How to Win Back Every Single Patient
Do you know how to win back patients?
According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, it costs seven times more to go out and get a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. CMS states that one patient is worth $3,047 a year, but the customer’s lifetime value is astronomical.
This is why we don’t want to lose patients. It’s also why it is so important to know how to win back every single patient.
To Win Back Patients, You Have to Shift Focus Back to the Patient
To win back patients in a hospital, you have to focus on patient satisfaction. But while it is vital to ignite caregiver engagement to create a 5-star patient experience, it is also crucial to reigniting caregiver engagement to win back every single patient.
There’s no doubting that COVID-19 has left everyone feeling stressed out about even stepping foot into a hospital. A study came out by the Alliance of Community Health Plans that said 42% of consumers feel uncomfortable going to a hospital for an in-person medical treatment, especially when there is a surge.
Patient satisfaction is vital to the success of a hospital (learn why here). This is why it’s time to shift focus back to the patient. It’s time to reignite your thinking, to reignite where you’re going, and to reignite the patient experience.
“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” - C.S. Lewis.
Try to think about this journey in three steps.
- Mobilize response
- Fast track regaining lost ground
- Refocus on growth
The Reignite, Win Back initiative
To reignite is to reset our thinking.
It’s essential to start thinking about the concept of how to win back patients and educate your people on how to do that. Here are some tips.
Resilience and You
It all starts with you. Make a challenge to commit to being the best you can be because what is the alternative to being your best? It’s average. It’s mediocre.
It’s little things that count, whether it be getting your pain meds on time, getting timely test results, and more. Knowing what “excellent care” means to our patients is a huge thing. And a part of this care comes from mindful listening. This means honoring our patients by really listening to them.
Resilience is all about surviving and thriving. It’s also about inspiration.
Reputation recovery is a great way to win back patients and should be a core capability.
It is paramount to be an active listener whenever you hear a complaint about your hospital’s service. Do not use those two killer words that ruin relationships “Yes, but…”.
There are two options when people have a complaint.
You can agree with them, hear them out, and say, “Wow, that sounds awful. I don’t blame you for being upset; I’d be upset too.’
But what if the complaint doesn’t sound right? What if your gut says it couldn’t have been that way? Let them be right. Allow them to retain their dignity by saying, “I can see why you feel that way” or “maybe you’re right.”
Then it’s time to pivot.
Say: “Have you been to the hospital lately? It’s a different place; it’s a better place.” “Would you like to come by for a tour?” “Would you like to come by for a coffee?” Would you like to come by and meet our Chief Nursing Officer?”. Whether they accept or not, the fact that you’ve invited them, the fact that you’ve honored them by hearing them out, you have become their referral source.
Is there any doubt in your mind that they will tell others about you and about this newfound discovery that your hospital is a better place?
What if every caregiver did this once a week? You’d be surprised by how far it can go in building a stunning new reputation. It’s like a Reputation Renaissance.
Here are a few essential things to do when it comes to Reputation Recovery:
- Make reputation recovery a core capability.
- Start a Chief Influence Officer (C.I.O.) club. We want to make everybody that works at your hospital a Chief Influence Officer. Make sure their primary focus is patient satisfaction.
This pandemic has people worried and scared. People are afraid of in-person care. Firstly, we have to educate our phone reception, our ER, imaging, physician, lab, billing, and every other staff member.
Always tell the patient what you can do, not what you can’t do. It’s got to be about what is possible.
This is why sentence starts are so important. These are positive, constructive ways to communicate with your patients. They also go a long way with patient satisfaction.
Your greeters should be people who have a personality and have a welcoming name badge. They should also use AIDET.
AIDET is an acronym for Acknowledge the patient, Introduce yourself, Duration (tell them how long you’ll be with them), Explain what you’re doing to them, and Thank them.
How to Lead in the New Normal
We need to teach our leaders how to provide caregiver empathy when so many of our staff suffer from COVID-19 fatigue. We are in an era of constant, frequent, perpetual, radical change, and we need to teach our leaders how to gain a buy-in from anybody or anything. Then we need to teach them agility, influence, and persuasion. These are the new skills in the new era of pandemics.
Leaders should also fast-track a safe five-star experience for everyone.
Educate your brightest and best as outreach safety ambassadors. Recruit your brightest and best frontline employees. Pick people with positive attitudes - those staff members who have a kind of way about them and are passionate about the subject.
We want you to think about three initiatives:
- Education of inspiration on how to win back patients
- How to lead in the new normal
- Create a 5-star experience
Outreach Projects to Get the Community Back
- Create safety ambassadors
- Start a safety culture project teaching sentence starters to everyone.
- Do a virtual safety tour.
- Create videos asking patients why they chose you and why they would come back
- Hold a Customer Service Academy for everybody in your market area,
Our ‘Do it’ Recommendations
- Educate and empower everyone to serve as a Chief Influence Officer
- Charter an easy access task force
- Commit to excellence - learn one new idea every day and do it in a better way.
- Make reputation recovery a core capability.
- Fast-track a safety culture by the use of sentence starters.
- Unleash your trusted leaders to serve as Safety Ambassadors
- To win back patients, go out and speak in the community.
- Have a win-back marketing campaign.
Now let's go spread Kindness Care, Everywhere!
Reimagining Healthcare Engagement Summit
In June, we are holding a special one-day summit called “Reimagining Healthcare Engagement,” which will be 100% live streaming. Register to learn more about how to refresh the workplace through resilience, agility, and kindness.
Everyone’s a Caregiver: Providing Education for Healthcare Workers
Everyone's a Caregiver provides education to healthcare workers to better improve their patient's overall experience. We understand the time constraints placed in today's workplace and have customized microlearning videos to help you gain the skills you need to be a better, more positive healthcare worker. Contact us today to see how we can help, or click here to learn more.
If you are interested in patient care, check out these articles!
How to Ask for a Referral in Healthcare: The Power of Patient Referrals
Why All Hospital Staff Members Play a Vital Role in a Hospital,
A Positive Attitude is Key to Great Patient Care