3 Best Client Relationship Management (CRM) Tools

In dynamic, health-related fields, competitive advantage is borne from patient centricity. That means delivering a high caliber of service, building client trust, and maintaining key relationships for full stakeholder engagement.

Client Relationship Management (CRM) tools have a definite place in general and mental healthcare, helping organizations provide high-quality treatments while remaining profitable. This article explores the CRM concept in greater depth, including some best practices you can implement in your practice.

What Is Client Relationship Management (CRM)?

Client Relationship Management is a strategic, customer- or patient-centric approach to healthcare delivery. Often referred to as Patient Relationship Management (PRM) in medical and mental health sectors, it involves building, cultivating, and improving long-term customer relationships to provide a better healthcare experience and outcomes.

To this end, healthcare CRM combines “technology, people and processes that intend to understand the customers” and has multiple goals.[1]

These include:[2]

  • Learning more about clients or patients – for more personalized care
  • Strategic communication – e.g., providing health information through outreach programs or updating them about relevant resources and services
  • Providing customer support – answering questions and responding to inquiries, and most importantly
  • Building client relationships – to improve service quality, satisfaction, health outcomes, and patient retention.

By understanding patients’ needs and interests, then leveraging this information, organizations such as surgeries, e-clinics, and hospitals can deliver the best possible quality of care to their patients.

By understanding patients’ needs and interests, then leveraging this information, organizations such as surgeries, e-clinics, and hospitals are in a strong position to deliver the best possible quality of care to their patients.

CRM In Therapy and Coaching Practices

Unsurprisingly, the term ‘CRM’ also refers to the tools and technologies that help providers achieve these goals. It can come as a standalone solution or a series of features built into a practice management system.

The table below lists various CRM technologies beside different customer relationship practices that they relate to, for a little more insight.[3]

Healthcare CRM Practice

Healthcare CRM Tools

Application

Understanding patient interactions

  • Patient Reports, e.g., visit history
  • Calendar Management, e.g., upcoming sessions
  • Client Portal, e.g., payment history, contact information

Insight into a patient’s interactions allows practitioners to recognize their needs and respond in a timely or proactive way. This enhances overall service delivery, satisfaction and nurtures client relationships.

Personalize patient journeys

  • Client Portal, e.g., branded and personalized correspondence, appointment reminders.
  • Marketing automations/integrations/campaigns, e.g., private messaging, email reminders, notifications

Data on patients can help organizations personalize client communications at every stage of the patient journey. An integrated tool with EHR functionality, for example, can be used to enhance marketing correspondence and patient educational resources to strengthen brand image and customer relationships.

Refine and develop services

  • Analytics and Reporting, e.g., practice revenue, patient retention, service type

Understanding key trends driving client decisions and behavior better positions healthcare organizations to be proactive about product and service development. Improvements can be made, and new solutions developed to meet patients’ needs better.

Best Practices and Tips

Understanding healthcare CRM goals and their benefits is a solid start in implementing industry best practices for your own organization.

However, investing in software often comes with a price tag – most solutions charge a monthly or annual fee. Here are some best practices and tips to help you select a CRM system for your blended care coaching, counseling, or e-psychology practice.

  • Understand different pricing structures: Most therapy apps and coaching software systems offer single-user subscriptions and team plans. Within these categories, some charge based on the size of your client list, and others on how many providers use the software. While most providers allow you to ‘opt-out at any time,’ be aware that some blended care solutions come with hidden fees or fixed contracts. Researching these different pricing plans can help you make a more informed decision when it’s time to commit.
  • Work backward, from needs to features: Software can easily overwhelm you and your staff with too many bells and whistles. Avoid paying for more than you use by listing out your strategic CRM needs first, then matching them to different tools and capabilities.
  • Choose a scalable solution: When well-implemented, a strong customer relationship management strategy can grow your client list and profits. Inevitably, that means more customers, campaigns, and appointments to manage. Investing in a healthcare CRM that grows with your business is a strategic decision in itself that will pay off in time.
  • Look for integrations: A solution that supports client imports from your email marketing client can save you from manual client imports and a new learning curve. Many client relationship management tools link with WordPress, MailChimp, Squarespace, and social media so your clients can interact and book with you via multiple channels.
  • Consider a coaching or practice management system: Many telehealth platforms now offer CRM features amid a wider suite of practice management tools. If your practice delivers e-mental health services or similar, consider an integrated solution that will take care of all your important tasks in one centralized system.

3 Popular Tools and Softwares

With so many different features to choose from, picking out the best healthcare CRM – or coaching CRM – sounds time-consuming. But with the list above and all the software reviews in our Therapy Tools archives, you’ll soon be ready to trial the customer relationship tools of your choice.

To save you even more time, we’ve shortlisted 3 of the top practice and coaching management solutions with great customer relationship management capabilities.

Software

Details

Power Diary Client Billing SoftwarePower Diary is both an EMR and coaching management solution – it’s flexible, lightweight, and customizable. Best of all, it has a very smooth learning curve.

Bills, invoices, emails, and more can all be branded with your practice headers and logotypes for more personalized correspondence. The software also allows users to create marketing reports from the dashboard.

Power Diary integrates with MailChimp and comes with an optional Client Portal, which accepts new registrations, appointments, and payments online.

