6 Best Techniques for the Providers to Engage International Patients
Medical Providers, International Patients, Medical Tourism, Healthcare
6 Best Techniques for the Providers to Engage International Patients
The expenses related to healthcare are ever rising, which constantly challenge the providers to find cost-cutting solutions. However, they must ensure that the quality of care, patient safety, and the outcomes are not compromised. In such a scenario, the biggest challenge for the providers is to engage patients in their own care. When a patient is engaged and informed, he/she is more likely to access the care settings that are more appropriate, utilize preventive care services and abide by with prescribed care plans. This will lead to improved outcomes and reduced costs.
At the same time, patients are increasingly looking to build a more personalized relationship with the providers. If they don’t get it, they can move to somewhere else. As per 2016 Consumer Priorities in Healthcare Survey by Deloitte, 75% of patients want to be included in treatment decisions by the providers. In fact, one in three consumers want the providers to persuade them to get involved in their case more actively.
Ultimately, it comes down to a point how the patients feel about their medical care centers and experience with the physicians. Better interaction and information by the providers can go a long way to make the patients happy. This can improve the patient experience that will reflect on the outcomes also. Thus, as a provider, you must know the best practices that can invite and engage new customers with your center.
Here are varied approaches, both technological and in-person that the providers can use to engage new patients and gather useful data related to health-management.
In-person appointments for gathering and sharing information is important for a patient/provider relationship, but it is not feasible for an international patient. However, the need for consistent and more frequent information exchange cannot be overlooked. In such a situation, technology can save the day with multi-channel digital communication, which is both effective and cost-efficient. As a provider, you can use various such effective digital communication strategies such as:
- Email- Email is a potent means of communication that is inexpensive. According to a data released by Pew Research Center, 92% of online adults are email users. Out of which 61%are daily email users. Thus, sending emails or newsletters can be a great tool to alert patients about the newly available information such as hospital updates, patient surveys, pertinent medical issues, etc. This can boost awareness among the patients, which leads to their engagement.
- SMS- Texting is still one of the primary means of communication. Thus, the providers can use SMS for communication with the patients, as a part of a larger plan of strategic communication. They must use a secure platform for SMS where they can check the status of the patient, conduct polls, or ask quick medical questions within a short period of time. When it comes to gather data and communicate information, SMS serves as a brilliant tool with the requirement of little time and cost.
- VoIP- To engage customers, you have to deliver great customer service. You cannot make them wait longer than necessary, as it will make them bored, stressed and anxious. If you are wondering how you can put your patients in a good mood when they wait while calling your customer care, VoIP is the answer. VoIP has IVR function where an automated system will interact with the patients. Another benefit of VoIP is that the patients can reach you anywhere to get solutions to their problem. There is a call forwarding option in a VoIP system that forwards customer’s call to your number even when you do not have an internet connection at that time. This can definitely improve customers’ experience and thus keep them engaged.
- CRM- CRM tools can collect, record and generate precise patients’ reports. These tools allow the providers to know what the patients are expecting. This is achieved by asking for follow up with calls and messages, feedback, social media tracking, etc. This helps the providers to know their customers and understand their specific requirements. Thus, CRM provides you with all the required data, which you can use to provide the desired service, which ultimately results in engaging the patients.
- Videos-According to an estimate by Cisco White Paper, 80% of the Internet traffic will be dominated by the videos by 2019. Several studies have also revealed that videos can be very effective healthcare educational tools. For example, information conveyed through a video on a medical procedure will have a much higher impact than a plain text. Videos are more interactive and can be easily shared via email newsletters, social media or even text messaging to boost customer engagement.
- Social Media- Embracing the power of social media is an absolute necessity for the healthcare providers. They must develop coherent strategies for increasing engagement with the patients. For example, the providers can use blogs, infographics, and videos to educate the patients. They can also easily post patient surveys on the social media platforms. This will create great opportunities for the providers to regularly educate and update the patients, which ultimately helps in building trust and good relationships.
In the healthcare world that is consumer-driven, as a provider, you must constantly work towards streamlining your processes to engage patients and improve their experience.
It is very important to organize your processes systematically so that the patient knows how much a test or a treatment would cost and what is going to happen next. You should always look deeper at the changes in the processes so that the patient experience can be improved.
