Your patient or client comes into your practice … waves at the Receptionist or says “Hi” and sits down in the waiting area and starts texting on his or her cell phone. Eventually someone in your practice tells them to “come this way” and takes them to the treatment area. The expected service is delivered and they then leave by way of Reception who collects a payment from them and reschedules them for the next appointment and they leave – not unhappy in any way.
Sound boring? Well it is! And yet this is the experience of patients or clients in most practices. Will they come back? Yes. Will they tell their friends, family, neighbours and co-workers how amazing your practice is and that they should become your clients as well? Probably not!
Merely “meeting your patient or client’s expectations” just doesn’t work anymore.
Exceeding Your Patient’s Expectations
This is one of the hottest marketing topics right now and there are thousands of books and articles written on it.
If you want to be an outrageous success in this increasingly competitive environment, these are a few of the questions to ask yourself to start the process:
- What will set your practice apart?
- How can you excel in today’s marketplace?
- How can you exceed your clients’ expectations?
What the Marketing Experts are Advising:
- Be original, not a copycat of what every other practice is doing.
- Be proactive in anticipating what your patients or clients would like.
- Everyone on the team must go above and beyond the call of duty. This means doing MORE than is simply required.
- Put yourself in your clients’ shoes and try to understand how you might help them BEFORE they ask for the help.
- Never lose sight of the patient or client experience.
- In order to exceed your clientele’s expectations, you must first understand those expectations. Then exceed them – no excuses.
- Practices are set up and organized for efficiency. But not joy. Joy comes from surprise. If it is all “just a job” to the staff, then the chances of amazing someone are really quite low.
- Be thoughtful and generous to your clientele.
- Be helpful in unexpected ways.
- Deliver the unexpected (like the “random acts of kindness” movement).
- Seek to make an impact on each patient or client.
Some Specific Examples:
- When I used to walk into a hotel in Vancouver that I stayed at every 4 -6 months, the Receptionist (not always the same one) would greet me saying “Hello, Mrs. Wheeler, Welcome Back!” as I was walking across the lobby towards the Reception Desk. It always made me feel special.
- About 15 years ago, I walked unannounced into a clinic in another city and was shocked by the pleasant experience … enough that I still remember it all these years later. The Receptionist got up from her desk and walked around it to come and greet me. She was beautifully made up and her hair was well groomed. She was wearing a white lab coat to the knees and a pink turtleneck. She came over to me, introduced herself and shook my hand. She asked my name, which I gave her, and then asked how she could help me. What an impact! I was GREETED! Now, I am not suggesting that this can be done in every practice and every time. But it is an example of impressing someone very favourably.
- A patient arrives and is mid-treatment when she realizes she forgot to lock her car door in the parking lot. One of the staff could offer to take her key and run out and lock it.
- An elderly client has trouble backing out of the parking lot into the street with traffic coming and going. Someone could take a moment to go out and stop traffic so he can safely make this manoeuver.
- A patient comes into the practice and is offered some raspberry infused water in a beautiful glass and some lemon drop cookies or a nutritional bite of some sort.
- Send a follow-up email to a patient or client asking them how they are doing since the treatment or telling them that they looked lovely today. This could make their day!
- One practice offers patients a silicone hot pack for the back of their neck once they have their coat off and are seated.
The list is endless. Get creative. Put the team heads together on this. Go online and look for ideas. Ask patients or clients what would create a positive experience for them or for any examples they might have experienced elsewhere.
Leave copying, competing and comparing to others – shock the clients’ expectations and gain immediate altitude above your competition. Expect them to become Goodwill Ambassadors or Raving Fans of your practice as a result!
For help in becoming an outrageous success, contact us
at 416-466-6217 for a FREE Practice Assessment!
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