By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
In healthcare, successful “patient reactivation” cannot be a “dialing-for-dollars” quest for additional business from previous patients. As the following (true) story illustrates, expressing a genuine, person-to-person connection is an essential ingredient for success.
Our Digital Advertising Director, Raheim Bundle, shared his experience with a local, family-oriented sports club where he has been a dues-paying member. Although the story setting is a commercial fitness business, Raheim’s narrative delivers lessons for healthcare providers—especially elective care practices—that are easily transferable.
“This exercise and fitness facility is close and convenient, and I’ve been going there regularly for several years. Frankly, I love the place and I know many of the staff members. But for no particular reason, lately, I got out of the habit of going to the club.
“I guess the sports club folks noticed my absence, so they sent me a couple email reminders. But when I didn’t respond, one of the staff members—someone who knows me—called me directly. On behalf of the gang at the club, she asked, ‘Where have you been? We miss you.’ I felt the call was sincere. After all, I was sort of a ‘regular’ at the gym.
“Then she asked if I could come in today, and that they would like to give me something. To my surprise, several staff members met me at the door with warm greetings. I was appreciated as a client, but also welcome as an individual.
“Their gift to me was an upgraded, free membership and free passes for my family and friends. More over, the greeting and gifts felt special. They genuinely recognized me as a person (and not just ‘Member 12345.’ Well, you can bet that I’m never going anywhere else. This makes me feel good. This is my home sports club…forever.”
So, from a marketing perspective, how is this fitness facility going to benefit from recognizing Raheim, extending a warm “welcome back,” and giving away a membership and guest passes?
At this facility, members are not numbers or faceless participants. The culture of this business clearly puts value on person-to-person relationships. Members are recognized as friends. Members are appreciated.
In this real-world story the facility also benefits. Raheim—a long time member—is bonded to the club. It’s the making of an influential “champion” who has now shared his story and recommended the sports club to many others.
Healthcare practices can take a lesson from this example from the retail service world. Simply, there’s no better medicine for patient satisfaction than fostering a genuinely warm relationship with individuals that are part of the practice “family.”
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Raheim Bundle, Digital Advertising Director — Raheim oversees our firm’s partnership with Google, and directs campaign strategy, optimization, A/B testing and bid management for all client online advertising. He is committed to driving quality traffic to client websites and increasing new patients via effective ad strategies. Prior to joining Healthcare Success, Raheim headed online departments for several leading Internet marketing firms. He’s also served as a US Marine.