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Rekindling the flame: How to win back your former patients

Rekindling the flame: How to win back your former patients

If you’ve been ghosted by some of your patients since their last visit, you may wonder what went wrong.

Did they switch providers? Did they have a bad experience? Or did they simply get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and forget to follow up with you?

Whatever the reason, it’s up to you to get them back on board, and you can do that with a strategic win-back campaign. And — once they’re back — they’re more likely to refer their family and friends to your facility.

Our work in action

One of our clients recently faced this exact challenge. So, we put our heads together to develop a win-back campaign. To summarize, we identified patients who hadn’t set foot in the hospital in at least a year. Then, as soon as the patient surpassed that 12-month mark, we sent out a series of emails focused on prioritizing their health.

In one email, we emphasized the importance of visiting their primary care doctor.
Other emails suggested scheduling screenings and annual visits, brought awareness to the provider’s emergency and urgent care services, and educated them on the wide variety of specialty care options.

And guess what? The results were off the charts. We saw a whopping 21% conversion rate among patients who returned to care. Not too shabby, right?

Setting up a win-back campaign

So, how do you set up a win-back campaign? Here are the essential steps you need to take to get started:

Identify the audience you want to re-engage. Decide which patient group you’d like to bring back and the amount of time they’ve been disengaged. Has it been six months, a year, two years, etc...?

Group them by their demographics, reasons why they initially came in, and what treatment they received. Segmenting patients into these types of groups can help you craft targeted messages that speak directly to their specific needs, concerns and preferences.

Find out why they left. Research why your patients disengaged in the first place. Did they move away? Was there a lack of communication?

You can check any reviews they’ve left and identify negative keywords or phrases — like “waited for hours to be seen” or “no one answered the phone” — to get more insight. Then, work with hospital leaders to create a plan that addresses those issues and improves the patient experience. This shows that you’ve taken their feedback to heart and that you value patient satisfaction.

Another potential approach is sending them a survey, in either digital or physical formats.

Communicate the benefits of receiving ongoing care. By understanding what’s important to patients, what they value in their care, and what their biggest concerns are, you can create messages that are relatable and engaging.

Identify which communication channels they utilize most. Do they use social media, and if so, which platforms? Or are email and phone calls preferred? Once you find their preferred communication method, educate them on topics such as the specialty services you offer or the convenience of virtual visits.

Show what you can offer. Strategic offerings can help you get former patients back through your doors and entice them to schedule an appointment. For instance, you could invite them to a screening or mammogram, or to subscribe to your wellness newsletter.

Once you’ve put these steps into action, be sure to measure the results of their effectiveness — and tweak your strategy as you go — until you see conversion rates rise.

Patient experience is everything

At the end of the day, a win-back strategy will give you a greater ROI than attracting new patients.

It’s all about understanding a patient’s needs and personalizing your message to retain their lifelong loyalty. And — if you’re lucky — that could inspire them to refer their family and friends to you along the way.

Want to read more strategic ways to increase your facility’s conversion rate? Check out our blog.

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