Most patients or clients are not fickle. They have particularities and specific needs, and some are more challenging than others. The first appointment with them is of course crucial for the building of the relationship, but every appointment after that is just as vital.
Besides patients moving on (new city) or passing on, here are some of the reasons why patients or clients leave your practice that we have run into over the years (not in any particular order):
- They didn’t feel that their expectations were understood and met. Sometimes this was simply because the patient or client didn’t actually tell you what these were. But it is part of your job to dig those out of the person and let them know you totally understood them.
- They didn’t “feel a connection” with you and your team. You serviced them well or adequately, but no relationship was built.
- The practice always runs behind schedule. This is a very common complaint. There are a lot of reasons why this could be, from doctor or staff arriving for work late every day, scheduling difficulties of appointments running past the allotted time, doctor talks too much with patients and runs behind, etc. Look at what the problem actually is and work out a handling for this one.
- The practice was “old and dirty or tired looking.” This is something you can easily do something about – a little paint and a good spring cleaning go a long way.
- The staff were too chatty or not chatty enough. (I know, I know. It’s hard to please everyone. Something to be aware of and try to fine tune.)
- The doctor wanted to charge a lot for something, and they didn’t understand what it was. (Probably just sales skills need tuning up.)
- The doctor or the staff wore too much cologne and the patient or client found it overpowering. Practices should be as scent free as humanly possible.
- The doctor made the patient or client feel stupid and like they didn’t know anything. (Again, this is sales training.)
- The scheduling didn’t work for them — trying to find a time in the next two months that works with the patient or client’s life schedule too. Or you are too fully booked out. This needs a multitude of solutions, but a meeting with your team for brainstorming will probably come up with the right handling.
- The care factor was missing. The staff didn’t seem interested enough in the patient or client and how they were doing or what their concerns were.
While there are probably hundreds more variations of reasons, the point is that it might be a good time to assess your practice to see from a client or patient’s view how it stacks up and work out handlings for any outnesses found.
Call us for a free in-depth practice analysis.
We have met with over 6,000 healthcare professionals…you may just learn something new about your practice!
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