It wasn’t that long ago that doctors could focus on being doctors and treating patients. But today’s doctors must also be stealth marketers, able to engage their audience and get them to walk through their doors.
But, just as the role of doctors has changed over the last couple of decades, so has the role of patients. Thanks to technology, patients no longer see themselves as helpless consumers but rather empowered consumers of healthcare. Because consumers are far more willing to spend time researching and hunting for the best care out there, they demand more of their providers and treatment plans.
So how do doctors keep up with these new demands? Focusing on customer satisfaction. But while most businesses in the majority of industries focus a lot of time, energy and financial resources toward customer service, the healthcare industry has been slower to adopt patient-centric care.
According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index‘s 2017 Utilities, Shipping, and Health Care Report, hospitals only scored a 75 out of 100 in customer satisfaction for a second year in a row. In fact, at the time of the report’s publication, the healthcare industry ranked 32nd in customer satisfaction behind gas stations, supermarkets and banks!
So the first step is for healthcare providers to make a mental shift and recognize the need for a focus on patient/customer satisfaction. And, according to Beryl Institute’s State of PX 2017 Findings, 74% of healthcare providers are looking for ways to improve their patients’ satisfaction.
And that’s where predictive analytics can come in.
Big Data – A Prescription for Customer Satisfaction
Predictive analytics allows physicians to better allocate their marketing dollars while also attracting their ideal patients. This leads to better engagement and ultimately better customer satisfaction.
What is predictive analysis, really? Well, predictive analytics uses the data at your disposal to identify the likelihood of future outcomes. You know when you prescribe antibiotics to your patient that their infection will stop and their fever and other symptoms will subside. What if you had this same assurance with your marketing strategies? When you can predict what will happen in the future, you can make much more effective decisions in the now.
Here's why doctors should be using predictive analytics in their marketing:
You Can Personalize Your Marketing Messages
Analyzing data to uncover important information about healthcare consumers ultimately allows you to craft messaging that resonates with them. You can even personalize messaging based on their current stage of their decision-making process.
Higher Conversion Rates
The more you understand about your potential patients, the more you can answer their healthcare questions through video, blog posts and social media snippets. By doing this you can see a significant increase in your conversion rates.
Increases Return While Decreasing Overall Spend
Mining the data at your disposal allows you to understand the buying habits and engagement levels of your past, current and potential patients. You can identify trends and demand, as well as any competition in your local area. This will help you to make more effective decisions when it comes to your marketing strategies and ad spend.
Now that we’ve covered the WHY, let’s take a look at a few HOWS or ways that you can begin to use predictive analytics in your healthcare marketing.
- Profile Your Ideal Patients
If you’re honest, you have dream patients and then patients that are, well, kind of a pain. You don’t just want to attract any old patients into your practice, you want to attract your ideal patients.
Use predictive analytics to create profiles of this target audience. What current health journey are they on? How far along on this journey are they? What health issues do they have and what are they looking for in a healthcare provider?
Predictive analytics will help you to answer these questions and more and identify only those patients you wish to bring into your office.
- Develop Relevant Messaging
Since predictive analytics will help you understand your customer’s journey, you can then begin to develop highly relevant messaging that speaks directly to your ideal potential patient.
- Build Loyalty
Most business owners learn at some point that it costs far more to acquire new customers than it does to keep the ones you already have. This goes for patients as well.
You can use predictive analytics to identify those patients with the highest attrition risk. This is incredibly valuable as you can take the necessary actions to not only retain them but turn them into loyal brand ambassadors who sing your praises far and wide.
While predictive analytics may seem like a foreign concept now, it really isn’t much different than conducting scientific research whose conclusions allow you to recommend treatments that stand the best chance of getting positive health outcomes for your patients.
Predictive analytics provides information to make the kinds of marketing decisions that stand the best chance of getting positive ROI.
If you’d like help collecting and leveraging your data, get in touch with us. We help healthcare providers make sense of data and put it to work for them.