Love them or hate them, millennials are here to stay. In fact, there are probably millennials in your practice waiting room right now.
But, who are millennials? Some sources vary, but the millennial age-group is commonly identified as having been born between the early 1980s and early 2000s.
Millennials are the largest, most digitally engaged generation in U.S. history. If your practice isn't creating experiences that engage and impress this generation, you are missing a huge opportunity - worse, your business could get left in the dust.
Traditional marketing and communication tactics aren't going to cut it. Here are three ways your medical office can engage with, attract, and retain millennial patients.
No one can stand having their time wasted, but millennials have proven to be much more vocal about it. According to one report from the Medallia Institute, millennials are between 2 and 5 times more likely than baby boomers to leave a negative review after a poor experience.
Was the line at the movie theater too long? They might just leave a review on Yelp about it. Did their former favorite restaurant burn their food? Google review.
The same goes for medical practices and the experience your patients are having. If you make patients wait too long, your reviews online are going to suffer. This can produce a domino effect when trying to attract new patients: according to Adweek, 93% of all Millennials read online reviews before making a purchase decision.
By making patient check in fast and convenient, you reduce the likelihood of seeing poor reviews regarding your office wait times!
Can your patients book an appointment online? Is your website accessible on mobile devices like tablets and cellphones? Making sure that your patients can quickly and easily access your website and request services is crucial to serving the millennial demographic.
First, ensure your website is mobile optimized - this includes displaying properly on mobile and running fast. According to HubSpot, a popular CRM and marketing company, 39% of people will stop engaging with a website if images don't load or take too long to load.
Second, make sure you provide tools that cater to a mobile market. The 2015 Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report revealed that 90% of customers now expect self-service options when finding help with a product or service.
Booking appointments online, mobile check in and automated appointment reminders are mobile solutions that can give patients a better sense of control and convenience surrounding their patient experience. Patient Engagement Platforms can also effectively provide convenient access to patient information and records, giving your patients enhanced control. In your office, self-service options like check-in kiosks and automated collections can also help achieve this goal.
According to a survey from Employee Benefit Research Institute and Greenwald and Associates, millennials are most likely to research medical costs and insurance coverage online and are also more likely than other generations to discuss treatment costs with a doctor before accepting care.
A poll from PNC Financial Services Group also found that 77% of consumers find healthcare costs to be unpredictable. The study also stated that "While consumers in general are most interested in solutions that address billing and costs, seniors are more interested in easier check in and convenient access to answers and educational resources."
Allowing your patients to check their insurance eligibility and benefits helps increase transparency and build trust. For practices, it can also help increase clean claim rates.
Requesting co-pays and overdue balances prior to a medical appointment additionally helps patients assess their financial commitments before their appointment has begun.
The takeaway? Millennial consumers are seeking transparency and guidance when it comes to the cost of their medical care. Today's patients are apprehensive about receiving an unexpected medical bill in the mail or accepting treatment without knowing whether it will be covered by their insurance.
Now that millennials are adults making purchasing decisions for themselves and their families, they have begun to shape the future of healthcare as we know it.
Instead of resisting change, practices should embrace transparency, strengthen their online presence, and provide digital solutions to enhance patient care. They should prioritize convenience, and make efficiency a priority for their patients.
By embracing digital technology and meeting patients where they are, you can cultivate the stronger, more trusting relationships your millennial patients have been seeking.