Anyone involved in sales or customer support is familiar with the term CRM. Today, many medical practices are turning to Customer Relationship Management applications to ensure good relations with patients and prospects and to improve revenue.
Customer Relationship Management is a business-wide strategy to reduce costs and increase profits by building customer satisfaction, allegiance, and advocacy. This is accomplished by drawing together information from a variety of sources (both within and outside an organization) to create a unified holistic picture of each and every customer in a real time environment. Though CRM generally is driven by specific software applications it is really a customer-centric philosophy, that when employed effectively, permeates the entire organization that uses it.
Good customer relationships management is defined by three elements:
- People – Everyone involved in your practice must buy into the concept of Customer Relationship Management. This is true for everyone from the person answering calls for information and appointments, to the receptionist that greets patients, to nurses and assistants, and to you as a physician.
- Process – Medical practices that effectively use CRM understand that every clinic process must be engineered with one cohesive objective, better customer service. For you as a plastic surgeon, “customers” include current patients and prospects reached through your various inbound marketing efforts.
- Technology – Patient customer service is your objective CRM and the proper technology is essential to making marketing automation work efficiently. Good CRM software guarantees your staff has access to timely information in such a way it does not hesitate implementing new processes successfully.
The Basics of CRM
A People First Strategy
First-rate patient relationships are at the core of medical practices that have long-term success. Technology drives CRM but is only a means to an end. The goal is to automate your marketing to prospective clients and care for current patients. Like many other aspects of your practice, CRM is a tool specifically designed to help you meet the needs of people.
The Engine that Drives your People Finding and Nurturing Engine
The goal of marketing automation is to gain insight into what prospects and patients are looking for. Those insights then become tools to engaging those people and meeting those needs. When used correctly, CRM will enable you to :
- Improve patient service
- Streamline and improve marketing to prospective patients
- Target prospects better and design campaigns to reach them
- Reduce costs and increase profitability
THE BOTTOM LINE:
CRM has its challenges. For it be truly effective, your staff must see its benefits. If you aren’t already using CRM there will be some changes in your clinic’s processes and personnel will have to be trained.
What customer information is most relevant will have to be determined and you will have to choose the automation technology that best suits your practice’s needs. Depending on the size of your practice and staff a transition can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
So what is CRM? It is a holistic strategy that saves medical practices money by really putting the patient first. We will be more looking closely in the near future at how to use CRM in your medical practice. Until then, take a look at how efficient your practice is at connecting with potential prospects and meeting the needs of your current patients. CRM may be the answer for you.