Ever wondered what makes your patients satisfied? Low price? Glamorous waiting area? Convenient parking? Flexible appointment slots?
Healthcare providers and marketers have been struggling with the answer to this question for decades, and for almost as long, marketing experts have been pondering the secret to patient satisfaction.
Unfortunately, most are still clueless.
Keeping your patients satisfied with your service is non-negotiable. If customers are not satisfied, they won’t just leave your practice; they’ll add salt to the wound, leave you for one of your competitors, and post a scathing online review of your staff and services. Now, a bruised ego and a damaged online reputation are the last things any medical practice would want after a blow to the bottom line.
Looking to measure patient satisfaction in your medical practice? Read here.
Before we get into specific strategies and tactics for keeping your patients happy, here are few statistics to help you understand its importance:
- 95% of dissatisfied customers won’t complain, but they will never do business with you again. (Source)
- 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience. (Source)
- 81% of satisfied customers are more likely to do repeat business with you. (Source)
Tips to Achieve Patient Satisfaction
For every healthcare organization, regardless of its size and specialty, the patient should come first. This means that patient service should be as high a priority as maintaining service quality and protecting the bottom line. In many cases, though, medical practices seem to be at a loss regarding how to equip staff with the right patient service skills to serve their patients’ needs and delight them. To help you achieve patient satisfaction and maintain it, we’ve put together some time-tested and cost-effective tips:
Communicate with patients
Regular interaction with your patients is a must in today’s competitive healthcare world. If patients feel that you are communicating with them frequently and honestly, they will believe that their relationship with your medical practice is of mutual trust. Communicate with patients effectively by approaching them with confidence, and attempt to find out more about their needs and expectations. At the same time, be clear about what you can offer to them and discuss the challenges openly. You should deal with your patients in a forthright manner and annihilate negative situations even before they occur.
Train your staff
A ‘’can-do’’ attitude always make the patients happy. This is the reason you must ensure that your employees are trained and competent to solve any problem that might arise. Train your employees regularly to empower them to use creativity while making decisions and performing their duties. Your patients should never feel the need to talk to a supervisor.
Ensure prompt service
Your patients expect a professional and prompt service, and therefore they should not be made to call twice for anything. Set internal deadlines and instruct your staff to ensure quality and quick service to resolve any issue or respond to patient queries. Ensure that these quality standards are understood by employees and conveyed to patients.
Research shows that most dissatisfied patients will not complain, but they might also never do business with you again. An email or a feedback form asking for feedback will give them a chance to complain, and it will also allow you to connect with the upset patient and work on resolving the issue. Many restaurants take feedback, but I don’t see any of them sending a message to the patient that the feedback has been received and that the restaurant will act on it.
Conduct satisfaction surveys
One way of finding out what your patients like or dislike is through conducting surveys. Patient satisfaction surveys help you to confirm whether you are doing your job nicely by helping you discover flaws in your patient service process. Surveys are one of the fastest ways to improve your service to meet and exceed your patients’ expectations. However, be careful not to overload your patients with surveys, and keep the questions brief and straight to the point.
When sending patient satisfaction survey, make sure to avoid common patient satisfaction survey mistakes. Click here to learn more about them.
You can follow many more strategies and tips to improve your patient service and increase patient satisfaction. We recommend following our tips to make things easier, but don’t limit yourself to just these best practices. Staying up to date with patient satisfaction best practices is something to keep in mind. Want to know what else you can do to increase patient satisfaction at your medical practice? Contact our experts, and they will be happy to guide you.