How can a fresh look at the customer service you’re providing your patients improve your practice’s bottom line?
Studies show that happier patients can improve your receivables by nearly 50%. Happy patients are more likely to stay current with their bill, especially if offered payment plans and different methods of payment. By ensuring an efficient and pleasant patient experience at every visit, you’re keeping patients happy with the treatment they receive, and they’re more likely to return in the future when they require your services.
So, how do patients like visiting your office? Do they leave good reviews after their appointments? If patients feel they are not having their concerns addressed or are unhappy with a particular aspect of a medical practice, these disappointed patients are far more likely to post a negative review than those who were extremely pleased with the care they receive.
Reputation management is critical as we are seeing the first generation of adults who have never known a world without the internet – and are extremely comfortable sharing their experiences online. Negative reviews can harm a practice, so identifying any areas of concern before they can become a problem for patients is a huge step for a practice.
Tips to Improve Patient Experience
Happy employees and staff help to create happy patients. If a practice is constantly behind schedule and patients are always kept waiting, you risk losing those patients.
Try seeing things from your patient’s perspective: read the directions to your office on your website and ensure they are clear and easy to follow. Park where a patient would park and walk in the front door. In the waiting room, take a moment to see if you can identify anything that may no longer be working. Are the chairs comfortable? Is there coffee or water available for patients while they wait? Does the receptionist remain hidden behind a sliding panel of frosted glass or do they greet people as they enter the office? Does the room promote a feeling of calm and comfort? How long are patients kept waiting? Are delays explained to waiting patients?
Many of these first impressions can make a huge difference in whether patients stay with you or seek another health care provider. Experiencing what your patient experiences can give you a fresh perspective and identify areas of possible improvements.
Your Staff Are Part of Your Brand
An easy way for a doctor or provider to break the ice with patients is to ask how they were treated by the staff, if they had any trouble finding the office, or if there is anything about their experience so far that could be improved. Patients often form opinions about a practice that has nothing to do with the actual medical care they receive.
Just because a doctor’s name is on the door, staff are equally responsible for a medical practice’s brand. Your staff are on the front lines, delivering an image of your practice day in and day out. Having staff that are competent in customer service is as important to patients as the medical care they receive.
All aspects of a medical practice should be evaluated regularly to keep current patients returning and bringing in new referrals and patients. Having a customer service assessment can ensure you identify and address any areas of concern before it costs your practice patients.
ProMD Practice Management can assist your medical practice and help improve your patients’ customer experience. Request an audit and assessment today by calling (844) 236-5488 or send an email to bring in the professionals who know how to keep patients happy, paying, and coming back.