How do you connect with patients, both new and current? How do you remind them of an appointment? Or reach out to let prospective patients know about new services? Are you using the good old-fashioned phone call method? Have you considered advanced patient online engagement tools?
If you work in the aesthetic treatment industry, it’s time to consider the latter.
“More than half of U.S. physicians (57%), offer their patients a mobile app to schedule appointments, access personal healthcare information, view lab results, and more,” according to Global Newswire. No longer are online engagement tools new and innovative. They’re standard, and patients expect healthcare offices to offer them. Online engagement tools are all the more important for services that require frequent follow-up. Aesthetic services such as Botox and dermal fillers are treatments that require regular maintenance so it’s important that aesthetic-focused businesses institute smart, tech-savvy ways of keeping patients in the loop and on schedule.
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But how can you do this for your practice, and what are the top aesthetic patient online engagement tools for 2021? Let’s take a look!
- Appointment Reminders
Going back to the good old phone call, ringing a patient is still a great way to confirm an appointment, but today’s aesthetic treatment practitioners are finding that tools like texts and auto-reminder emails do even more to improve patient retention.
- Patient Portal
Hospital systems have had great success with developing patient portals. Essentially a kiosk in your waiting room that lets patients access their records and information with an online system that they can also connect to at home. A patient portal puts information at a patient’s fingertips so they can have become a more active participant in their care and treatment plan.
The rise of telehealth in the past year has been unprecedented. As the COVID-19 pandemic required quarantines and stay-at-home orders, this approach became increasingly popular and there’s no reason practitioners offering aesthetic services can’t also take advantage of the trend. Consultations with a doctor online are a great way to help a patient create their aesthetic treatment plan before coming in for an in-person visit.
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- Virtual Patient Education
Providing more than just an in-person visit is another way to adapt patient engagement for 2021. That could be an email newsletter or providing access to educational videos about aesthetic treatments and how to take the best possible post-op care of their bodies. White papers on new research and evidence-based information are also a great way to build trust with patients and help them understand the ins and outs of treatment.
- Custom Apps
App technology has come a long way and today any business can create its own app. If you want a personalized, mobile way to communicate with your patients, it’s worth considering building a custom app for your practice. Your app can take some of the aforementioned concepts and put them all in one place. For instance, an app can be an extension of a scheduling system, provide users with educational content, and remind them of their next visit.
- Email Notifications
E-mail will be turning 50 years old this year, according to The Next Web, but it remains one of the best communication tools in existence. And it’s a critical touch point for healthcare providers to stay in communication with their patients. It can be used as a reminder tool, procedural update system, or means of alerting clients to promotions. Building a robust contact list is essential, especially for aesthetic providers who want to build their business as well as retain current patients. These can also direct patients to your blog where they can learn more about your business and services. For instance, The American Association of Aesthetic Medicine and Surgery (AAAMS) blog regularly updates interested students about its online aesthetics training program and how to enroll.
- Feedback Surveys
Want to know how your patients feel about your practice? Ask them. Surveys provide a great means of collecting data on patient approval and it’s also a way to stay in touch and remind your audience of your offerings. Honest feedback can also be used to alter aesthetic services to better meet your patients’ needs and expectations, encouraging repeat visits and a longer, more loyal following.
- Create Social Media Channels
Some doctors may shy away from creating social media pages, but it really is a smart idea for the business. People today expect to be able to follow trusted businesses online and social media channels allow you to interact with your audience in real-time. This is a place where you can become your own publisher and spread news about your practice, including awards you’ve received, new services you’re offering, fun promos you’re running, or contests you’re sponsoring. Plus, social media allows practices to show their personality a bit. Use social media to show that your office is a safe, welcoming, and enjoyable place to visit. (This is especially important to practices specializing in elective treatments.)
The bottom line? Regularly communicating with patients is key to owning a successful aesthetic treatment practice, and using the right digital and online engagement tools can go a long way toward helping yours grow!