The Role of Referral Marketing in Building Your NEMT Business
Non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) is a growing industry. In the next few years, experts foresee a 9% annual growth, which would see the market increase its estimated worth of $8.659 billion in 2021 to $15.58 billion in 2028.
This scope for overall growth is incredibly promising. However, NEMT businesses must still boost their marketing to capture their target markets.
Referral marketing will play a crucial role in the growth of the NEMT industry.
- What is Referral Marketing and Why is it Important for NEMT Business?
- How to Create a Referral Marketing Strategy for Your NEMT Business
- Benefits of Referral Marketing for NEMT Businesses
- The Role of NEMT Software in the Success of an NEMT Business
What is Referral Marketing and Why is it Important for NEMT Business?
The importance of NEMT was magnified during the pandemic, when using public transportation became an issue for the elderly and people with specialized medical needs.
NEMT services provided safe transportation for those who needed to see their doctors for consultations, regular checkups, rehabs, or tests. A regular taxi or even sports utility vehicles used in ride-hailing apps are not equipped to ferry patients on wheelchairs or those who need oxygen and other medical devices.
Today, the question is whether the bulk of its market is even aware of NEMT services and what they can deliver.
What is a Referral Program in Marketing?
Referral marketing is a strategy where a company encourages individuals or other businesses to promote a product or service in exchange for rewards. The rewards may be in the form of discounts, free products or services, and other perks that would entice more customers to support and advocate for the business.
Referral marketing in NEMT will surely help with the growth of your NEMT business.
How to Create a Referral Marketing Strategy for Your NEMT Business
There are two types of referral programs:
In business-to-customer referral, a client will advocate for the NEMT business to someone who needs it and will receive a reward in return.
For example, an elderly woman with a heart condition uses NEMT services for a regular checkup with their cardiologist every month. Satisfied with the service, she tells her friends in the community center about it.
She didn’t need a reward for it since she just wanted to help out her friends. But with an NEMT referrals program, she would be encouraged to tell even more people about it. Her friends, too, would be interested in doing the same.
It’s not just the direct clients, either.
The family of the satisfied patient may also tell others about the advantage of using an NEMT service. By doing so, they may also get rewards.
Rewards may include a free NEMT trip or a discount for the next ride.
Other businesses may also advocate for NEMT providers.
Many senior citizens live in nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, and other such communities. NEMT businesses can tie up with any of these to deliver their services to those who need them. They can then offer rewards to organizations that can provide them with a steady stream of clients.
A lot of older adults live at home. Community centers that offer activities for the elderly can provide good NEMT referrals, too.
People with disabilities, from children to adults, also need this specialized type of transportation. For this, NEMT businesses may tap rehab centers and other facilities that cater to patients with specialized medical needs. These facilities can also coordinate to cross-promote each other.
Medicaid, the government program that provides health insurance to eligible Americans, also offers free transportation as part of its service. NEMT companies can coordinate with local programs to provide services to Medicaid patients.
Benefits of Referral Marketing for NEMT Businesses
Businesses must invest in referral marketing. While providing perks and discounts incurs costs, the return on investment is almost certain.
The following are the benefits of referral marketing in NEMT:
You are bound to see an increase in customers through referrals. NEMT is an essential service, yet many are still unaware of its existence and many benefits.
And those who know about NEMT may be under the misconception that it’s expensive because of its novelty. When referred by someone they know, they will realize that using this service for medical appointments is worth the cost when factoring in all its benefits, from safety to timeliness and efficiency.
Through referral marketing, current clients will be encouraged to advocate for the business. There is no question that NEMT is a terrific service that would benefit many people. Many clients would surely talk about it positively even without perks and rewards, but with them, they are even more motivated to do so.
As a business, you must back up these referrals. You and your fleet should provide efficient services that lead to customer satisfaction.
An integral part of efficient operations is robust NEMT software, so you must choose the best one for your fleet.
New customers who were referred to the service are more likely to provide an honest reaction or review of the NEMT company. With their feedback, the business could improve its operations and boost client satisfaction ratings.
The Role of NEMT Software in the Success of an NEMT Business
Marketing plays a vital role when you scale your NEMT business. Referral marketing is an essential strategy, but delivering top-notch transport service remains the best promotional ammunition.
Excellent NEMT software like RouteGenie is just as crucial as referral marketing in NEMT. It can be leveraged to improve scheduling, routing, dispatching, and billing processes.
The software schedules all NEMT trips and informs drivers to prepare NEMT vehicles beforehand. All trips are optimized to ensure patients get to their appointments on time.
NEMT software automatically calculates the most efficient route to the destination, which factors in every road's distance and traffic situation.
NEMT software reflects real-time traffic situations and trip updates. This way, all changes in trip schedules and road incidents can be communicated to drivers for better routes in light of current traffic situations.
Marketing is critical for every business, especially in NEMT. Referral marketing can do a lot for an NEMT business’s branding, promotion, and long-term growth.
About the author
As RouteGenie's Marketing Director, Yurii gained deep knowledge in the NEMT industry. He is an expert in marketing, utilizing all marketing channels to build RouteGenie's brand and to make sure NEMT providers have access to powerful NEMT software that can boost their growth. Yurii shares his knowledge by writing content on topics related to marketing, and the healthcare industry: medical transportation, home care, and medical billing.