Over the course of your workday, your focus is likely on treating patients and staying on schedule. But, how concerned are you with keeping your patients happy? Keeping your patients content is an easy notion to dismiss among the many other matters concerning your practice, but it shouldn’t be. With the average new patient acquisition costing five times more than retaining an existing client, patient satisfaction should be a primary concern for your practice.
Here are seven simple ways you can improve patient satisfaction:
1. Offer text message appointment reminders – Nearly all of your patients are mobile and enjoy the convenience of text messaging, as it allows them to respond on their own time. Studies on the matter indicate that 74% of patients would rather receive text appointment reminders than a phone call or email, and 54% state they are more likely to respond to a text message reminder.
2. Have patient feedback surveys readily available – Everyone loves to voice their opinion. Having a prominently displayed satisfaction survey will make patients feel their feedback is important. If they do have an issue or concern, they may be more likely to voice it privately on your survey instead of publically posting it online.
3. Follow up with patients after their visit – Studies show that when you conduct a follow-up phone call, patients report around 10% higher satisfaction with your services. If you performed an involved procedure, follow up with the patient within 48 hours to see how they are doing. This personal touch will make you stand out as a caring provider.
4. Keep your employees happy – Your employees can influence your practice’s reputation more than you may think. If anyone on your staff has a bad attitude, it could tarnish your image. Encourage open communication with your staff and address their irritations before they give your practice a damaging reputation.
5. Study your competition – If you have local competition, figure out what makes them tick. Start by checking out their online reviews, and see what their patients are saying about their service. Learn from your competition, and ‘avoid having the same weaknesses within your own practice. For example, if your competition has numerous complaints about their rude front office staff, take considerable measures to ensure your office staff gives you a glowing reputation.
6. Surprise patients with a bonus – When patients visit the dentist, the standard toothbrush and floss favors no longer come as a surprise; gifts like these have become expected. Try surprising patients with added bonuses like Xylitol chewing gum or a toothpaste tube squeezer. Little extra gifts can make a big difference in patient satisfaction.
7. Have a mobile website – Just as patients prefer text message communication, they also prefer the convenience of easily accessing your website on their mobile device. Give patients a mobile version of your website with simplified navigation, so they can easily contact you or research your services on-the-go
Patients are the heart and soul of your practice. Understanding their needs, surpassing their expectations, and responding to their concerns are critical in retaining their patronage. Following these simple tips can help you maintain higher patient satisfaction rates and increase word of mouth referrals.
Are you already suffering from a negative reputation? Refer to our blog post about reputation management.