How memorable is the patient experience you provide? How can you create an over-the-top impression on your patients so your practice stands out from others? What could you and your team do that would make your patients or clients feel special and super cared for?
Here are 10 actions that incredibly successful practices are doing to surpass patient or client expectations.
Stand Out from the Crowd Online
Nowadays, no matter how a potential patient or client heard about you, most go to your website to see who you are before calling you. This is the true “face” of the practice, so it needs to impress, attract, and have an emotional impact on the viewer.
There are run-of-the-mill websites and there are WEBSITES that are STRIKINGLY different. They are ATTENTION GRABBING. The design and the content are powerful and unforgettable. Go online and look, look, look at other people’s websites and watch for what grabs you as a potential patient. Look at the pictures, designs, colours. Make a note of each thing you like and the website it was on. Then get with a very experienced website company that has staff who program, write awesome content, do graphic design. These are each specialties. Show them your notes which will help guide them to giving you want you want.
Make a Friend from the Get-Go
When someone calls in or drops in, find out all about them. “How long have they lived in the area? Or do they work in the area? Do they have a family?” Find out what they would like to experience in your practice. Then, ask the questions needed in order to fill out the intake data in the computer so they don’t have to deal with all that when they arrive for their first appointment. One of the other staff could call them to find out what kind of music they like and whether they prefer coffee, flavoured water, tea, etc. The doctor could make a 30 second phone call just to say “hi” and that she or he is looking forward to meeting the new patient. When the person arrives, they already feel welcomed.
Giving Back what you Give Out
If you want your patients to do good things for your practice (like referrals), start by doing awesome things for them first. When they are in your practice, everyone should treat them as if they are the most important person in their world (which they truly are at that moment in time). Really be genuinely interested. “We work with you to create a treatment plan that is tailored specifically for you.”
Run on time. No matter what. It is POLICY!
When scheduling a patient or adding in emergency patients and so on, every decision you make must be based on the practice absolutely running on time. No excuses. This impresses the heck out of patients. They lead busy lives and you need to respect their time. You are there to service them. (Maybe they will be more prompt themselves after seeing you work so hard to be on time. Lead by example.)
Sometimes patients or clients can be a little concerned or rattled by what you are doing to them, especially if it is a new procedure for them. Explaining in simple words as you are proceeding can bring them into the loop and therefore make them more comfortable.
Skip the Technical Lingo
You and your staff are so super-educated in what you do that you may sometimes use some technical terms that leave the patient or client feeling confused and not tracking with you. Definitely be passionate about what you do, but use words the patient or client knows so they can catch your enthusiasm.
Calling the “hurt” or “trauma” list at the end of the day is a common procedure for many practices. However, doing a short 30 second selfie video with your assistant and texting it to the patient or client concerned is a cut above. “Just a quick check-in with you to say hi. If you are in a lot of pain, you can take a couple of painkillers. Do call us in the morning if it’s not getting better for further advice. Have a good night.”
Advertise your Amenities
Promote on your Facebook page, Instagram, and website that you offer Amenities for your patients or clients. Can you imagine you as a patient being offered a choice of listening to music via Spotify or Apple Music with Beats by Dre headphones while you are being treated? Or watching Netflix on the TV? What about being offered to charge your cell phone while you are treated. How about refreshments such as coffee, tea and hot chocolate, bottled water, Perrier or flavoured water. How about spa items such as a blanket, lip balm, the Calm app on the iPad? Surely such a place would impress you and be inviting to you!
Did you know that there is an app call “Sticky Notes” and it is even yellow. You could make little notes after treating a patient and put them on the patient’s chart in the computer. Things like, “Daughter having baby in 2 weeks” or her “favourite group is the Rolling Stones.” Next visit, you will see the note and ask about the baby, and perhaps you could go online and download some Rolling Stones music especially for her. It’s not possible to remember everything you learn about the thousands of patients you see, so this helps keep the personal touch.
Thank You So Much
A handwritten note from the practice or, even better, the practitioner after the new patient has had their first visit to your practice can put the point on an extra-ordinary experience. Handwritten makes it even more personal. Keep it short but caring.
Here’s to creating an indelible impression which surpasses the patient’s or client’s expectations. You will find them looking forward to going ahead with more of your service and don’t be surprised if they spread the word about your remarkable care.