Previously, we've shared how retail businesses create experiences for their customers, often so seamless and organic that patrons hardly notice. Creating this type of environment takes a lot of work and coordinated effort.
Now, we'd like to take those retail marketing lessons and apply them to the healthcare business. The healthcare industry is similar to retail in many ways, especially when patients are inside a healthcare facility.
Customer Experience in Healthcare
Both the healthcare and retail industries are filled with competition, with businesses aiming to show their customers and patients why they're the right choice. Nobody wants people to get sick, but when they do, healthcare organizations need to be ready to capture the attention of that patient and provide them with valuable first impressions and continuing care.
As in retail, the relationship between customer and business is changing as technology evolves. It’s not enough to simply have a great staff and a nice storefront; you also need to provide a pleasant, streamlined experience within your facility. Word-of-mouth marketing is vital even in healthcare, and customer experience is the best way to get it.
Give the People What They Want
Before starting to add experiential print marketing to your healthcare business, consider what your customers and patients really want. Imagine yourself in their shoes, entering a new doctor’s office or healthcare center for the first time. It can be a bit overwhelming.
In retail, experiential marketing can mean any number of things like pop-up sneaker shops or arcade games made from cardboard. It's a different focus in healthcare, where experiential graphics are often utilized to help the patient feel more relaxed and at ease. This can be something as simple as providing a map for patients right at the entrance of your building, or working with your printing partner to add functional, easy-to-read wayfinding signs.
Patient Retention Through Print Graphics
One of every healthcare business’s top priorities is patient retention. The ability to retain the same patient(s) is not only profitable, it’s meaningful. The old fashioned healthcare model of having the same patient base throughout both their lives and the lives of their doctors is very much a reality; it just takes a modern approach from the side of the healthcare provider.
With so many options at their fingertips because of the Internet, using print graphics is one way to make a patient’s experience so seamless and easy that they want to come back and recommend your business to others.
Visual graphics are also an effective method to market preventative care while patients are in the office. Around flu season, for example, graphics are a great way for patients who are coming in for checkups to remember they need to get their flu shots.
You could create charts that showcase various preventative care measures patients can take, both in and out of your office. This presents them with the message that you care about their needs and health, regardless of whether or not they’re actually in the business. In the world of healthcare, this is an important message for many patients.
Bringing New Patients To Your Practice
Finally, print marketing can help bring new patients to your practice. In the end, this is an important goal for basically everyone in the healthcare industry. While some doctors are not accepting new patients from time to time, most often, healthcare professionals are looking for more, not less, business.
When it comes to what brings new patients to a healthcare business, there are so many answers, based on your region, demographic, and specialty, but there is one underlying message that continues to be true: patients, customers, and people react to businesses going above and beyond to showcase themselves and how much the business genuinely cares. This can mean anything from direct mail campaigns to signage outside your facilities advertising preventative care. Whatever fits you and your business.
The Big Takeaways
The Vomela Companies has worked with professionals in many areas, from retail to healthcare and everywhere in between. The important thing is to partner with visual communications experts you trust to deliver on helping you create your vision for your healthcare business or practice.