How to Foster Life-Long Relationships with Clients – 9 Tips for Practice Managers
A rewarding side of practice management is forming life-long relationships with clients, sometimes from birth through childhood, to adulthood or into older age. Here’s 9 ways how a practice manager can foster quality business relationships that last for life.
1. Excellence in healthcare
The best way to ensure life-long love from your clients is by providing the best quality care and service that they can receive. You want to be committed to giving the best treatment available that consistently exceeds your client’s needs and expectations. Create a culture of excellence in your practice that your customer can rely upon from the first appointment.
2. Always be upskilling
Encourage everyone in your practice to do regular professional and personal development. There are many training resources for practice managers and health professionals to access as either in-house or off-site experiences. Allowing your team a few hours of training each year can be rewarding for the practice as well as the person.
3. Be committed to staff training
Your staff will make the biggest overall impact on whether your clients feel valued in your practice. Train staff in customer service basics such as communication skills, conflict resolution, time management, telephone and reception manner, and general professionalism.
Conduct regular team-building sessions that involve building up and increasing a variety of skills skills. Remember to schedule activities that are just for fun such as a night out bowling or a celebration lunch.
4. Offer partnerships and new services
To keep your offering fresh and engaging for long-term clients you can seek out partnerships with like-minded health professionals. Do a monthly schedule of new services and promote it to your client base. Trialling a new service is a good way to test if your community wants you to add it as a permanent offering.
5. Implement a Loyalty Program
Research third-party apps and loyalty card programs that keep your business front of mind with your customer. Effective loyalty ideas include:
- One free ‘come and try’ session a year
- Book ten sessions, and get one free
- Earn points to redeem on products
- Monthly loyalty member specials
- Refer a friend and get a gift card
The key is to keep the program simple and manageable. It needs to add value to your customers as well as encouraging repeat business for your practice.
6. Ask for feedback and conduct customer surveys
If your clients have had good experiences using your services and products, then they will welcome the opportunity to give you good feedback. Encourage and ask for feedback on your social media platforms, or on Google review. Handing out feedback cards with check and comment boxes is also an easy way for clients to let you know if you are on track. SMS is another easy way to follow up after an appointment with an invitation to give a rating out of ten, or to select a happy or sad face to send back. A customer survey that has more detailed questions is great to do by email to your database once a year.
7. Ask for referrals and say thank you
Just as asking for feedback is important, so is asking satisfied clients for referrals. Most likely, if they are happy with your service, then they are referring people to you anyway. Let them know you appreciate the business by sending them a simple thank you card.
8. Stay in touch with regular communications
Even the happiest client needs to be reminded that your practice exists. If your practitioners are doing a great job, the client might not need to return to the practice for a while. Therefore you need to keep in touch so when they do need you again, they will not hesitate to book an appointment. Effective ways to communicate are with an email newsletter, on social media, mailing a monthly special, and by SMS.
9. Celebrate important milestones
A great way to show your clients you remember and care about them is to keep track of their birthday and practice anniversary date. Be sure to send an email or mail a card to celebrate these events. If you have a practice milestone coming up, then let your clients know about that as well. Perhaps hold a morning tea and invite all to drop by for cake, healthy snacks and a cup of tea.
A practice manager that can foster life-long relationships with clients is highly valued in any healthcare practice. These relationship skills will be gained with experience. However, the fastest way to secure the confidence in management that you need is with a qualification like the Diploma of Practice Management (HLT57715). Take action with Point 2 above; always be upskilling. Start on developing your personal and professional skills today.