands and reading online reviews before they ever purchase something new.
Reviews create social proof for you and your services, and you need them not just on Google or Yelp, you need them on your website, Facebook page, and all other social media platforms. These are important for prospective clients.
If you’ve given up on your online reviews because you’ve received several less favorable reviews, here’s what to do to get back on track.
Respond to all the reviews on each of your platforms. Both positive and negative reviews. Address the concerns the client brings up and let them know what you’ve done to improve your procedures or explain why something is done a certain way. Use it as an educational platform and bring your humanity to the conversation.
Ask current clients to write a review for you. You can do a fun raffle in your practice for everyone who gives you a review online. If they do more than one review (on different platforms) they’re entered into the raffle multiple times. Raffle off some great prizes and reward your patients for their support.
Healthcare Trend #6: Connection Online Matters
People are turning to social media to connect more than ever. Consumers today value their social media connections just as much to as their real, live community of friends and family. So much so that they feel disconnected when they’re not current with their online connections.
“Research on who people communicate with online shows a lot of local activity,” says Caroline Haythornthwaite, a professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Illinois. “So online communication always reinforces local relationships and local identities that build networks of interacting individuals who are mutually aware of each other. Together, this demonstrates a continuous change in how we maintain local community, while also emphasizing the importance and significance of our attachments to local places and spaces.”
Healthcare Trend #7: Be Mission-Based
Today’s patients want indirect sales messages. So, if every time you’re connecting with your followers you’re trying to get them to buy something from you, you’re losing the marketing battle because patients don’t want to be sold to. They want you to have a conversation with them. They want you to educate them. They want to hear you speak with passion.
Instead, apply Mission-Based Marketing, as I do here. Create a marketing message that enrolls your audience to change the world for the better together.
Today’s consumers are mission-driven. They believe they can change the world. They are more loyal to brands that have a mission that inspires them, rather than those without a purpose.
It feels so much better to give to others than trying to manipulate them into buying something from you.
Let me give you an example. Just yesterday I was at this awesome little Texas honky-tonk just outside Austin that’s actually super famous, called the Cheatham Street Warehouse. I was there for a singer-songwriter benefit for Toys for Tots. There were four singer-songwriters on stage at the time, singing three songs each and then the next four would take the stage. There weren’t a lot of bells and whistles. Just cowboys with their guitars and a mike in front of them, singing their hearts out.
The musicians that stood out the most were the singer-songwriters who really sang with passion. The ones who let their emotions show. Maybe they were a little quirky and funny and had that raw genuineness that came through–that’s what captured my attention. That’s exactly what your patients want from you.
With 81 percent of the population now on Facebook, there is no better platform than Facebook to share your passion and reach your patients. So, if you’re not utilizing Facebook and Facebook groups to grow your practice you are missing out on one of the most powerful Healthcare Marketing Strategies.
To sum up
There are several healthcare trends that you need to pay attention to in order to continue to grow your practice and attract clients. Doctor-patient relationships are changing and this is driving changes in the marketplace. I’ve mentioned the top seven trends to pay attention to in 2019.
Let me know which of these trends resonate the most with you? Do you need help implementing any of them in your practice? Feel free to comment below or contact me directly.
If you want to learn how to harness the power of Facebook live video and Facebook groups to grow your practice, influence & impact – join me and an exclusive group of forward-thinking health professionals in the Go Expert! FAST Membership Forum.
Isn’t it time you joined the Empowered Health Revolution to help us transform healthcare from the inside out?
Until next time, be a Healthcare Hero!