How many new patients per week or month would make you a happy camper? If wishes were fishes, they should all just walk in the door and say “I want you to be my new doctor!” However, it doesn’t work that way in real life in most practices in the quantity one would like. So what can you do to pack your practice with new patients?
Here is one aspect to consider that may make a difference.
How a potential patient or client perceives your practice is going to determine whether they phone or walk in the door and make an appointment. A positive perception of your practice by your existing patients or clients is going to determine whether they refer anyone.
There are many ways to ensure your practice creates positive impressions and thereby attracts more people into it.
This is your front line. There are many avenues to send out messages about your practice and attract people. These include websites, Facebook, Instagram, hard copy fliers, window displays, and so on. Having a very impactful, consistent look (branding) across all mediums can make a powerful impact.
This is another front line for your practice that can send new patients flying in the door. This is achieved through superlative service to every patient of yours above and beyond what they expected. Look for ways that you and your team can make every person feel special and super cared for. Click here for 4 ways to increase patient referrals.
The front of your practice is judged by potential patients or clients. If it is unattractive or dirty looking, dying plants in the window, window coverings old looking, too much writing (like a menu) on the window, signage that is too garish or glaring … all these things can repulse someone who might otherwise have walked in and become a patient or client. Every few months, you should pretend to yourself to be a potential new patient or client and stand in front of your office and see if it is clean looking, in good repair, any pealing letters or rips in signage, etc. Fix what comes up.
Moving into the practice now … how clean and uncluttered is the front desk? Are there files piled around, is the in-basket overflowing, are there too many messages and signs on or around the front desk, are the magazines on the coffee table current and clean looking and upscale, is the carpeting or flooring clean, are the waiting chairs/couches clean and good looking, etc? Look at it critically as to whether you as a patient or client would refer your rich aunt there. Make changes as needed.
Not all practices have uniforms and these are not mandatory. However, it is true that when a team is all in matching, clean, well pressed uniforms, it is very impressive and looks very organized and “together.” If no uniforms, then the clothing of the staff needs to be nicely upscale and well put together. Sorry to have to say this, but patients and clients DO judge a book by its cover. And this applies to make-up well done, good hairdos, etc. Be sure to check our article about Low or No cost Marketing.
Answering the phone:
Handling shoppers is another chance to shine and bring new patients in the door. Most staff, to be fair, have no sales training and so a certain number of shoppers are lost every month. Working on ways to handle shoppers can result in more new patients … take some time to do this. We have a very informative video on phone etiquette click here.
“Drop everything” service:
Extraordinary service leads to an extraordinary number of happy patients or clients going out the door referring an extraordinary number of friends, family, neighbours and co-workers. When a person comes into the practice, drop everything (except a phone call if you are in the middle of one) and greet the person in a very friendly fashion. Throughout the practice, ensure that the patient or client’s care and comfort is your number one concern.
While there are hundreds of other ways to pack a practice with new patients, these are some simple, basic, “not to be forgotten” ways that you can do something about it right now with a little expenditure of your time but not much cost.