Five Ingenious Ideas to Amp Up Patient Delight
When we talk to our clients about what they want to get out of their medical marketing strategies, they almost always mention improved patient retention and increased referral rates.
When your patients leave your clinic, you want them to feel amazing, right? You know that your procedures will give them new confidence in their appearance, but you want to give them more than that. You want them to leave your office feeling like a million bucks, not just physically but emotionally too; you want to talk about “patient delight” because your patients mean that much to you.
You could be the most talented and skilled cosmetic surgeon in the world, but in my experience, you’ll still see massive patient turnover if you don’t show your patients why they should continue to choose you. But, if you can amp up your patients’ experiences and get them talking about what a wonderful choice they made in going to you, then your clinic will see significant increases in both new and repeat patients.
1. Get Your Whole Staff Onboard
First of all, take a minute to look at your clinic like you’re a new patient walking in the door. What do they experience when they first come in? Are they greeted warmly, or are they left to fend for themselves? There’s a huge difference between, “Hi, how are you? Welcome to our clinic. If you’ll sign in here for me, the doctor will be with you in just a moment,” and a terse, “Sign in here. Wait over there.”
Every member of your staff matters to your patients’ experience, and your front office team represents you to your patients before they ever meet you. What does that mean for you and creating the best patient experiences? It means that you need to treat your staff members as a real team and make sure that they all know that they matter. Getting everyone onboard and motivated is a great start to amping up patient delight.
2. Get to Know Your Patients
Now, once you’re sitting down with your patients, be sure to let them know that you care and that you’re listening. Whenever it’s natural, use their name in conversation. Ask them about their goals for their appearance and for the procedure(s) you’ll be doing. In other words, get to know them, and show them that you’re really there for them.
3. Be a Partner in Their Transformation
After you ask them about their goals, be sure to take those goals into consideration as you discuss potential procedures. If they’re asking for a fairly extreme rhinoplasty, but you think that a slightly more subtle surgery with the addition of a small chin implant would be a better idea, tell them. Show them that you’re here as a guide and a partner through their transformation.
4. Follow Up After Every Appointment
This seems obvious, as you’ll have scheduled follow-up appointments after most procedures. However, I’m actually talking about following up in a more personal way.
After a consultation appointment, for example, you could call or email your patient encouraging them to get in touch if they have any more questions. After your final appointment with a patient post-surgery, you could send a postcard or give them a call to ask how they’re feeling and how they love their new look. This kind of follow-up is wonderful for patient delight, and therefore for patient retention.
5. Improve Office Efficiency and Communication
Of course, improving patient delight isn’t just about making sure that everyone in your clinic is friendly. It’s also not entirely about your demeanor with your patients. If your clinic is operating at peak efficiency, your patients will notice, and they’ll appreciate it. Make sure your staff works well together and that your clinic runs like a well-oiled machine, and you’ll notice a big improvement in patient delight.
Everyone is familiar with the traditional idea of patient satisfaction. But “satisfaction” is three and a half, maybe four, out of five stars. Satisfaction means that at least you didn’t get a bad review. In order to set your practice apart from the increasing amount of competition — and completely remove yourself from the downward spiral of the price wars! — you need to do better than mere satisfaction. You need to create patient delight. Patient delight is your ace in the hole. It’s 12 out of five and raving reviews. Patient retention and referral rates off the charts, simply as a by-product of what you’re naturally doing for your patients as their doctor. These five steps are the power behind the most effective medical marketing strategy you can employ — giving your patients an extraordinary experience.