Patient-Focused: The Difference That Can Make or Break Your Practices
While medical practices often differ from many other businesses in that they are known to provide often necessary and sometimes lifesaving services, practice owners must remember that customer satisfaction and relationship building are still an important part of their success. Simply providing an important service is not enough to keep clients; providing extraordinary customer service also counts.
While medical practices may not be as plentiful in some cities as some other businesses such as coffee shops or gas stations, clients still ultimately have a choice in which doctor they see. Give them a reason to choose you and practice! There is nothing better than a happy patient for these patients will likely provide positive word of mouth around the community and will enhance your reputation. Always remember to put the patient first and offer an unmatched customer experience each and every time a patient walks through the door.
Here are some ways to focus on the customer:
1. Make personal connections
Treat each patient like a longtime friend or family member. Work on genuine communication and take the time to show interest in each patient's life. Work on memorizing names of patients, remembering something about each patient, and make each visit about more than just a medical service.
2. Anticipate customer needs
Think about what you can do for the patient before the patient asks. Whether it be helping to schedule an appointment, mentioning complimentary services or specials, or simply offering a bottle of water or a magazine, these are the little things that will help your practice stand out. Customer service is about being proactive, not reactive.
3. Be thorough
Patients often know when their time isn't valued and are treated as just another number. Medical professionals see many patients day in and day out, but this is not an excuse to treat it like an assembly line. Each patient is unique and deserves the same amount of time and commitment. Provide the client with a significant amount of facetime and let them discuss their concerns with you. Spending a couple extra minutes with each patient can help them see the value in a practice and can also encourage them to stick with your practice each time they have medical needs.
4. Go the extra mile
Take the time to make each patient feel valued. It's no longer enough to say thank you as a customer leaves the office. Follow up with a thank you call, an email survey about their experience, or send a discount card in the mail. The job doesn't end when the customer walks out the door. In fact, it's during this time that a practice must increase its efforts to drive the patient back to the office.
At the end of the day, true customer service is about going above and beyond day in and day out to prove that you have each patient’s best interests at hearts. When patients trust and appreciate their medical professionals, they will often become more loyal and invested in a practice. Remember, it's a lot easier to keep the same customer year in and year out than trying to find new patients. Value your patients and they'll value you in return.