NamePower Diary
Price$5+ weekly
Good ForCoaching Management, Practice Management, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, Mental Health Coaches, Wellness Coaches, Business Coaches, Counselors
Websitehttps://www.powerdiary.com/

Software

Details

10to8 CRM toolsFor practices with a mailing list, 10 to 8 syncs with MailChimp allow for integrated email campaigns.

It offers a host of templates to help you, such as Client Satisfaction surveys and other feedback forms.

The software also offers a customizable appointment page and links with your practice online booking page – here, it’s possible to customize how clients view it. 10 to 8 integrates with many other software solutions you might be using for CRM, e.g., WordPress, Weebly, and Facebook.

Name10 to 8
PriceFree+
Good ForCoaching Management, Practice Management, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, Mental Health Coaches, Wellness Coaches, Business Coaches, Counselors
Websitehttps://10to8.com/

Software

Details

Vcita CRM toolsVcita is a practice and coaching management tool with inbuilt CRM capabilities for building and managing client relationships.

These include a customizable appointments page on which users can see and request services, plus a private client portal to manage the service experience online.

Vcita also links with existing websites such as WordPress pages and other listings, social media presences, and emails you might have for more marketing potential.

NameVcita
Price$12+ monthly
Good ForCoaching Management, Practice Management, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, Mental Health Coaches, Wellness Coaches, Business Coaches, Counselors
Websitehttps://vcita.com/

Strategies and Techniques For Your Business

Armed with the right CRM software, many telecounselors, coaches, and practitioners find healthcare relationship much easier to approach strategically.

Armed with the right CRM software, many telecounselors, coaches, and practitioners find healthcare relationships much easier to approach strategically. But what strategic goals should you set, and what techniques will help your organization achieve them?

The American Hospital Association gives some helpful suggestions in a whitepaper published by its Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development unit.

Entitled The Future of CRM Perspectives, the paper outlines key goals and techniques for hospitals and clinics, such as:[4]

  1. More consumer-centered communication. By segmenting patients on criteria such as needs or preferred treatments, healthcare organizations can connect with them in a more personalized way. Example techniques include creating customer personas and identifying key questions to outline a client’s journey from interest, to satisfied customer, to loyal patient. Techniques such as predictive modeling and marketing automation can facilitate the process.
  2. Enhance customer retention. AHA analysts recommend looking at the factors driving retention from a big picture perspective with loyalty in mind. Use data on your organization’s client base to answer questions like: What are the signs of a returning patient? Which clients should we invest in more, to entice them back?
  3. Improved patient-practitioner alignment. Using data from healthcare CRM tools to understand the patient experience is one thing, but competitive advantage means leveraging insights to enhance their satisfaction further. AHA experts believe practitioners can achieve this by reacting and responding to client activities and decisions in real-time to boost patient engagement and health outcomes.

3 Books On The Topic

Whether it’s soft skills or CRM tech that interests you, there are more than a few healthcare-relevant books on the topic out there.

Here are three great reads on CRMs in healthcare:

  • Communication Rx: Transforming Healthcare Through Relationship-Centered Communication (Amazon): In this book, Drs. Chou and Cooley from the Academy of Communication in Healthcare introduce the core skills that can improve healthcare organizations’ quality of communication. It takes the reader through the Academy’s demonstrated framework – including practical initiatives – to help professionals improve retention, reduce errors, and enhance patient health engagement.
  • Healthcare CRM: The Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide (Amazon): Written by Gerardus Blokdyk for developers and tech-minded practitioners, this paperback is a practical look at the logistics behind healthcare CRMs. It includes a self-assessment and resources to help you diagnose healthcare CRM projects, initiatives, and processes, apply best practice strategies, and integrate recent customer relationship management advances into your healthcare organization.
  • Communication Skills for the Healthcare Professional (Amazon): Communication Skills is an introductory course in professionalism and client relationships within the healthcare industry. Author Laurie McCorry writes for students in this book, including case studies, role plays, and vignettes from different healthcare disciplines to aid learning. The book includes tests and revision material to help budding therapists, counselors, and more prepare for a healthcare career.

Final Thoughts

Becoming more customer-centric can make a huge difference in all kinds of coaching and healthcare sectors, and a solid grasp of CRM is good to have.

With the right Client Relationship Management tools, your practice can use both technology and strategy to become more proactive about creating and delivering customer value. Often, that means more satisfied patients, loyal clients, and sustainable growth for your practice.

If you have an interesting healthcare CRM experience or a recommendation to share, do leave a comment.

References

  1. ^ Chen, I. J., & Popovich, K. (2003). Understanding customer relationship management (CRM). Business Process Management Journal, 9, 672.
  2. ^ Baashar, Y. M., Mahomood, A. K., Almomani, M. A., & Alkawsi, G. A. (2016, August). Customer relationship management (CRM) in healthcare organization: A review of ten years of research. In 2016 3rd International Conference on Computer and Information Sciences (ICCOINS) (pp. 97-102). IEEE.
  3. ^ Benz, G., & Paddison, N. V. (2004). Developing patient-based marketing strategies. Healthcare Executive, 19(5), 40.
  4. ^ AHA. (2017). The future of CRM Perspectives on where healthcare CRM is headed. Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development. Retrieved from https://www.shsmd.org/sites/default/files/shsmd/transition-from-traditional-to-strategic-crm-whitepaper.pdf

About the author

Catherine is an experienced marketing content manager with a background in the management consulting industry. She is skilled in strategic marketing, content marketing, strategic planning, and research.

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