People at the help desk or the Customer Care Representatives are the ones who interact with the patients first. It is very important that these people know everything in their department inside out. When a patient shoots a query, he/she must be able to provide the correct information and also convince the patient about the effectiveness of their solution. Thus, you must make efforts to educate and train your people who are facing the customers. They can help to engage patients by establishing trust with the right information and convincing attitude.
Every employee in your center must be well-versed in their respective skills. Those who are responsible for directly interacting with the patients must possess excellent language skills so that the patients feel comfortable while interacting. Similarly, those who are responsible for email writing, customer service of communication, must be polished skills to engage the customers.
As a provider, you have to constantly think about how to add more value to the solutions for the international patients. A patient can get similar solution locally, regionally/globally. In order to engage that patient with your solutions, you must focus on the value proposition.
Price is an important factor, but every provider claims that they offer the best price. Ultimately, it boils down to how the patients feel about the provider. You have to inform, educate and convince them to win their trust. For example, your job is not just to provide the treatment. You should guide them with proper knowledge on what they should do after discharge. Provide them with an environment that they feel safe. Apart from the best amenities, concentrate on making the patients happy with better interaction, pre-treatment and post-discharge care.
Marketing and Education
You must use different mediums like articles, infographics, videos, news, etc. To constantly publish information related to treatments, procedures, packages and other information that matters to the patients. When you educate the patients more, you help them to make an informed decision.
Today, providers associated with the healthcare services are applying a number of well-thought-out marketing strategies without which the growth of this industry is not possible. Here are some effective tactics a medical tourism brand should follow to engage new customers.
- Increase Your Visibility on Search Engines- You may count yourself as one of the best service providers in the industry, but that does not mean that you will receive a significant number of foreign patients. Nearly 90% of medical travelers use the internet and access information about the service providers before they make any decision.
In a report published in 2015, Forbes revealed that the industry of medical tourism generated nearly $70 billion and the figure is expected to be twice in the next five years. In order to tap their target market, leading healthcare service providers are relying on the latest technologies. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can help businesses to increase their online visibility, as better rank in the search engine plays a big role in drawing the attention of the target audience.
- Prefer Engaging Content- Since consumers (patients) have become more concerned about quality services, they prefer to conduct detailed research before making the purchasing decision. Including contents can develop factors like trust and reliability. Content on the website, social media site, blogs and articles can help to convince patients to prefer your service.
Publishing videos, where medical professionals or beneficial patients elaborate their experience with your center can be an effective step. Make sure your contents are being read, shared and liked by your target audience in a variety of mediums.
- Work More on Attention-Grabbing Visuals- Modern consumers spends the least amount of time in reading lengthy content and they prefer to put a glance on catchy visuals. Here, marketers should keep in mind that medical tourism is not only about availing quality treatment abroad, but it is also associated with the experience of traveling to a destination.
Capturing exciting visuals and publishing them on websites, blogs, social media sites and other platforms can help your audience to learn about your center more precisely.
- Utilize the Power of Recommendations- In an advertising report, Nielsen, the global provider of market research and analysis, revealed that more than 90% of consumers prefer to rely on recommendations. This factor is more powerful than any other forms of advertising. People take the issue of medical tourism very seriously and that is why they never ignore authentic and positive recommendations. Social media has become a regular platform where customers share their experience and express opinions. Thus, encourage your patients to share their experience on social media and win the trust factors of others.
Engage New Customers with PlacidWay
Drawing the attention of international patients is one of the key objectives of the medical tourism industry. However, the rate of success in this industry depends on the ability of how you can attract international medical tourists. This is exactly where PlacidWay helps.
A significant number of healthcare tourism companies across the world are gaining benefits from us. PlacidWay, as the top medical tourism marketing service provider, offers everything a medical tourist may require to conduct research and make decisions before choosing a healthcare service provider abroad.
We can help you to reach new customers and educate patients through proper visualization. Through us, you can interact with your patients directly irrespective of their geographical locations and time zones. As a premier global medical tourism company, we will not only help you engage new patients but also work as a marketer for your business.
For more information or if you have any query related to engaging the patients, click the button below:
2018-09-05 / Updated on: 2021-01-08