Alumni are your best advocates. Make sure you’re helping them help others by connecting them with your facility.
Alumni who maintain their recovery can be the best advocates for your program. Investing in a comprehensive alumni program not only helps your patients stay connected with your program and services to assist them in their recovery journey, but it can help them help others who are struggling and in need of your facility’s services.
Here are some best practices for creating or improving your alumni program to help alumni become valuable resources for others and advocates for your facility and services.
#1: Communicate regularly with alumni
In addition to the outpatient services and programs that you provide for alumni, make sure that you’re communicating on a regular basis with them. Not only does this show your continued support and interest in their recovery, but it can make it easier for alumni to feel confident in recommending your program. Coordinators can use email, phone calls, and/or a mobile app to stay in touch with your alumni.
#2: Invest in an alumni mobile app
While launching a mobile app may seem daunting, you don’t have to do it all yourself. You can work with a vendor that offers a mobile app already designed for patients and alumni of programs like yours. Apps can be an appealing alternative to email for many of your alumni and can help improve active participation. Make sure the app includes a button or option for referrals.
#3: Set up an alumni referral line
Make it easy for alumni to refer people who are struggling as well as their family members to your facility. One way to do that is to set up a phone number specifically for alumni referrals. Publish the number in all of your alumni communications.
#4: Keep alumni connected with meetings and fun events
Bring together alumni in meetings and events throughout the year to help them connect with others, share their stories, get support, have fun, and learn about new offerings that can help them maintain recovery.
#5: Ask them to share their story
Whether it’s at an in-person event, online webinar or testimonial, in a podcast, or other venue, be sure to give your alumni plenty of opportunities to share their recovery stories and how your facility is helping them.
When alumni embark on their recovery journey after their stay, an active, supportive recovery community that includes your facility can help them gain the strength, motivation, and hope they need to reduce the likelihood of relapse. Their success is the best marketing that your facility can have.