There are so many benefits of using social media for your business. ?It helps you stay in touch with your existing patients. ?They get to see what you’re up to and will end up feeling more connected to you. ?They also are reminded of you and if they are due for botox, or a laser treatment, seeing you pop up in their feed every day or so will remind them that it’s time to make an appointment!
But just like anything in life, there’s a downside. One of the downsides about using social media to grow your patient base and letting your existing patients know that they can stay in touch with you there, is that you?ll sometimes get patients who ask questions on social media. ?I know in my practice, I document every interaction I have with a patient. ?So when patients ask me questions about their personal treatment on social media, I don’t have an organized way to document it if I’m not at the office. ?And I’m not about to let something like this fall through the cracks! So what do you do? You can’t ignore them!
Well, you ?simply have to have a plan in place to handle these situations when they come up so that you don’t have a customer service nightmare.
To help you create a plan, here are five things you need to have in place to make sure that you?re handling this form of customer service in your business the right way.
1: Create a response template: Having a response template that you can easily copy and paste when a patient reaches out on social media will make sure that you say what needs to be said so your patient knows you recognize his/her concern/question, but that you would like to move the conversation elsewhere so that it?s a bit more private between the two of you or a member of your team.
2: Put contact information in your bio: Make it easy for your patients to contact you when they land on your social media profile. If you find that having patients reach out to you is a recurring thing, put something in your bio about how patients can contact you rather than commenting on social media. Your bio is likely the first thing they see when they land on your page and it can give them direction as to where they should contact you. ?This way, you?ll cut back on the amount of patients who reach out to you via social media.
3: Quickly move the conversation: Don?t get caught up into answering a question ?really quickly? on social media from a patient for the sake of time or being responsive. Why? Because there is likely going to be a follow up question and before you know it you?re having a full-blown conversation with your patient on social media, which isn?t good for your business, or HIPPA.
4: Document everything discussed: If a patient does reach out to you via social media, make sure that you document that. Just like you document every time a patient visits your office and what?s discussed with them, you have to document social media contact too. Even if you move the conversation into email, document it. Personally, I let my patients know that I do not answer any questions regarding their treatment on social media, and I would like for them to contact the office. ?Or I will contact them myself to discuss their concerns, and document it in their chart in my office.
5: Create a social media policy for your team: If you?re not going to be the only one who is managing your social media, you need to create a document that outlines the procedures for dealing with patients who reach out to you via social media. This way, you don?t have your team responding to things that they shouldn?t be responding to.?
Managing patient communication on social media doesn?t have to be complicated or overwhelming. It all comes down to making sure that you have policies and procedures in place to handle these kind of things in your business when they come up. I know that this is a question and a concern that a lot of healthcare professionals have when they decide to embrace social media to market their practice online. That?s why I?m happy that I?m able to finally shed some light on this topic for you. ?
As always, I have a free cheat sheet for you! I’ve prepared a swipe file for you to copy and paste each time a patient reaches out to you on social media regarding their treatment. ?You can download that below!