The impact of responsive communication on healthcare reputation management

Updated on February 16, 2024

While the definition of responsive hasn’t changed, how we think about responsive communication has – especially within the healthcare sector. Responsive communication is essentially how quickly and accurately you respond to patients. And, it has a lot of power to help grow your practice, introduce new patients and build trust with existing ones. 

There have never been more ways for patients to start conversations with your practice. From patient portals, social media, directly through your website, and over the phone, delivering responsive comms as a healthcare organization has never been more challenging. So, how can you start to use responsive communication to grow your practice, and what impact does it have on your bottom line? 

More and more customers will research online 

Most Americans’ journey to finding a new healthcare provider starts on Google. So, taking the time to ensure your website, SEO, and Google Business profile are all up-to-date is essential. 

Back in 2019, SmartInsights found that 34% of customers are frustrated by the inability to find basic information. This frustration can turn potential new customers away from your site. You can easily reduce any patient frustrations by focusing on details like your opening hours, availability, languages spoken, and how patients can get in touch. In addition to this, investing in a dedicated FAQs page means that patients who want to book an appointment have all the information they need to do so. 

The other key pain point for new patients is a lack of mobile optimization. Here in the US, over 57% of mobile users won’t recommend a business with poor mobile optimization and as a result, your practice could be losing new patients before they’ve even set foot in your clinic. 

Responsive communication through the phone 

When talking about responsive communication, it’s easy to focus on online touchpoints, but Sequence discovered that over 88% of patients will schedule their appointment by phone. Not only that, Forrester found that calls convert 30% faster than a web lead. So, how can you use your phones to deliver responsive communications? 

The first step is to ensure that all reception staff are fully trained to welcome new patients into your practice. You want the patient experience to be consistent, but Invoca discovered that patients expect higher levels of personalization over the phone than on any other channel. This means that staff should be trained to use patient’s names and try to create solutions that are personalized to that patient. For example, ensure that reception staff are aware of what your practice can offer to patients who prefer remote consultations or to those who have difficulty with mobility. 

Secondly, Invoca discovered that 29% of all calls across the healthcare industry are missed, which increases to 34% for medical practices. These calls are incredibly costly to a growing practice, especially when you consider that around 30% of patient calls are to book an appointment. Investing in a call answering service can be a good solution to improving responsiveness, as these services can take calls for your practice while you’re out of the office, or busy with other patients. They’re also HIPAA-compliant and some of these services can offer bilingual receptionists to support your team, which can also improve the quality of care for patients. 

It’s also really important to ensure that if patients do call with questions, there’s a clear route for administrative staff to locate answers. Digital marketing experts at Digiday discovered that 65% of consumers have cut ties with a brand over a single poor customer service experience. With this in mind, your reception staff must be trained to support patients with common queries. 

Want to tap into a new level of responsive communication? Book a free consultation with WellReceived today and safeguard your reputation in 2024.

Stephanie Maharjan

Stephanie Maharjan is Director of Operations at WellReceived.