Differentiating your practice from your competitors is a matter of the quality of your patients’ experience. What will your patient remember about their visit to your office? What impression did the interactions give them? To get a positive answer to these questions, you will need to think about your patients’ experience, from start to finish.
There are many ways to give your patients that “Wow!” factor that will promote loyalty to your clinic. Here are three of them:
It starts with that first interaction – the appointment
The first impression comes before your patient even steps foot in your clinic. It comes from the first point of contact – making the appointment. This is the start of your relationship with your patients and it will set the tone of their experience.
Whether your appointment process is through an online portal or over the phone, it is a good idea to send them a “Welcome!” email, which will make them feel more valued. The email could include a virtual tour of your office that could make them feel right at home and a warm welcome note that would make the experience feel a little more personal. Additionally, attaching a “Welcome Package” that includes all the necessary forms they need for their appointment will allow them more time to fill them out accurately. An added bonus is that it will also reduce their waiting time when they arrive at your office. The gesture to make your patients feel more valued could mean the difference between being a one-time visitor and a lifetime customer.
Keep the positive experience going in the waiting room
When your patient is in your waiting room, they will sit, look around, and judge whether they like your clinic and whether they will trust you as their doctors. Whether your waiting room conveys luxury, friendliness, neatness, professionalism, it should reaffirm what they felt from your “Welcome!” email. It is also important to remember that some patients might be feeling anxious before their appointment. That said, providing a positive experience in the waiting room will leave a lasting impression on your patients.
A good way to create a positive experience in the waiting room is having a TV with some interactive content such as trivia, pictures from your social media feed, or highlights of your practice. This could help form a level of trust between you and your patients. More importantly, make sure that they do not wait too long. No matter how impressive your waiting room is, a long wait is most likely what they will remember.
Make your front desk accessible to your patients 24/7
Maintain that “Wow!” factor even after your patient’s appointment by creating a patient portal. A patient portal is a good way for your patients to feel that your clinic is more accessible to them. You could have an account management interface where they can access their billing records, appointment histories, insurance records, maybe even records of their lab results or refill requests. The beauty of this is that this may also reduce administrative tasks of your staff such as taking calls to give provide this information. If your patients ever needed anything, it is accessible to them in a click of a button!
The efforts you make to for your patients are what will differentiate your practice from your competitors. Keep in mind that your customers’ experience is not confined to the walls of your examination room; it includes their first point of contact to the maintenance of that doctor-patient relationship.