States are beginning to open the economy and gradually loosen restrictions on businesses, but it will be a long while before things return to “business as usual.” How we do business will be forever changed with hygiene and health a top priority to protect patients and employees. We are also likely to see a change in patient behavior considering many will be extra cautious to leave the safety of their homes. To ensure patients feel safe to come back, it will be critical to open up an early communication with them. Reassure patients that your practice is taking all of the precautions available to keep both them and your employees safe. Here are 3 safe ways to bring patients back post COVID-19.
1. Virtual Wait List
One of the preventative measures to conduct business safely during this pandemic is managing the number of patients inside your building at a given time. Business may be open, but social distancing is still paramount to safety for you and your patients. One strategic tool you can implement to mitigate large gatherings at your practice is the use of a virtual Wait List. Your patients will feel safer knowing that you’re taking this precaution, and when they feel safer, they are more likely to come back to you now and again in the future. Encourage patients to sign up for your virtual Wait List by sending out emails and posting on social media informing patients that you are now taking appointments as you carefully reopen.
2. Email campaigns
Businesses and practices alike are going through an abrupt change from being closed to now being open, which is why communication is now more important than ever. Your patients only know what you tell them, and they won’t know what to expect when they walk into your practice unless you notify them. Use email campaigns to inform patients about the new safety procedures you are instituting to keep them safe. You might consider breaking down your campaign into two phases. In the first phase, tell patients about safety measures like masks for patients and employees, and how you’re moving to digital intake forms to eliminate the need for paper, pens, and physical contact. In the second phase, explain any modified services and added sanitation efforts.
3. Recall campaigns
As the pandemic began to unfold, many businesses experienced a flood of sudden appointment cancellations. Implementing a targeted email campaign will be a significant strategy for specific patient retention. Segmenting these patients with cancelled appointments in a focused recall email campaign will help ensure that you don’t lose these patients who may think you’re still closed. Email these patients specifically to reiterate your increased cleaning and modified services, and remind them that the services they wanted before the pandemic are now available.
Bouncing back into normal life may take extra strategies than what your practice is used to, but the more precaution you take, and the more you communicate, the more comfortable your patients will feel to come back.
If your current patient communication software cannot do these things or you are not currently using automated communication, see how Demandforce can elevate your patient experience. Visit henryscheinone.com/demandforce or call 833.429.1132 today.