Understanding Medical and Dental Tourism Patients
We help a limited number of ambitious and extraordinary clients to grow and scale their unique game-changing medical, dental, rehabilitation and wellness businesses
Will your business be our next success story?
Medical, dental, wellness and rehabilitation providers have been welcoming patients with passports and the means to pay for the services they need and want for centuries.
- Some come just for the services they need and have no interest in spending time in leisure activities at their selected destinations
- Some come for the leisure activities and add a little medical, dental or wellness activity to their agenda
- Some come because the services they desire are not available within their home community due to legal restrictions, provider scarcity, or subject to long delays
- Some come because they want privacy and anonymity
- Some seek a level of impeccable service that is only available at their chosen destination
- Some seek to consult with and obtain the opinion from a renowned celebrity specialist that is only available at one particular destination
- Some desire to participate in a clinical research trial that is available at one specific destination and is not available through remote monitoring and telehealth
- Some select a destination and providers from a short list of approved practitioners and health facilities that their employer or labor union has agreed to impanel and pay for services for covered conditions in accordance with its managed care benefits program, and lastly
- Some come because the cost of services they seek is more affordable at a location other than where they normally reside or travel for work.
For referral agencies, suppliers, investors, and governments interested in entering the exciting realm of health and wellness tourism, the first rule above all others is to KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER. Each brings to health and wellness tourism their treatment and travel objectives, expectations, a budget allowance, lifestyle preferences, suspicions and concerns, a desire to trust.
What to do with this information
For the health and wellness tourism industry, the sky is the limit on innovations, creativity and market penetration. But if you don’t know your customer well enough, targeting, messaging, and marketing will be a challenge to drive results. To begin, create a spreadsheet with the nine reasons listed above in the first column. For your medical, dental and rehabilitation travel patients, can you estimate the percentage of patients in each of the none reason categories? If you can’t make these estimates, you aren’t ready to spend money on marketing, advertising, trade show stands or any other advertising and promotional efforts because you have no idea to whom you are speaking or what motivates them to buy from you. So begin by creating your spreadsheet and list the 9 reasons in Column “A”. In Column “B”, place your best “guesstimates” of percentages for each as you review the patients who already chose you as their provider. Going forward, devise a way to learn this from each new patient as part of the subjective complaint in your S-O-A-P documentation. If you use an electronic medical record, you can create a template that will be a regular part of your subjective interview so that all you need to do is tic a box as you capture this information going forward. Make sure that you enable multiple choices because often health travel patients travel for more than one reason.
Emotional Drivers for every Health & Wellness Traveler
Each person and their travel companion brings to health and wellness travel, a deeply personal level of fear about:
- losing control over their health and aging process
- escalation of medical problems from acute to chronic
- vulnerability in unfamiliar surroundings
- confusion about how the destination experience will play out
- concerns about what the follow up will be like on their return home
- How to identify and connect with your medical tourism target patient market
- Know Your Customer
- Image Management for Health and Wellness Tourism at Upscale Hotels & Resorts
- Free Checklist: Health & Wellness Tourism Readiness For Hotels, Spas, B&Bs and Resorts
Fear is a strong emotion. It s also a choice. The level of fear that each medical travel patient holds is amplified by uncertainty. It is a byproduct of the thoughts they create, the experiences they’ve had, and the experiences and prejudices that others have shared with them. Fear distracts, dissuades, and diminishes the likelihood that they will buy medical, dental, or rehabilitation services from a stranger.
Health & Wellness Tourism Product Design Strategy
As a seller of medical tourism, your first concern is to examine your approach to product design strategy. You may believe that you sell surgical services, diagnostic services, therapeutic services, clinical research services and new and innovative treatments or medications. But that’s not your product, that’s your service. No one wants to hear about somebody’s visit to the doctor or the gory details of their surgery or diagnostic procedure.
Answer these Basic Questions
- Do you know what your product is?
- If every product has a customer, who is your customer?
- Why would they buy services from you instead of someone local or closer than where you are located?
- What are their fears and how can you allay them?
- What resonates trust and safety to them?
- What kind of storytelling value, if any, will they want to tell when they return from their health or wellness travel experience? Is that what you provide?
How we can help you
If you need help to understand your medical, dental and rehabilitation tourism patients start with the examples and exercises above. If you don’t have time to do the research for yourself, our researchers can do this for you. If you have never treated medical, dental or rehabilitation patients in the past, there won’t be any data to measure. In that case, we’ll apply our experience in the industry to analyze what you do and how you do it for your local patients to create a product and marketing strategy for you. As a part of the execution of your product and marketing strategy, we’ll put the measurement and key performance indicator elements into place so that you can measure on your own going forward.
When you’re ready to begin, please schedule a complimentary chat with us.
- Tailored mentorship and coaching
- Corporate partner connections
- Professional skills training
- Referral influencer connections
- Insurance and employer connections
- Marketing and branding strategies
- Discounts on business services
- Fam tour coordination and industry events
TURN YOUR BUSINESS DREAMS INTO REALITY