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Text Your Way to Higher Success in the Healthcare Field With the increasing popularity of texting and other mobile technologies, patients need a way to get in touch with their doctors.

By Matt Prados

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Since the first text message was sent 29 years ago in 1992, texting has become interchangeable with daily life. It's the most popular activity among smartphone users and it's not slowing down anytime soon.

There's no doubt texting has radically changed the way we communicate and added new possibilities for healthcare practices to connect with their patients.

So why have practices lagged when it comes to implementing business texting?

As patient expectations and competition grow at an alarming rate, you need to future-proof your practice. With a 99% open rate and average response time of 90 seconds, texting is about as close as it gets to a guaranteed win.

Innovation is the name of the game. And those that can adapt to the digital era will benefit significantly in the long term.

Luckily, texting makes practice growth easier than ever.

Related: 7 Companies Reinventing 'Old' Fields With New Tech

Your patients' phone is prime real estate

The average person checks their phone 150 times a day. The screen of your patient's phone can be considered the world's most valuable real estate.

If you think of a cell phone as a window to your patient's world, it becomes clear why texting is crucial for doctors today. Patients have become obsessed with instant gratification. They crave it. They expect it.

According to a survey by The American Chiropractor, 9 out of 10 patients prefer to text their doctors, including those over 60 years old. Yet the majority of chiropractic offices are still calling or emailing as their first line of communication.

Patients need to get in touch with their doctors. They need to schedule and manage appointments, know what to expect, ask questions about treatments, etc. More importantly, they need to get in touch with their doctors on the go.

Their hands are full with kids, pets, chores, groceries and work. Texting allows them to stay on top of communication without literally dropping the ball.

When you make communication easy, it strengthens the doctor-patient relationship and increases patient satisfaction better than other channels like email, phone calls, or social media.

Not only is texting the solution for staying in touch with patients; it's also an effective marketing tool.

Dr. Lyle Koca at Koca Chiropractic Clinic in Omaha is one doctor who started texting patients using his business number and now sees over 2,000 patient visits per week. It also increased his show rate from 85% to 94%.

If your patients are texting every day, what's stopping you from texting them? Open up the line of communication your patients want and need.

Related: Five Tips for Better Text-Message Marketing

Leveraging automated text campaigns to create a remarkable experience

This may come as a shock, but the marketing tactics that worked for healthcare offices in previous years are no longer enough to delight and retain patients in the digital world. You have to create a remarkable patient experience.

Creating a remarkable patient experience boils down to two basic factors: convenience and personalization. Patients want to text and they want to feel special.

How do you do that? Communicate with your patients at the right time, with the right message, on a device they're all using. On autopilot.

With automated text campaigns, you can reach your patients at every key moment of the patient journey without missing a beat. As your business grows, no amount of notes and spreadsheets can help you reach every patient at every key touchpoint.

You can send new patient welcome texts, appointment reminders, birthday texts, reactivation messages and more. A personalized message — crafted just for them — with the flick of a switch.

Dr. Carolyn Griffin, owner and chiropractor at Back To Health Chiropractic Center, struggled with patient retention. In less than 10 minutes, she set up an automated reactivation campaign and received 19 reactivations from sending one automated text message.

Making your patient communication easy now, sets you up for future success. 70% of people who receive personalized messages from a business are more likely to refer that business to a friend or family member.

Don't make things more complicated than they need to be. Leverage automated texting to improve patient communication and delight your patients. A well-timed text with a personalized message creates a remarkable experience. It's as simple as that.

Related: 3 Tactics Small Businesses Can Use to Reduce No-Shows

Get back to what matters

A text goes a long way in the patient journey. Texting is the solution to attracting new patients, increasing patient engagement and scalable practice growth without having to spend hours on end trying to reach people individually by phone, email and other outdated forms of communication.

Utilizing this essential tool will give the healthcare practice time and energy back to focus on what's most important: patient care.

Matt Prados

CEO and Founder

From a young age, Matt Prados has had an insatiable curiosity about how technology could improve lives. His passion for marketing, combined with his roots in chiropractic, inspired Review Wave.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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